a creative agency that takes care of healthcare brands
Bryce Michelmore
25 Mar, 2013

The other day I happened to look at a friend’s new business card.

He’s an accountant and he recently started a new job at a large corporate insurance firm. So I was quite surprised to see that he had a Facebook URL on his card. I never thought I’d see the day that interactions on Facebook would become standard practice in the corporate context.

In fact, it’s not surprising that this has happened, because Facebook creates a valuable funnel of information that can be tailored to an individual’s unique interests. But this was never the original intention. When it first began, Facebook was a rudimentary content sharing system targeted at a small tertiary education audience.

So how did Facebook become mainstream? Was it primarily through proactive corporate adoption or simply an inevitable by-product of the sheer size of its audience? I guess the answer is ‘does it matter?’, because it’s a moot point now. Whatever the history, Facebook is now an essential part of the marketing mix for many brands, because it facilitates sharing and word-of-mouth recommendation among a large number of people. This is something that advertising has always sought to do.

Facebook demonstrates that you can’t always predict how a new technology will be used. Let me give you an (embarrassing) example of my own. When SMS first launched on mobile phones, I dismissed it as something that would never catch on. After all, why would you choose to type if you could talk? Seemed obvious to me, but then I couldn’t foresee the myriad applications this economical method of communication would eventually support.

Examples of unforeseen uses of technology abound. Just last week, I read about an interesting use of Twitter to promote brands at the Toronto Auto Show. Sending a tweet to a nearby vending machine prompted it to dispense a limited-edition diecast toy car. It’s an interesting approach to brand building – probably not exactly where the future lies but certainly suggestive of a general direction.

In this brave new world, it’s worth thinking broadly, and laterally, about your marketing mix. With a strong voice – and an attentive audience – you may be able to build your brand in non-traditional ways. Indeed, there may be applications of new technology for your brand that you haven’t even considered.

Bryce Michelmore is an Account Manager at Wellmark


Bryce Michelmore, Account Director at Wellmark. Connect with me on LinkedIn