A long while ago I wrote in effect that strategies should be built around something worth talking about [Social media as a guiding principle]. It was a bit of a stretch at the time which attracted some criticism from more senior strategists than myself. But it’s starting to become a popular approach amongst many large brands or a contemporary point of transition for many others.
The value of participation leads back to the idea of salience of message. My old Psychology lecturer used to say that missing lectures was the fastest way to fail. That information retention i.e. long term memory formation is predicted by the amount of information the channel delivers. A banner doesn’t deliver as much as a TVC and a TVC arguably doesn’t deliver as much as active participation in a conversation of activity [lectures being the latter].
Essentially we are attempting to form long term memories around product benefits or strategic devices of a brand and so really the above and quite simple definition explains this trend.
The challenges this faces are firstly combating entrenched marketing behavior [for those brand teams that have not yet transitioned their thinking in this regard] and secondly aligning strategic elements or product benefits to the participation asked of the consumer. In simple terms the act of participating becomes the message through which strategic elements are communicated.