In case there is any doubt, the world has raced online like there’s no going back. With predictions that 50% of the world’s population will be online in 2018, that’s an unprecedented shift.

As 2018 gets going, the top three most admired companies have led the technology revolution: Apple #1, Amazon #2 and Alphabet(Google) #3. Wow.

Of course people do not live by bits and bytes alone. Many traditional admired marketers of goods and services provide food, clothing, shelter, and so much more in life.

But as the traditional and tech worlds mesh, do their customers expect these companies to limit what they say in our social-media-intensive reality? Are they expected to “stick to the knitting” and only post or advertise about features, benefits, sales deals, and such?

Not at all, it turns out. New research by SproutSocial as reported in Ad Week (an industry bible) says this:

Stand on Social and Political Issues, According to New Study

Sprout Social found around two-thirds of consumers don’t want companies to stay silent

Their VP for strategy and brand engagement Andrew Caravella said, “the rise, both in terms of volume and general discourse that’s happening on social as a result of political and social issues” is something “we’re seeing very, very quickly elevate.”

Traditionally, this was considered extremely risky territory. But now, consumers expect and want businesses to take stands.

Our January Marketing Mastery Award goes to a company that has been at the very top of the fast food industry for many decades.
Burger King® Opening their doors in 1954, today they are among the top two or three fats good chains in the world, well ahead of McDonald’s.

What gave Burger King our win is their video below which has escalated to a viral status (Linked to their YourTube channel.) In it, they tackle the hot potato issue of Net Neutrality in a powerfully clear and highly creative way. Just watch. Net Neutrality is a geeky issue, but you will come away with a visceral grasp of how it will impact everyone, whether they know it yet or not.

Kudos to Burger King for being in the forefront of principled marketing.

Not just in this new social media arena, but for taking on a massive economic issue. If U.S. regulatory repeal is allowed to proceed without challenge, it will shape the entire world’s future, not only this countrry’s, in immediately measurable and expensive ways.

Burger King knows which side their own bread is buttered on. (Or is it grilled?) They read numbers every day to run their business at world-class scale, and their analysis hits home.




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