I read recently on an Irish Web blog that "SEO is bull****". I read this a while back and I've been thinking about just how wrong that statement is. SEO and Search Engines together are a modern hero we've never had before. Marketing Agencies are very brand orientated. Brand is everything. Branding is used to build a company. SEO, Social Marketing and Search Engines are about people recommendations - people can vote and promote a product they like not because a marketing agency has told them but because they have discovered it and shared it.
Brands have been a powerful force that shaped our lives from the 1800's. Many people grew up calling their vacuum machine a "Hoover" or their oven a "Stove" irregardless of the manufacturer. These were uber-brands. Companies have used the power of brands to tell us that "Guinness is good for us", Knorr tells us that their products are natural, wholesome and good for you. Cow and Gate currently feature an ad with babies in a happy form and a captions below them making ludicrous statements like "I don't look like I need more nutrition do I?" etc.
Well we don't know, you just look happy. It's a baby. Did the babies in the ad really take Cow And Gate? Are they happy All the time? People really buy into this. Instead of checking to see what really is best, they see the happy baby on TV and want their baby to be happy and healthy.
Why is SEO/SE/SM a hero for modern times? Let's say take Knorr. For years in Ireland they've dominated Soup Stocks. Until a few years ago, you could make your own stock (if you knew how, many people don't) or you had to use the soup stock cubes available in all Irish shops and supermarkets. Because of their huge advertising and marketing budgets, its been very difficult for anyone to get into this market place with a proper product. Like organic stock or superior quality stocks. OK, maybe our market is small and not attractive. But a raft of stock producers have come in. Superquinn in Limerick have been great to offer these rangs and I note Dunnes and Tesco are following suit. This is great for us consumers. The Knorr offering has been sub-par and even Knorr have changed their products suitably, offering improved recipes and now a jellified stock-pot. This would never have happened without competition.
Thanks to Chef's like Niall Harbison (read his video recipes blog), people are learning to become better cooks and to use better products. More people buying fresh organic stock helps fight bad brands who use money to tell us their product is better!