From the days of Mad Men until the present, marketing has been about products. Yes, there were/are target audiences, and an understanding of what those audiences want has always been necessary to the process. But ultimately the job of marketers has always been to come at things from a brand perspective – product first.

That’s changing. With social media offering a wealth of data for marketers to put into play, putting consumers first is paramount. Here’s why:

  • Consumers are savvy to marketing tactics, and not easily swayed by anything that comes across as phony or “salesy”
  • Brands smartly appealing to consumers’ needs have raised the bar for all
  • Consumers have more options than ever – and they know it

Social media is the great equalizer, meaning all brands are susceptible to social praise AND social pans, and consumers are now in charge.

So how do you reach them?

We at NetBase know the key to consumers’ hearts is understanding the emotion they feel for a brand – calculated as Net Sentiment (the emotions themselves) and Brand Passion (the intensity of those emotions).

And though targeting consumers through sentiment (think Hallmark) has always been a thing, the social data available today means marketers can go deeper, appealing to consumers on an individual, personal level – which is exactly what they want.

If brands want consumers to love them (and they do), they can set themselves apart from their competitors by:

  • Understanding consumers’ overall needs and desires – not just as it pertains to their brand
  • Offering customer service that goes above and beyond – even (especially) on social media
  • Using authentic messaging that’s relatable to consumers

That last point is most important, because it’s authenticity that matters more and more as the digital world puts brands and consumers in constant, real-time touch. Which for some marketers means a change of approach – away from outdated games and spin, and into a new world of customer-centric connection.

To help marketers navigate this new approach, Nichole Kelly, CEO of Social Media Explorer & SME Digital, and Robin Fray Carey, CEO of Social Media Today LLC are teaming up with NetBase CMO Pernille Bruun-Jensen for a webinar to discuss the advantages of using hard social data to connect with consumers in a more authentic and direct way.

The Q&A will explore:

  • How brand actions can be grouped into 13 “game groups”
  • Which of these game groups work – and which DON’T
  • Examples of brands getting results, by focusing on selling “what consumers want” versus “what companies make”

The webinar will also speak to how brands can leverage key social data insights to connect with consumers on a personal, human level. This is particularly important with younger audiences, who can spot mind games and spin a mile away. Many of these shoppers haven’t hit their peak spending years, so building relationships now could pay off for brands big time in the future.

Brands today need every edge they can get to stand out, and with social data at their disposal, marketers have the means to do so by connecting with consumers more deeply than ever. Brands willing to make those connections – in an authentic, human way – are the ones that will prosper now.

Join us on October 15 to find out how putting people before products can change the way consumers perceive your brand, and reach out in the meantime to learn more about understanding consumer sentiment and what it means for your brand.

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