Sarah Buxton, Commercial Director.

To be a hot topic or big hit in today’s world you don’t need a pair of killer heels or a set of awesome abs – a decent klout score and a good twitter following will do.

As a marketer I’m very aware that people have always decided to look at, buy and trust brands (and people) based on what they perceive them to be – good or bad. As an agency we have spent over a decade projecting company values, emphasising attributes and tapping into the mindset of customers. We have learned how to draw people in – as opposed to chase them down.

The explosion of social media over recent years has meant we now have new channels to play with, new tactics to use, better gains to make – although it’s not as favourable as it may first appear – turns out, it’s harder to market to people that get marketing…

10 years ago the ‘Average Joe’ didn’t have 500 friends. He didn’t have an abundance of individuals from which to choose when selecting who best to drink with on a Friday night – chances are he still doesn’t. Transpires his new social life isn’t all that social. When you strip it back, our online selves aren’t really interested in staying in touch – instead we want to use our new found personas to build and maintain an online profile in hope that we will be a little more engaging, a little more talked about – a little more… popular. It’s all about what we want to be perceived to be – and we market ourselves as a consequence.

The result? You now have a style; a tone. You carefully choose what to share, like, comment on. Content is something you draft, edit, remove – neglect to mention. And – you care, not just about what you’re saying, but about what those engaged are saying about you as a result.

Fact is, people are switched on. They have grown savvy. In our last blog we spoke about sales being dead – why? Because the world caught up, people became intolerant of the outdated approach employed by many. Turns out the same audience has also embraced the marketing game. Think about it, they‘re playing it everyday. How many people do you know that would happily leave the house in less than great attire but would go nuts the minute you tagged them in a not-so-flattering Facebook picture? People, especially those under 40, are not only starting to care more about their online persona (their own personal brand) than the offline reality but they’re also becoming incredibly well versed in how to manage and promote it.

My point? It might be a hard to sell something to someone in sales but it’s even harder to sell perception to someone in marketing – you may need an agency after all.