The Last Podcast Opinionated Web 2.0 News and Commentary


13 September 2007 @ 10am


Brands are Conversations? Really?

Good piece on the Federated Media Conversational Marketing Summit on CNET today. Nice to see that not everybody is buying this BS:

“Conversational Marketing is an exciting new practice that engages rather than dictates, invites rather than demands, and listens as much as talks,” the Federated Media Guide to the conference states. “Advertising is becoming a three-way conversation, as marketers join readers and authors online. All three parties seek appropriate principles by which to hold these commercial conversations.”

Hold on. Who asked marketers to join readers online? I know blog publishers need to make money, and they do earn revenue off regular old text, video and banner ads. But I’m suspicious when the “conversation” is initiated by the marketer and not the consumer.

And what’s this with the slogan of the conference–“Brands are conversations”? No, they aren’t.

Maybe what bothers me most about this is that idea that bloggers are for sale. Sure, those who use PayPerPost are , but the majority of bloggers is (hopefully) not.

I sure don’t want to be joined by marketers. Hell – I despise marketers. Stay away from me. Please? I want a genuine discussion. Marketers don’t have those. Their priorities are too different from ours.

And brands are really not conversations (though Andy Beal disagrees – and so does Rex Hammock). A brand is simply a carefully constructed image. Maybe that ‘brand’ wants to be part of the conversation, but I hope you and me have enough other things to talk about. Brands are constructed by marketers – no more, no less.

Marketers: I will not start a conversation for you because you tell me to or because you pay me. If a company has a good product, word will spread. If you force the word to be spread, you will only look foolish and ruin your oh so carefully crafted ‘brand.’