How many brands in your bag?

Merry Christmas! I hope today is wonderful, full of surprises and big fat turkeys!

So you’ve had 12 months build up to today, what did you get in your stocking? I’d bet that it was full of many things, all very unique in their own ways, but all very similar in one: they are all produced by major international brands.

Each year companies spend more and more on advertising to get us, the consumers, to buy their products. Of course, the biggest growth area for this has been online advertising. An eMarketer study earlier this year estimated that there had been a spend of around £3.34bn in the UK alone, a 21.5% raise in 12 months.

However, what with this recession thingy, eMarketer predict that spending will only grow 10% in 2010 to £3.94bn in 2010, a 12.3%c growth to £4.43bn in 2011 and 14.6% growth to £5.07bn in 2012.

This dip in advertising spend growth goes against research by agency Shape The Future conducted between September 23 and October 4, which reckons that PR agencies could in fact benefit from the current economic troubles. 36.4% of businesses said that they are likely to increase PR and marketing spend, whilst another 475% said they planned no change at all, with 9% saying they’re likely to make cut backs.

My Christmas call? Let PR make your brand’s conversation.

As a consumer this means more interaction with each of the brands in your stocking, letting them know how you think and feel about their products will only make them better in the long run.

As a brand, you engage with your customers, learn about what they want from you and how they want it to be delivered – knowing your marketplace will make you even more successful.

Advertising is like banging your head against a brick wall as a brand. You push your message out and people buy your product, but you don’t know what they think of it. What’s the point in that? You must be blind to not see what effect the consumers are having now in our social media world.

Unless you’re ignoring Cadbury’s of course, and don’t see the conversation that their customers had started with the Wispa Facebook campaign.

Power to the people!

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