We’re living in a new world of marketing.

The rise of social media has created a bit of a marketing conundrum for brands. They now know they’re not always in control of the marketing editorial. Or they should do by now!



According to Starbucks ‘We make sure everything we do honors that connection – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way we engage with our customers’.

Yet at the time of me publishing this they hadn’t replied to the tweet!



Cineworld say on their twitter account ‘Follow the Cineworld PR and Marketing team for all the latest film news, reviews and great ticket offers. For customer services issues please call 0844 *** ****’

Clearly the PR and Marketing team of Cineworld think customer service has nothing to do with them. They never replied to the tweet. I’ll guess the same happened on Facebook too.

However it’s not all bad though.




It’s an understandable challenge for many brands, as they evolve from the era of only buying advertising space, and being the master of the communication, to now becoming the word of mouth advert in the social spaces they want to market themselves in.

To add to the challenge. As well as making complaints, consumers also attack adverts.


While there is no doubt the Marketing and PR industry is undergoing a painful transition, it does seem a little harsh to me. For one, both of the brands negatively highlighted on twitter could be upstanding pillars of the community. As for the advert of instagram, that still attracted 36k likes against 200 rage filled comments.

However let there be no mistake in the thinking going forward; there are clear lessons to be learned from the transformations that have been taking place in social news feeds for brands, marketers and agencies looking to master digital social spaces.


Why Marketing Has Changed… Forever.


Brands are still, and probably always will be in some quarters, considered interlopers in digital media spaces when it comes to creating brand awareness in the social streams. Marketers don’t get to decide on what gets talked about today. People do. And people are dictating the conversation in droves.

On the flip side, in today’s participation age brands can now walk their unique personality across the social streams, leaving positive digital footprints as they go, being part of and sharing constructive stories; so dealing positively with customer service issues in open space is one personality example they need to pay attention too – so EVERYBODY can see, or hear it.

It’s no longer about marketing towards making a transaction. It’s more about creating a more meaningful exchange with feeling. We have to know our why. Why we do what we do and why it matters. Not the what or the how. It’s part of the passion conversation. What’s more, your brand is a lens through which people get to see what you stand for.

The opportunity is fairly simple to equate – make sure there’s something people can believe in when they come looking for authentic value added brand content they crave, or the consumer-generated content they fall on. Not in-congruence!

This radio interview with Claire Taylor from the story Mill gives more depth on what meaningful exchange means.


The future of marketing has never been more exciting.


Marketing and PR can no longer live in silos, they need to become part of the customer service team too. Working together, understanding each other, and deliver as one whole unit.

Foe me, brand marketing has never been more exciting for those who are brave enough to truly embrace it. What’s true for marketing can also be said of PR and customer service. The old models and structures are undergoing a difficult transition, but the future is a bright (and powerful) one for those who set out to pioneer new ways to build brand relationships and trust, in an open, collaborative and connected ecosystem.

We have entered, regardless if you participate or not, into a new era of earned media.

What’s your thoughts?


Give me, Ian Gentles, a call today to discuss how your business can win in the world of digital marketing. You don’t have to be based in Banbury or even Oxfordshire. Technology and digital marketing go hand-in-hand, so you can access my services from every corner of the globe.

We offer on-location training in the UK and remote training for the rest of the world.

Call me today on 07511 217 984.  Of if you’d prefer me to call you, drop me an email with your digital marketing query and I’ll get back to you.



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