Below is a guest post from Paul Crick, Senior Managing Consultant at IBM.

During Social Media Week London, Paul Hosted a session at IBM Interactive titled

“Shut Up I’m Still Talking – How to Listen, Learn & Engage With Your Tribe”

The post below provides a short summary of the session, and you can download a full summary here.

Today, interruption marketing is the elephant in the room and whilst it is unlikely to be eradicated completely, there are increasingly fewer excuses left for doing it either online or offline. Yet, data shows brands are having to shout louder to be heard and, this ‘look at my brand’ approach is becoming increasingly impotent in a world that is becoming more connected.

The ‘social’ in social media implies that there is a conversation to be had with consumers but the nature of a successful conversation is predicated on some counterintuitive thinking which some brands (e.g. Ford) and an increasing number of marketers are beginning to master (e.g. Collyn Ahart).

First and foremost, people engage in conversations about their passion from their kids to a work built around a hobby or whatever topic it is that raises energy and distorts time. So, ‘as Robbin Phillips notes in her new book , ‘No passion, no conversation. No conversation, no word of mouth. No word of mouth, no successful business.’

Secondly, is the idea of a ‘big why’ something authentic that you as a brand owner live and breathe, that enables consumers to connect to you and your value proposition. For example, Fiskars the scissor manufacturer connects people to their passion for scrapbooking and quilting. But it’s not the scrapbooking and quilting that matters, it’s the connecting like-minded people engaging in a  specific philosophy and mindset.

Lastly, there is the need to create value that resonates with the consumer. Not value as you, the business would define it but the utility that you create for the consumer defined in the vocabulary of the consumer; the wider, bigger thing that the consumer connects with – internally and externally – as a result of using your product/service.

Only when there is an alignment between passion, the ‘big why’ and value will your brand connect with the consumer and when it does, you are likely to have a customer for life – something, I’m sure you would agree, all brand owners want.

You can view and download the full summary from the session, authored by Paul below.