The title of this blog was inspired by an Ad-week article written by Brian Salzman titled, ‘The Future Is Digital, but Most Marketers Overlook the Value in Human Connection.’ Now when I saw it, I immediately shared it with a colleague on my social media timeline, because it took me back to a heated conversation I was privy to the previous day in regards to ‘the value of relationships’.
You see, relationships are very KEY to any success, both in a personal and professional settings. Consequently, the value outcomes outweigh the value you would get from a well-planned, executed strategy and budgeted for marketing, brand and PR campaign.

The mantra ‘we do not pay for PR’ is one PR firms ‘try’ to abide by on a daily basis.
However every day the challenge and debate revolves around the benefits of earned media as opposed to the paid-for variety for pushing the relevant brand and keeping clients happy.

In 2018 digital marketing tools for measurement, tracking and engaging with customers have evolved. There are bespoke tools that can do this once the variables and metrics are known. However brand owners still evidently ‘try to penetrate these human spaces’ to earn word of mouth endorsements.
Word of mouth is still the most trusted source of information for consumers who are increasingly suspicious and doubtful about the marketing messages they are bombarded with day after day. Influencer marketing, Brand ambassadors, media relations – you name it, brands have considered them all in their PR & Marketing strategic plans.

According to Nielsen, 84 percent of consumers reported trusting recommendations from influencers, friends, family members and peer networks above all other kinds of marketing.
Salzman in his article insists on going back to the basics of the fundamentals of marketing and relying on building trusting relationships with consumers.

To regain that consumer attention and confidence, it’s time for marketers and brands to put their faith back in word of mouth. How should this be done? By understanding the value of offline human networks, incorporating online and offline influencers and determining a system of measurement for word of mouth are recommendations one can start with.

About the Author: Rochart Kaweesa

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