Chapter 6

Higher Highs and Higher Lows

The differences between the strategies underlying social marketing and those that direct both traditional and digital advertising are considerable. Advertising is fundamentally a one-way communication, whereas social marketing relies on listening as well as talking. Advertisers are most comfortable when they control all aspects of the message. Social marketers are, at the very least, learning to let go of such control. Perhaps the most important distinction is that advertising tends to focus on short-term objectives and one-off campaigns, whereas growing a successful brand network is a long-term commitment.

In a world where information is overabundant and attention hard to come by, thinking long term—and getting others to do so—is a challenge. As noted in Chapter 1, American consumers are exposed to as many as 3,000 forms of advertising every single day. Over the course of a year, that amounts to more than 1 million marketing messages, all of which compete to get noticed, not just with one another, but with innumerable other forms of content as well. How, then, does a brand start, build, and sustain relationships with consumers?

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media

When brands spend money, they get awareness. Logically speaking, higher spends result in higher levels of awareness. That is the paid-media flow. Joint research out of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University has shown that where owned and earned media are efficient ...

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