On the MiC with Nick Broomfield

MiC caught up with the British consumer engagement expert ahead of his presentation on Friday at ICA’s Future Flash conference.

Nick Broomfield joined London-based customer engagement and management consultancy group The Customer Framework in 2010 as a director and partner, where he works with brands, including Coca-Cola, on consumer engagement, loyalty, CRM strategy and data-driven marketing. In advance of his talk this Friday at the ICA Future Flash conference, MiC caught up with Broomfield to ask him a few questions about the ever-changing world of social marketing.

What excites you most about social marketing?

It is the chance for brands to engage with their consumers, but do it on the consumers’ terms and in their space. Very much, I think social marketing is a space where the consumer is in control and brands need to tread very carefully. But there is a mass opportunity for brands to identify key influencers and advocates there in their social environment and understand their potential value and get them to work on behalf of the brand.

What are some brands and campaigns that are using social marketing well?

Proctor & Gamble is one of the leading companies in the space; they have some really smart stuff. I am going to be showing an example in my deck from them called “Super Savvy Me.” It is actually a portfolio approach, a sort of online magazine. They are using the materials across its websites and Facebook pages. When you sign up, you can flag the brands you are into, and P&G sends you products in the mail which then drive you back to the website to rate it, which gets added to the Facebook news feed.

Another brand I do a lot of work with personally is Coca-Cola. They are doing some amazing work to bring data-driven marketing to the company, focusing on the social optimization of their websites, email marketing and bringing together the social and CRM teams internally to drive a solid approach to consumer engagement.

The automotive brands are also doing some great work. For example, Ford is doing some interesting things to launch their new products and identify key influencers in social media, seed them information and almost put them to work on behalf of the brand.

What do you think brands need to do better with social marketing?

I think a lot of brands are still using social marketing as a push channel. One of the major things I will be talking about is the idea that social by its very definition is two-way. A lot of brands are just using social to push messages around the launch of a product, like a sales message, and once they do that they aren’t engaging consumers when it comes to replying to the posts. That comes down to internal issues and the mindset around it. They aren’t seeing it as a media channel and aren’t using it properly. It’s about ongoing conversation and interaction.

I also think one of the biggest opportunities they are missing is the chance to recruit from social marketing. A lot of them are focusing on quantity, rather than quality. There needs to be a focus on conversation because that really is the key metric.

MiC reporter Val Maloney will be on site at Future Flash Thursday and Friday. Look for her stories on Friday, May 13 and Monday, May 14.