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MARKETING CONSULTANTS

Pavlovian Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Pavlovian Marketing in the Age of Social Media

Pavlovian MarketingSocial media is a tool.  It’s not a Pavlovian marketing machine where the customers consistently feed comments, observations and insights and marketers beg, heel and sit in response.

Pavlovian response is a form of learning where a conditioned stimulus comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus.  Pavlov presented dogs with food and the dogs salivated.  No biggie.  But then, Pavlov introduced a conditioned stimulus and rang a bell when presenting food to the dogs.  After repeated bell-food pairings the bell also caused the dogs to salivate.

Food = Salivate

Bell + Food = Salivate

Bell = Salivate

 

Pavlovian Marketing(SM) is when business becomes conditioned to the consistent, persistent social messages to define the brand.

Marketing Insight = Brand

Tweets, Posts, Fans And Friends + Marketing Insight = Brand

Tweets, Posts, Fans And Friends = Brand

 

Who really owns your brand?  You do!  And you need to take on the responsibility for it.

Some of the spiritual guides of the social marketing world seem to believe that customers own your brand.  The only own your brand if you allow them to.  Just because customers have newfound abilities to broadcast their opinions doesn’t give them ownership of your brand.

You are responsible for the products, materials, packaging design, messaging and core corporate identify.  You create it.  And you reap the benefits.  You may also suffer the onslaught of customer outrage at what you put into the market.

No doubt that social media changes the landscape.  Customer feedback is now loud, quick and potentially massive.  Corporate actions are infinitely more transparent.  But, the responsibility for creating, defining and messaging your brand is still yours!

Customers are now … and always have been… the barometer of what your brand.  They are your lifeline, your guidance and, perhaps, your gurus.  Back in the old days (20 years ago), smart marketers developed brands that were market-driven, customer-driven and reality-driven.  Not doing this was the ultimate brand killer.  It still is.

I haven’t been living under a rock.  Yes, social marketing has unleashed unprecedented potential and enormous challenges into our marketing considerations.  The latent power of customers has been unleashed.  And so, the marketer’s challenges become even greater.  Your customers will hold you to higher standards.  It’s your responsibility to figure out how to rise above their expectations with your products, your brand, your action and your messages.

As an information hungry marketer, the explosion in social media provides amazing access to a wealth of customer information.  As a proactive marketer, I know that accessing and analyzing this information as an ongoing process is critical to my future.  As a visionary marketer, I know that I have to create a dream for my brand that’s bigger and bolder than my customers would envision. Keep in mind that the ringing bell was never a substitute for food. And, similarly, all the tweets, blogs, friends, fans, blurbs and blips are no substitute for the insight and creativity of a real marketer.

Social media has opened a floodgate of customer opinion, feedback and information.  It’s our responsibility to use it with the full responsibility that our customers want.  If it’s Pavlovian social marketing that you want, just hand the reins over to your customers.

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I have had the pleasure of working for Susan on several assignments. One of her main strengths is her creativity and the unique talent to provide proper direction and vision to her vendors when contemplating a new project.   Although not necessary, she always found the time to pass along praise to our workforce when we went the extra mile. A true rarity these days.

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