Brands Tone Deaf on Interest Graph?


Is 2012 the year we finally connect brands and products with the people who use them or want/are planning to at some point in the near future?

That was the job of warranty cards. Whenever you purchased a product, it usually came with a little card you were encouraged to fill out and send back. When are you planning to buy a printer? Are in you in the market for a car?

Then the information could be sold along with your contact details.

Have you ever run experiments with that? I have. Don't hold your breath. Apparently, it was a slow system as the timing or the type of item on offer have been consistently a bit off (no pun intended).

It would be a welcome change if social media got more interesting:

The new emerging social platforms are less about the social graph and all about the interest graph. Pinterest, Springpad, Svpply. We’re seeing an evolution from people centric social media (who I am connected with) to interest centric social media (what I care about, want to buy, hope to do.

[…] Even the best conversation strategists can’t necessarily turn engagement into sales.

That last bit is fascinating, because I'm thinking the best conversation agents should be the ones who connect the most — and connection is about listening, observing, and trading better promises.

For example, if you're a sports brand, would you not want to connect with the people who love your products and buy them? So yes, people are not gonna like your Facebook page, they're going to engage with the product wherever it's most convenient and makes the most sense to them.

Say a blog post, or several mentions in conversations on Twitter and to the agency that runs your digital and social marketing programs. Guess there was no interest on the brand's part.

Is digital interaction enough to influence runners to switch? Maybe not. Lack of interaction and interest on the brand's part is though. All things being equal, I'd rather just do it. The transition from Adidas to Nike was fairly easy to make — they had the right cold gear at my local shop.

Maybe if marketers spent less time behind a one way glass and more actually talking to the people who talk about them, they would not need to sift through data so much. These new tools are great fun and quite sticky.

I spent several hours curating my boards on Pinterest yesterday. It has been attracting attention in the ever-converging worlds of tech and online shopping.

The bookmarklet makes it very easy to “pin” something to a board, and then to share it and follow the pinboards of others. It lets users visually eavesdrop on the style finds of their friends. 

ModclothHere are some brand boards to get you started with exploring possibilities:

Whole Foods, Better Homes and Gardens, West elm, Real Simple, Daily Grommet, Domestica, Chobani, Etsy, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Birchbox, Rent the Runway, Travel Channel, Williams-Sonoma, Threadless, Nina Garcia, and ModCloth, which allows guests pins.

I was trying to think how it would work connecting with brands. Would uses be still about the brand getting people to follow and engage on boards by promoting contests? Which brands did I miss I should include in this post?

Have you played around with Pinterest? What's your take on the platform?

Along the interest-graph and intent lines — how would a brand know if you pinned something you already have?