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Brand Building, Free Promotion and Personalisation

In traditional advertising i.e. Print, Television, Outdoor before the advent of the internet a newspaper advert would contain information such as address and telephone number.


Then as the internet developed commercially in the late 1990’s we started to see business want to promote not only the traditional contacting methods of address and telephone number but also their web address.


Now it’s been common practice in the past few years to see Brands Advertising not only their web address but also their social addresses. The key ones being twitter and Facebook can be seen not only online but in traditional press, television, radio and outdoor advertising.




Has the Internet Splintered?

Josh Bernoff wrote an article about the “Splinternet” in 2010 (Four years ago). The article talks about the preparation for the Apple Tablet (remember life before tablets?) and leads with the quote:

“The golden age of the Web is coming to an end”

The concept of what Josh talks about is multiple devices and the content that’s available on the internet becoming hidden behind logins. Well four years later, we have a better idea of where the technology and social adoption is moving towards and I simply wouldn’t agree that the internet is splintering:

“It’s Simply Evolving.” – Neil Walker

Our televisions are moving towards smart internet ready TV’s.


“Google Glass” has been developed and it’s predicted that by the end of 2014 nearly all new cars will be connected to the internet.

It’s not a Splinternet – it’s just good marketing!

Any business or marketer has a focus on increasing income and thus all assets are used to achieve this goal whether it’s from Online, Press, Outdoor advertising etc.

Of course we can all envisage that technology such as what was seen in the movie “Minority Report” is clearly on the cards with personalised digital bill boards as this is something we as marketers strive towards.


Google search results have a huge focus on personalisation, email marketing has advanced towards personalised messaging not to mention there is a big reason why any major businesses want to give you a discount or loyalty card, because they can collect details about you and then personalise offers etc.

In terms of Splinternet – this is just connected marketing.

Promoting technology, Brand or both?

The reason that businesses ever decided to promote the web address on newspaper adverts was to promote themselves, but this adoption snowballed to where we are today. This second hand promotion was towards a technology and not a brand or product/service.

What’s changed in the past few years is when a business decided that it would be useful to also display their Facebook address in an advert, the marketing reasoning is sound, they are aware that Facebook (or similar) has a large online usage and so promoting their own Facebook page is a way to capture new customers. The difference with this to promoting a web address is that every business which now adds a Facebook logo is also promoting Facebook.

Think about it, how many newspapers, TV, radio adverts tell potential customer to follow them on Facebook or use the hash tag X.


This Promotion of Brand isn’t new

The key here is that this form of brand marketing is far from new (and often an unintentional by product), we all (UK anyway) use the term hoover when we talk about a vacuum cleaner or sellotape, this is a classic use of the promotion of brand achieved when your brand name has reached the tipping point and it snowballs.

How many times do you say “Google X” over “Search for X”?

Where Facebook and twitter have won at the moment is that businesses want to connect with those audiences and so have to actively promote the fact they are using them by visually displaying the brands.

This is purely the nature of Marketing

This phenomenon is simply not restricted to Facebook and twitter, next time you have been for a beer and go to buy a burger look if you see the “Just Eat” logo, this is take-away business promoting the fact that you can order online through “Just Eat”.


Or if you’re buying / renting a house (UK anyway) there’s a big chance you’ll see “Rightmove’s” website logo on their sales literature etc.

Promoting others is second nature

The promotion of other companies brands is second nature from every time you like or tweet something, to when you display the as featured on “the ITV”, “In the Guardian” logos on your website to the awards logo’s in your email signature.

How do we achieve the tipping point?

In the early days of the web people tried badges and logos to gain coverage which has developed into Gamification Promotion, using peoples own competitive nature to help promote your product / service.

Good old fashioned great content always wins as people will link; display this on their own sites.

Contests are always useful to help promote brand, the key is that we are driving toward a tipping point in perceived authority.

But how can this work for unknown brands and companies?

People and Business like things about themselves so when you’re thinking about content idea generation – think about personalising it to individual’s i.e. instead of:

“Here’s fitness Infographic” – may get coverage,

think about a tool which allows people to input what exercise they have been doing and produces a personalised Infographic which they can add to their site become a game changer.

Final Thought

I’ll leave you with an example from 2009 about a personalised viral video from TV broadcast license Association in Sweden, they produced a viral video where you uploaded your own photo which was inserted into the video about being a hero, you could then embed, share the video.

Final Final Thought

Personalised marketing is not just associated to online, last year Coca Cola released its “Share a coke” campaign with an integrated approach across it physical product and web properties, which saw some impressive results.



Personalisation will be the only winner

Its clear that a personalised marketing approach will deliver a more engaged audience and higher returns, when looking at how to incorporate this into your web strategy the key is to remember:

Over half of social network users in the UK (53%) are willing to share data from their social media profiles to see products and content relevant to their interestsIntentHQ




Neil Walker started working as an SEO in 2002 and rose to become Group CTO for Swedish Marketing Agency “Online Group” in 2010 he moved to consulting with agencies, in-house teams and PR companies. In 2014 he formalised this work and founded Made Notable Ltd a boutique digital consultancy based in Manchester, UK.