Liz Ross declares that being vulnerable can actually make you safer in the digital minefield.
Ready for some relationship counseling? Here we go.
"Courage is the number one factor for brand success in the digital minefield." That’s what Periscope CEO Liz Ross told a global audience at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. On the topic of brand safety in an all-digital world, Ross boldly stated that it all comes down to the quality of your relationship with people and that what brand marketers really need is to be brave and vulnerable.
First, here’s why the digital landscape can be a scary, unsafe place:
It's easy for ads to end up in "bad" places or the wrong place at the wrong time
What people say, good or bad, about your brand can be shared across the world in a matter of seconds
Gone are the days of spinning your brand positive in all situations — because information sharing is too prevalent
Crisis management costs are increasing
It's hard for brands to stand out as consumers are bombarded with content across multiple channels
And the list goes on.
As Ross shared during her keynote, she believes the answer to these challenges lies in courage and one specific action that all businesses can take: "Know who you are for and who you are not for." In 2018, connected consumers demand authenticity and consistency in brand messaging. In a nutshell, people want a relationship with the brands and products they buy, because they aren't just making purchases, they are inviting brands into their lives. So what does that mean? Brands must become more humanized in order to relate with and meaningfully connect with consumers. That means choosing sides on certain issues, showing a personality, expressing values and putting a stake in the ground. That stake will repel some, but it will also more strongly draw in others.
Are relationships perfect? No. But when you know and like someone, you’re also forgiving when they screw up. Now apply this to brands. The digital minefield will provide many opportunities for screwing up, so why not build a loyal, loving consumer base who knows you well enough to let the bad stuff go?
Don't live inside a contingency plan — nothing is guaranteed.