When I say “Twitterized”, I don’t just mean, is your brand on Twitter? I think by now, that’s a given. What I’m referring to is the Twitterization of branding, advertising and marketing messages overall. In a world that’s becoming more and more reliant on instant updates, real-time communication and short clips of information, is your brand on board and communicating the same way?
There is certainly no doubt that communication has changed significantly in recent years. Who would have thought less than 20 years ago when instant messaging was all the rage that today we’d be talking about the mainstreaming of short, real-time, communication snippets. That’s basically what communication has turned into – sound bites.
The challenge facing brands is whether or not their messages can be communicated in the sound bites people want and expect. There was a time, not so long ago, when a well-written direct mail piece could be several pages long. Today, the same piece would be tossed in the garbage can faster than you can say, “not worth the postage you paid for it.” I’m not saying direct mail is dead. What I’m saying is that the messages have changed. That same 3-page letter wouldn’t work today, but the same messages consolidated into 3 bullet points could.
I’m certainly not blaming Twitter for the shift in communication to sound bites. That change would have come with or without 140-character microblogging. However, the shift in communication has created a second challenge for brands. How do you establish the coveted brand relationship with consumers when you only get a few seconds (or characters) to do it?
Many brands are realizing the importance of experience branding as well as the power of online influencers and the social web. By joining the conversation and creating their own sound bites, brands can lead the conversations and have a chance to generate a buzz that lasts more than 140-characters.
In other words, brand communication in 2009 starts with Twitterizing your brand, but that’s just the beginning. An integrated marketing plan that leverages your Twitterization efforts in all brand touch points stands the best chance for success.
In short, Twitter – yes, but Twitter only – no.
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