During his talk at the 2012 Mobile Inspirations Conference, futurist Gerd Leonhard said the following: “We need to move from space to sell towards space to engage”. In other words, he’s encouraging media companies, advertisers and entrepreneurs to think less in terms of building reach and put more energy into involving consumers with their brands. The fact is that we’re faced with a media landscape that keeps fragmenting further and in which consumers’ undivided attention is becoming a scarce commodity.
Meanwhile, actual time spent by consumers is massively shifting towards social and mobile media. For example, personal channels work much better for commercial communications than online advertising does. This calls for a different approach. It’s time to think more ‘consumer centric’ and less ‘brand centric’.
An important step towards this switch is to identify common areas of interest that an advertiser’s brands have with their target audiences. In Philips’ new campaign on the social platform Pinterest, ‘the city you live in’, they asked consumers to photograph and share their favourite spots in the neighbourhood. When choosing a domain, a brand-strategic fit is important. Which is why Nike chooses movement with the FuelBand and movies have been linked to M&M’s for years.
These advertisers actively mobilize domains to conquer a valuable share of consumers’ media spending. Advertisers can also develop their own domain or simply buy one. P&G, for example, recently took over a successful startup. Two clever consumers had developed the SitOrSquat app, a valuable service that indicates at which public restrooms in the United States you can sit and the ones where you’d better squat. Of course SitOrSquat users can add reviews, thus ensuring that the supply of reviewed public restrooms keeps growing and information remains current. P &G bought the app for Charmin and by doing so, cleverly added relevance to this low involvement toilet paper brand.