I had a number of comments about my last post. People thought I was saying that advertising did not deliver a competitive advantage.
Let me state clearly – creative, targeted advertising is a competitive advantage. My point was that social networking might be a more efficient way to spend at least part of the advertising dollar.
Taking your own web site to a higher level by introducing a social context is something that aggregates value directly to your business. How you go about that still needs that very high level of creativity that the advertising industry has always delivered. In fact leaving social applications to a bunch of software developers is probably not the right method to getting a return on social networking.
Think of social networking as an integral part of your advertising program. Think about how social can take advertising to the next level. It is not just putting an ad on TV, a newspaper and a web page. It is about how to really engage your current customers, how to get them to involve their friends or colleagues. It really enables a whole new generation of advertising.
Look at www.jeep.com or www.babycenter.com for ideas on what to do to get people more involved and think about how you could take your advertising spend to a whole new level and target market – your customers and their social network. Look at the tools and games. And take it to the next level even.
As an example, look at the baby naming application at babycenter. This could become "social" by extending it to invite friends to vote on potential names. And imagine if that could be done on the babycenter website as well as and on Facebook and other large social networks. That would be creative advertising by J&J!