Life is ultimately an amalgamation of daily experiences, writes Shaz Smilansky in Experiential Marketing: A practical guide to interactive brand experiences ( www.vivagroupindia.com). She assures that live brand experiences — that is, brand-relevant, two-way communications between consumers and brands — can be delivered face to face or remotely.

“These live experiences, designed to bring brand personalities to life while adding value to the consumer, are at the core of the experiential marketing approach.” Examples of such experiences are TV programmes with fluid content in which consumers can participate, and online events activated in second life. The author sees CEM (customer experience management), defined as ‘the process of strategically managing a customer’s entire experience with a product or a company,’ to be the level next to CRM (customer relationship management), on the subject of maintaining customer loyalty.

Targeted content

Search engines such as Google have democratised content, and so you have the opportunity to replace formerly vital media choices with your own high-quality content, advise Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett in Get Content Get Customers: Turn prospects into buyers with content marketing ( www.tatamcgrawhill.com). “You can be timely, considered, and reasoned. Your company can become the new thought leader among your many prospects who are completely open to great content from new sources,” the authors encourage. Even as there is a decline in traditional media outlets, there is an opportunity for non-traditional content creators to fill the void, they note. “Traditional media are suffering because the business models have changed, not because there is less information needed in the world. Actually, buyers need more information than ever.”

And there is the low-cost, easy-to-use Web technology to help small and medium enterprises in building online content solutions that are more sophisticated than what most media companies were putting online just a few years ago, observe Pulizzi and Barrett.

Power of fanzines

Fanzines often arise because the objects of their study (such as football, film, comics and popular television serials or music) are ignored by mainstream journalism, find Chris Atton and James F. Hamilton in Alternative Journalism( www.sagepublications.com). “Fanzines also challenge critical orthodoxy; they may arise because ‘their’ culture is marginalised or misrepresented by mainstream tastes. Unlike the local alternative press, fanzines offer opportunities to create, maintain and develop taste communities across geographic boundaries.”

In fanzines, lack of original news reporting may not be a weakness, the authors opine. “There is an emphasis on reduction, revision, preparation, editing, and publishing… The specialist audience might be well served by the news digests produced by football fanzines.

Interestingly, the credibility and authority of a fanzine, say, of music, may enable it ‘to obtain interviews from artists directly, bypassing public-relations professionals.’

Insights of value.

D. Murali

BookPeek.blogspot.com

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 9, 2009)
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