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Response: Branding in the Digital Age and Social Media Strategies

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I found David C. Edelman’s “Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending Your Money in All the Wrong Places” a really thought-provoking piece. The analysis of how consumers go about making purchases on the internet is never something I had really considered, but reading his findings made a lot of sense to me, especially as someone who makes a lot of purchases on the internet. For me, customer reviews are really important when I make a purchase, and it’s also rare that I actually go to the website of the manufacturer, where I’m less likely to find reviews of their product that aren’t from websites that get paid to endorse their products. It was funny to me to read how developer teams were so surprised by the uselessness of some of their “tried-and-true” marketing techniques, like ads on websites. For me, the more I see an ad from a company invade my computer screen, the less likely I am to buy something from them just out of pure annoyance. What I think we can take from this article is just how important online retailers have become, especially in terms of their space for user dialogue and feedback, and their ability to advertise a multitude of products in one place. This definitely means rethinking the business strategies of a lot of companies who are used to traditional advertising models.

I found Soumitra Dutta’s piece “What’s Your Social Media Strategy?” to be a lot less enlightening. It didn’t offer any new information, and I feel like it was a guide that would be more useful to fiftysomething corporate executives that have never used anything but AOL Mail. What I found most interesting is that Dutta felt the need to even write this piece – I suppose that, given it’s from the Harvard Business Review, the audience is what I suggested it would be – but I think that today in 2012, social media’s explosion offers a more critical analysis of its usefulness, not just a cut-and-dry pamphlet on if you should use LinkedIn or not.

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