In my India Social Media Trends 2009 series, here’s the # 2 thought, in no order of priority.
I have written about this a couple of times earlier this year – here & here – and expect this to be among the most dangerous phenomenon emerging from the social media revolution.
Brand Stalker Cometh, this year.
There are hackers & then there are ‘crackers’. What makes you believe that all impact – positive or adverse – like Mortin -McNeil Consumer Healthcare – so ‘painfully’ realized recently with outburst by ‘mommies’ & ‘mommy blogger’ against their We Feel Your Pain campaign – see case-study here on Diva Marketing Blog – will have bonafide consumer origins like the Mortin (& so many others) example?
What if the motives of the perpetrators are malafide? What if the charges are not true? What if the victim organization has actually made a mistake and finds itself a soft-target against a seemingly above board/ hidden enemy? There could be many scenarios.
The Brand Stalker phenomenon makes guerrilla marketing seem tame. This could be just be an individual (a powerful voice), a group of individuals, it could well be an organization – and like I have said before I don’t mean just the mafia – using blogs, social media tools to launch a covert or direct attack against a brand/ organization/ company with malicious intent…garnering support on the way, sometimes even from innocent participants misled – for the moment and joining the herd, realizing the impact only later. Action may last just a few hours of attack to a long drawn slow build up…
The consequences could be loss of reputation/ business, fall in stock prices (a simple motive) and more.
This year I came across three instances that had the making of this scenario. Strangely there has been a sharp rise in number of people landing on my blog, after a Google search on this keyword.
I repeat my questions from earlier…what do marketers think? What is the legal stand? What strategies would a brand need deploy to tackle something like this?
And a thought that makes me shudder: You first need to be a techie to become a ‘cracker’. What are the prerequisites for a Brand Stalker…
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