Firms Wade into the Social Ecosystem

A much more personal conversation with the consumer

05/06/2013

Carlos García Pont

Young people, who comprise today’s customers as well as those of the future, “increasingly watch less television, said José Antunes, Content Excellence & CRM manager of Coca-Cola, who discussed the current social ecosystem. “They still consume (media), but in more varied formats,” said Antunes during a Continuous Education session titled “The New media Strategy,” held on the Barcelona campus on June 4, organized by the IESE Alumni Association and moderated by Prof. Carlos Garcia Pont.

We are not only experiencing a technological revolution, but a social one, too,” he said, noting that “the individual is at the center of everything. It is useless to believe that the company is the navel of the earth.”
 
Consequently, companies should “gain new competencies so that they can connect with clients one by one. And to do this, you have to know them.” According to Antunes, managing Big Data will be critical for the process  in the future and companies that can manage it will have “a huge competitive advantage.”

He highlighted the sense of immediacy provided by social networks today. Thanks to these, “we are able to know what our customers think about a campaign a few minutes after its launch. Before, we had to wait weeks.”
But firms have to adapt to this context: “Any marketing director who does not have a grip on new technologies needs to get updated.”

The new consumer

“Where will we capture the consumer?” asked Eduardo Díez-Hochleitner, vice president of the group 20 Minutos España. The answer lies in the multitude of devices (PCs, tablets, smartphones and sensors), support (social networks – large or niche  –  and search engines), space and time. Companies can now reach customers in any place at any moment.

Keys for exceling in this environment include quality, disruptive creativity, on and offline strategy integration, reliable measurement and the ability to react immediately.

“Seventy percent of information is produced by amateurs. The influencers for brands are the consumers,” said José Luis de Rojas, CEO of Grupo Zertem. He said that PR professionals have shifted from short ads to storytelling.

The current media industry is more competitive and has adopted new models, he said. Content producers have greater capacity to express themselves and brands are engaging in conversations with consumers that are much more personal.