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Cause-Related Marketing Grows on MySpace

MediaPost -- "We take a sociological approach to building MySpace, and advertisers need to be cultural anthropologists when they're thinking about their communications strategy on social networks," said Shawn Gold, senior vice president of marketing and content for MySpace.com, during a keynote at the OMMA Hollywood Conference & Expo in Los Angeles.

Social networks, including MySpace.com, are "about individuality and identification and connecting with others," Gold said, adding that kids on MySpace.com are looking to belong, and for discovery, access, self-expression, recognition, confidence-building, appreciation, and building knowledge. "We think that every feature on the site needs to tie in with these core needs."

Gold offered a few predictions when it comes to marketing to the "everywhere, always there consumer." He said consumer empowerment marketing is a "now and forever trend," that social networks/blogs are a publishing platform for early adopters, and that word-of-mouth has turned into citizen journalism as a trusted form of media.

In addition, marketers will step up their focus on brand programming designed to "catch consumers in their stride as they communicate and connect," but he said, "people don't come to social networks to click on the advertising."

Cause-related marketing on MySpace is growing, Gold explained after showing the video "Life Rolls On," about a young surfer who was injured and paralyzed doing the sport he loves. "Marketers will create cause-related programs that enhance their brand's position in society. Marketers can get behind some of these people."

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