At a time when brands have less ability to efficiently reach masses of consumers with advertising messages, and thus desperately experiment online and especially in social media to cultivate ongoing relationships, maybe what's missing is the campaign trail. Why aren't brands doing more to meet the consumer? Or, more to the point, to enable the consumer to meet them?
As trust assumes an ever larger influence on purchasing decisions, brands as never before can build a following so devoted that customers will throw the competition's unused product in the trash. But in today's environment of mega-transparency and social chatter, those same brands pay a huge penalty for straying from the values that engendered such trust.
This week 'USA Today' celebrates its 30th anniversary -- and I was there on Day One. I was the advertising and marketing columnist and in the debut edition had 700 words on the official sponsorships being sold for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, at that point scheduled for two years hence.
Komen was a Relationship Era marketer before there was a Relationship Era. Now, as a penalty for betraying those relationships, Komen must resort to paid advertising to manipulate public opinion back to where it once organically was.