Marketing in the Age of Social Ephemera

Courtesy of BostInno

What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

a) Brush your teeth?

b) Wash your face?

c) Visit the john?

d) Check your smartphone?

If your answer is the fourth option (like 95% of us), you'd probably check the time of the day, see if anything interesting was posted on Facebook, tweet (or retweet) something, or Whatsapp your BFF on the other side of the island/continent/globe.

Of course, the more hardcore ones may even snap an Instagram photo (or 3) of your toes, cat, hair or face.

Like it or not, we're living in the era of Social Ephemera. In this age, every bit adds up to one's social experience. This can be anything from status updates, check ins, tweets, "likes", comments, photos, blog posts, to videos. 

Serendipity is the name of this game. Life becomes this huge social sport mediated by mobiles, tablets, PCs and the omnipresent omniscient web. We're checking in, logging in, recording, texting and linking like never before.

Who cares if others are watching? On the contrary, we do care if others are NOT watching.

The action never stops. Like a 7-Eleven, the social web is always close but never closed.

With news-feeds that flow continually like an endless river, our consciousness is continually filled with the minutiae of each other's lives.

(No wonder sleep is no longer easy for many of us.)

The ubiquitous presence of smartphones and social networks make us ever conscious of what's happening in the lives of our friends. We're so finely attuned to every online action made by our friends that we can describe them in amazing detail without having met them once.

In a way, we're no longer merely consumers of products, services, experiences or information. We're consumers of each other's lives.

To adapt, companies need to tap into the flow. They need to listen and plug in to the collective intelligence and emotions of the swarm.

Market research is no longer just recording inputs to a survey or a series of questions. Instead, it is transformed into a lifestyle. With your eyes and ears open, you can monitor the buzz - both online and offline - and amalgamate variable voluminous inputs into coherent current insights.

Branding is no longer just logo revamps, design changes, or textual augmentation. Instead, it is about being relevant to one's stakeholders right where the action is, weaving one's wares into compelling content, and being interesting enough to be tweeted, blogged, photographed or shared.

Selling is no longer just organising roadshows, making phone calls or opening retail outlets. Instead, it is about solving problems, being available where needed, and helping others to look, feel, and be good.

In the age of Social Ephemera, grand masterful strokes and big idea campaigns aren't enough. Rather, companies need to break down the barriers and mingle with their markets. Customer loyalty and affection is built through lots of micro-interactions, each and every day.

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