Twitter Is Not a Strategy: A book review by Bob Morris

Twitter Is NotTwitter Is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing
Tom Doctoroff
Palgrave Macmillan (2014)

How and why it’s time for companies to “stand up and reclaim the conceptual high ground for marketing communications”

Tom Doctoroff offers what he characterizes as “a four-part framework that unifies conceptual and executional essentials, demonstrating that the brands that address [forging order from chaos for both marketers and consumers] most effectively will always reign supreme, boasting the highest margins and the most loyal consumers.”

His is a “simple-but-nuanced approach to grab the holy grail of marketing: harmony between the clarity of top-down positioning and the dynamism of bottom-up consumer engagement; between long-term brand equity and short-term tactical messaging; and between emotional relevance and results elicited by data-driven technology.”

I have always viewed strategies as “hammers” that drive tactics (“nails)) and there is no doubt that social media such as Twitter offer all manner of possible tactics to help strengthen customer relationships. However, as Doctoroff explains, their proper benefits — and limitations — must be recognized and accommodated: both analog and digital channels have value if (huge IF) effectively coordinated. Moreover, marketers must not become preoccupied with the digital connectivity at the expense of nourishing what have been “long-term relationships between human beings [not machines] and the brands they love.”

These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Doctoroff’s coverage:

o A Brief History of Branding (Pages 12-16)
o Digital Daze (31-35)
o The Value of Strong Brands to Consumers (39-43)
o [How] Strong Brands Provide Tangible Benefits to Parent Companies (44-52)
o Unearthing Insights into Consumer Behavior: Human Truths That Unite Us (55-61)
o Cultural Truths That Set Us Apart (61-73)
o Techniques to Uncover Human and Cultural Truths (75-77)
o Insights About Emerging Markets and Business Strategy (77-86)
o Great Brand Ideas: From Conceptual Unity, Strength (94-98)
o The Unique Brand Offer: Resolving the Insight (99-107)
o Organizational Barriers to Powerful Brand Ideas (131-133)
o When to Abandon a Brand Idea (137-146)
o Engagement Ideas That Inspire Opting In” (156-158)
o From Engagement to Advocacy (162-177)
o Defining Engagement Ideas (180-182)
o Intimacy (191-193)
o The Nine Rules of Online Content (221-238)

When concluding his book, Tom Doctoroff briefly reviews what he characterizes as two “broad points.” They are centrally important to the establishment of an appropriate framework required for strong brand equity and deep loyalty. I agree with him: “First, the barriers between traditional and new media are artificial. They must be deconstructed…Second, engagement is more than a digital connection between manufacturers and consumers.” Why? Because loyalty “is rooted in a long-term relationship between people and brands they love. It is born as a ‘brand idea’ — a two-way commitment, long-term, and dynamic — that provides conceptual unity across an ever-changing marketplace, expressed as engagement ideas people want to spend time with. Engaging creative ideas, today or forever, are the source of high price premiums and margins.”

If your organization’s objective is to establish and then sustain long-term relationships of engagement, not only with its customers but with its own people, just about all the information, insights, and counsel you need are provided in this book.

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