Last year, I noticed that Pepsico was making an enormous investment in their Social Media campaign. Rather than spending their usual marketing efforts on a Superbowl commercial, they opted to spend $20 million dollars on their Pepsi Refresh Project: a $20 million social media campaign that enabled people to submit and campaign for ideas (proposals to “refresh” their communities), and then empowered the public to vote among the submitted proposals.
Evidently, the Pepsico management has received positive results from their Pepsico Refresh Project as indicated by these statistics:
- 7,500 submitted ideas;
- more than 46 million people have voted for a project;
- 256 projects received Pepsi Refresh Project grants; and
- those projects are estimated to have reached over 200,000 people nationwide.
And that’s just the snapshot after 9 months, according to Bonin Bough, PepsiCo’s global director of digital and social media. In his “preconference” keynote address at the Digital Marketing Association’s DMA2010 event, Bough announced the company’s intent to expand Pepsi Refresh to Latin America, Europe, and Asia in 2011.
As stated in my speeches and writing, Social Media will have a tremendous impact on the way people conduct business in the future. A report from Porter Novelli has found that Social Media has overtaken pornography as the top online industry, with 90 percent of consumers placing their trust in peer recommendations. With the increase of Facebook fan pages and company Twitter profiles, many consumers are beginning to think of brands as “friends,” placing a new pressure on companies to maintain constant contact and establish a consistent voice.
Recommendation: If you are planning your company’s marketing campaign for the next year, seriously consider starting a Social Media effort considering the immense impact that Social Media will have on the way business is conducted in the near future.
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