In a world where many brands are perceived to be inter changeable, it’s more important than ever to ensure the efficacy of your product is believed. In truth, most marketing strategies focus on achieving mass reach, with ads designed to trigger recognition and brand identity – but this leaves little room for the delivery of an efficacy message. Here are five obvious but underutilised ways your existing customers can drive your efficacy message:
First things first, for a genuine insight into how your product is viewed by potential customers, it is vital to learn how your existing customers portray your product to others. Listen carefully and you may learn that there’s a gap between what your brand is broadcasting, and what you consumers are discussing. The truth is, ‘Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room’ (great 6-minute TED talk on that here. Brands can choose to ignore it, or invite their consumers to chat; let them have a say in your NPD launch or give them a sneak peek of your latest product update. Make them feel special and they’ll be suitably motivated to share their positive opinons both one and offline.
2. Generate reviews
There is little doubt that online reviews are important, particularly when dealing with notions of efficacy. The Nielson Global trust study found online customer reviews were the second most trusted source of advertising at 58%. To stay competitive, brands must be able to effectively track and monitor their customer reviews. Negative reviews are nothing to be scared of, in fact, customers trust an average of 4.2-4.5 more than they’ll trust a 5-star review and a less-than-perfect review could give you priceless insights into how to improve the efficacy of your product.
3. Drive trial
Trial is critical, particularly if your brand has a unique efficacy that has to be seen to be believed, but few brands would even attempt a large-scaled targeted sampling campaign. Traditional, anonymous sampling campaigns are costly and likely to have only have limited success at driving household penetration but by equipping your existing consumers with the samples to share directly with those they know would be interested, your consumers are not only driving trial but also targeting - with pinpoint accuracy - on your behalf.
Education around a brand’s efficacy is an important element often sacrificed in the quest for reach but for many brands this is crucial to ensure optimum product experiences. Once you’ve identified your consumers, you can arm them with marketing information to spread to their own networks. As well as being accurate and effective, this, according to Nielson is the most credible form of advertising there is.
5. Impactful Reach
Mass reach can easily be achieved with ABL campaigns but what use is reach without impact? While creative marketing campaigns may drive reach, an authentic purchase recommendation from a friend is far more likely to result in an actual purchase. With mass media you gain access to vast swathes of people, but by adding targeted qualitative reach you can boost the impact of existing media efforts to improve impact and, ultimately, convert to purchase.
Grow your brand
Today’s consumers are savvier than ever and rather than being coerced into believing an efficacy message from a well-placed above-the-line marketing campaign, they want to hear the truth from someone who has no ulterior motive. There is a real opportunity here for savvy brands to use a sophisticated mass marketing strategy which incorporates real people into their campaigns. By identifying their enthusiastic consumers and powering them to enhance brand conversations (through sampling, behind the scenes access, exclusive content etc.) marketers can essentially be granted a seat at the table and consequently the chance to inform what goes on the shopping list.