BREAKING THE 4TH WALL-CREATING LASTING RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

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At the recent AdTech Conference in San Francisco, keynote speaker Bob DeSena, Director of Relationship Marketing at Masterfoods USA, a Mars company, spoke about "Breaking the 4th Wall." At Masterfoods, this means engaging consumers on a more personal level and "breaking down the barriers between actors and audience."

With consumer bombarded with over 3,000 commercial messages per day, today's environment requires a long-term commitment to relationship-building. DeSena pointed out the rapidly diminishing returns on investment in advertising. "In two years, one half of all media will be two-way," said DeSena. "The days of imposing your brand message on consumers are over. You must deepen the emotional bond with your customers."

Creating a database of your most committed and dedicated consumers allows you to be Mr. Olsen at the General Store, to the masses," said DeSena. "That is the essence of a database." Also touted was the Internet's ability to allow faster and more efficient communication than ever before. "Online marketing enables better information, which leads to things that were not before possible."