Marketing In The Participation Age: Twitter’s Global Head Of Business Marketing

Marketing In The Participation Age: Twitter’s Global Head Of Business Marketing

During the Daze of Disruption conference on Friday, Daina Middleton, global head of business marketing at Twitter (San Francisco) discussed how marketing has shifted from persuasion to participation and why participation on Twitter transcends the online world.

While two birds flitted around the room (which was an amazing piece of convenient branded content) Middleton presented the science behind persuasion and participation, as well as her experience during the shift.

To illustrate her point that persuasion has been replaced by participation; Middleton went through the formula she created for marketers about the science behind participation: D + E + C = P2. “This isn’t a scientific or mathematical formula, if you actually tried to put numbers through it and add it up it doesn’t work, it’s just how we remember it:

  • ‘D’ is about the fact we are human and we love to continue to learn about things. Even more important than learning is the fact that we like to become competent, so D is ‘discovery’ it’s about learning and competence.
  • ‘E’ is about empowerment; this just makes sense, if you want someone to participate, to take part in something, then you need to give them a meaningful role.
  • ‘C’ is about connection; again we’re humans we want to connect with other individuals who share in the same passions as we do.

“So ‘D’ is really easy for brands, for the most part, we like to talk about our products and service.  We might not necessarily think about how to make our consumers more competent about our products and service. ‘E’ and ‘C’ are much more difficult for brands, they’re scary because brands are seeding control. You’re giving your customer a chance to take part in your brand, in ways that are different from the whole way of marketing.

“So this is ‘E’ and ‘C’ construct is disruptive, to a certain extent, because old marketing had been done for fifty to sixty years and suddenly it wasn’t important anymore, brands had to think about participation. It’s also why I joined Twitter…the platform is really built for participation.”

For Middleton, the Oscar selfie is an example of how participation on Twitter has the ability to transcend online and impact the offline world.

“What was really interesting was not what happened on Twitter with this event, but what happened off Twitter, 60 per cent of the world’s population saw the Oscar selfie tweet. That is participation. In a way that is really effecting, we’re starting to impact the physical world as well as the digital world.”

Twitter’s reaction during Middleton’s presentation:

For more Daze of Disruption stories, click here. 

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