Third Is The New First


Third-person marketing is assuming increasing importance in the digital era multi-channel marketing strategies of high-performance companies.

It is particularly pertinent and effective in social media communication.

Put simply, the expressions, product/service evaluations and personal endorsements of individuals enjoy greater credibility than much of the high-volume, non -discriminatory, mass-media advertising. This is reality among active social media participants who are aged 35 years and younger.

The concept is different from the nature and application of brand ambassadors, which typically involve personal visuals, and often, physical presence in-store, at events and in the mass-media of television, print and, to a lesser extent, radio.

Third-person bloggers are selectively retained and paid by retailers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to project the presence, relevance and competitive advantage of brands, products, services and apps.

For product mavens, being informed and involved is reward enough. Their self-awareness, self-image and self-worth are qualified and valued by their preferred and early access to and, to some degree, control of relevant information. In such instances there are mutual advantages, benefits and rewards, with little or no need for an exchange of money.

In the digital era, word-of-mouth has been replaced with third-person communication. It’s a whole new era, world and set of opportunities, all too often unrecognised and under-utilised. That requires some first-person thinking, expressions and actions.

Barry Urquhart
Marketing Strategist and Analyst


Barry Urquhart, MD Marketing Focus, Perth, is the author of Australia's top two selling books on customer service and is an internationally recognised authority on consumer behaviour and creative visual marketing.

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