Posted October 15, 2007 9:58 am by with 3 comments

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image In my forthcoming book, I take a look at how Nike has increased sales by tapping into social community marketing initiatives. Instead of simply shoveling more TV and print ads down our throat, Nike is instead shifting its marketing budget to non-traditional channels.

The NYT has a great summary of Nike’s “Nike+” effort to engage runners and get them to connect and compete with each other. In conjunction with Apple’s iPod, runners can time their laps, download their progress, and keep track of how their friends are doing–all without forceful participation by Nike.

This use of social media is helping Nike to better allocate its marketing budget.

Last year, Nike spent just 33 percent of its $678 million United States advertising budget on ads with television networks and other traditional media companies. That?s down from 55 percent 10 years ago, according to the trade publication Advertising Age.

Between 2003 and 2006, Nike “increased its nonmedia ad spending 33 percent, to $457.9 million, according to the Advertising Age data.”

How is this working out for Nike? Standing back, and letting the consumer decide how to interact with the brand, appears to be working. Recent reports suggest that 40% of Nike+ users end up converting to the Nike brand running shoes.

Which other companies have you seen doing well with social media marketing?