Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tweet, Tweet - The consumer strikes back

You should never promise to write something tomorrow - at least on a specific topic. But, true to word, I am producing a blurb on this at risk of exceeding our modern attention span.

I can remember the days when TV commercials were actually running around 30 seconds, but our creative has to deliver in tighter timeframes these days. Originally, it was to drag media costs down and achieve greater frequency for the same bucks. However, I am convinced that this is one contributor to our diminishing attention span.

TV news has been the additional conditioner massaged in after the cost-cutting shampoo - our pollies honing their skills to deliver their messages in similar timeframes. Or perhaps they aren't. Were they ever able to put more than a dozen sensible words together? At least it gives them fewer words to remember and therefore greater capacity to stay 'on message'. So cynical and unkind of me.

How does this impact on our communication with customers? I believe Twitter is the consumer's ultimate revenge on marketers and also, perhaps, their elected representatives. Consumers are talking in 'tweets' - the web equivalent of the 15-second commercial. So we're all tweeting at each other through various channels. Much of our twitter is inane, but it is eminently digestible, even if it often lacks flavour and looks unappetising.

What our tweeting really achieves is more noise and clutter and, generally speaking, less insight. While you can monitor blogs and responses to track community interaction and conversation around your brand, how can you make sense of tweets? And, if you can detect a positive or adverse trend in all the tweeting, how can you interact effectively and make a plausible argument for or against?

Remember, you have no more than 15 seconds, or 140 characters or less in which to make your point. Can't do it? Sorry, we've already moved onto another subject!

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