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Recently Gatorade shared their approach to monitoring social media feedback and incorporating it into their product education and branding efforts. It seems like smart stuff and their engagement metrics bode well for the approach. What I take issue with is the braggadocio involved in promoting what they do behind the scenes. Check out this video on Gatorade’s social media efforts, what it calls Mission Control. It brags about “monitoring” and “tracking” of their customers’ online dialogues: whatever they are typing or clicking. No one wants to be monitored or tracked. This comes off a bit like Big Brother and could be bad for the brand.
Gatorade seems to have good intentions, however. They are carefully listening to online conversations that affect their brand and are taking the feedback very seriously. And some of that comes out in the video. Their intended message is: “We care what our customers say.” But the message received (at least by some consumers) is: “You are tapping our conversations and watching us like Big Brother.” So at best Gatorade is sending mixed signals to the market. At worst, their self serving promotion of marketing tactics that are best left behind the scenes could backfire and hurt their brand. Bottom line: I give Gatorade high marks for being on the cutting edge of social media but low marks for promoting how they do it.
I invite Gatorade or others at Pepsico to provide their comments with readers of this blog.
And if you think I’m over reacting I’d love to hear it.