855.62.TOAST [email protected]

SocialToaster founder, Brian Razzaque, describes what he calls the “myth of organic advertising” in his South by Southwest Interactive speaker submission. We sat down with Brian to ask him to elaborate on the topic a bit. Here’s what he had to say.

SocialToaster founder, Brian Razzaque, describes what he calls the “myth of organic advertising” in his South by Southwest Interactive speaker submission. We sat down with Brian to ask him to elaborate on the topic a bit. Here’s what he had to say:

“I think ‘organic’ and ‘advertising’ are two terms that really should not go together. Businesses want organic promotion and they want organic growth. In that context, you’re talking about the genuine and spontaneous promotion of a brand by someone who is a fan or a satisfied customer. Trying to achieve organic word-of-mouth promotion is a very labor intensive process that requires the brand to really be on top of things such as customer support, product delivery, product quality, and attention to customer satisfaction. Even with those items in place, your output is dependent upon having the right customer in the right mindset at the right time.

Obviously organic word-of-mouth promotion is extremely powerful, but it is challenging to achieve and it is particularly difficult to achieve at scale. ‘Advertising’ is generally about paid promotion, and typically about achieving that promotion to some degree of scale. That is why I feel that ‘organic’ and ‘advertising’ don’t really belong together. However, the next best thing is native advertising, and this is where the industry is heading and where a lot of attention has been focused. Native advertising is having a framework in place so that the ads and paid promotions appear to a potential consumer in a way that seems natural in context with whatever other content they are viewing. Whether that is in-line in a Facebook stream, or embedded in an article so that it looks like something informational, the trick with native is that they’re trying to convince the potential consumer that what they’re reading or about to read is from an organic source.

This is a huge booming industry. But at the same time, it’s still an ad. You need to be very careful that consumers don’t feel tricked when they click on the ad. This can be very hard to do.

What we think makes the SocialToaster platform interesting is that it enables brands to present and position themselves, but it uses real advocates as the mouthpiece. Those advocates are always reviewing and promoting the content in an authentic, word-of-mouth fashion. However, we are able to achieve this at scale across potentially hundreds of thousands of people that are genuine fans of the brand. As a result, we feel that we are unique in the market in terms of providing both the benefits of the scale of traditional advertising, along with the power and authenticity of organic promotion.”

Want to learn more? Vote for Brian to speak at SXSW Interactive 2015!