As part of the Executive MBA course, students attended an industry talk at the Hospital Club with Matthew Zorpas about blogging, for their Strategic Branding and Marketing Management unit.
Matthew launched his own fashion and lifestyle blog, ‘The Gentleman Blogger’ just under two years ago and prior to that was responsible for supporting brands marketing strategies on digital media. His talk mainly drew on the latter of the two aspects, and provided the students with an insight into how brands can make social media work to their advantage.
Matthew started by explaining the recent growth of blogging and social media:
Recently, consumers started realising what they saw in advertisements wasn’t reality, they started blocking out advertisements, and they got bored of this idea of perfection. Therefore, the consumer started to look online; they wanted advice, consumer-to-consumer, through blogs.
Brands now have the ability, through social media, to reach a global audience directly and instantly, which gives their ‘followers’ the feeling of having a personal connection with the brand. Matthew went on to provide statistical evidence of the huge role of social media in product branding and advertising:
25-34 year olds are the largest group of Twitter users, and 53% of twitter users recommend products via their account. Likewise, there are now 60 times more bloggers than 3 years ago, and a new blog post is being written every second of everyday.
Furthermore, Matthew added:
Anyone who owns a smartphone now has the ability to voice their opinions as they think them; these opinions have the ability to influence the market through their social media profiles; these opinions, if they’re negative, can sometimes really damage a brand.
People today are more than just consumers, they play differently, consumers expect to participate with the brand and they want to belong to communities online, therefore, if a brand doesn’t utilise social media, they’re missing out.
Matthew explained that social media is playing a huge role within a brands marketing strategy, and its importance will only increase in the future; the next generation of consumers, who have grown up with mobile technology, will expect even more digitalisation.
The Executive MBA course at LCF is the only one of its kind in the UK, allowing students exclusive access to successful companies and innovative fashion thinkers. Recently students have also had talks from Tim McLoughlin, Social media director at Saatchi and Saatchi, Superdry, Holition and Protein Consultancy.