5 ways your consumers are better at marketing than you are
There’s no escaping the fact that in this age of social and technical connectivity, the term ‘Power to the People’ has firmly established itself in our rhetoric. More than ever consumers wield huge amounts of influence and through their collective experiences have the power to make or break brands.
As marketers we have two choices; either turn the other away and pretend we still call the shots, or harness the wealth of opportunity this new era promises.
Here are five examples of how your consumers are better at your job than you are, and why you should let them do your marketing for you:
Access all areas
Fact; the most meaningful interactions still take place in the real world, out of reach of brands. According to WOMMA, two thirds of the conversations that result in a sale happen offline; not surprising given the influence yielded by the masses. Consumers hold access all areas VIP passes to conversations about your brand. They’re present at the zero, first and second moments of truth, be that online posting reviews, in store pointing something out on shelf or exchanging experiences of your product at the kitchen table.
As marketers, we’re stuck with the cheap seats at the back, often with an obscured view and poor sound. Rather than struggling to keep up, there is an opportunity for brands to inform the narrative, by providing consumers with the information, tools and triggers to tell the whole story.
Content that resonates
Our senses are bombarded by 11 million bits of data every second, the majority of which our brains simply do not have the capacity to process. So how to ensure your message sticks? Make it relevant to the individual on the receiving end.
Remember the #shareacoke campaign? You probably received a whatsapp or two, maybe you were tagged in a Facebook or instagram post. That campaign ran in the summer of 2014 and the success of it was down to the huge amounts of UGC created by consumers, who sent personalised content directly to their friends and family (a move they’re looking to replicate this summer with their holiday destination activation). Remember the Pespi campaign from the same summer? Nope, neither do we.
Consumers are savvier than ever, they don’t want to learn about product efficacy from a marketing campaign designed to convince of the benefits, they want to hear it from friends who have tried it for themselves. People trust recommendations from peers as the motive is to help, not to sell. In this post-truth world, an authentic message carries more weight than ever before.
The authenticity of ‘ordinary people’ is increasingly ousting paid celebrities and advertising campaigns from the trust barometer; a study by Edelman tells us that 78% trust family and friends on social media more than others. While creative marketing campaigns may drive reach, an authentic purchase recommendation from a friend is far more likely to result in an actual purchase.
On point targeting
Branded communications shared by real people are unique in that they have an in-built targeting mechanic. Simply put, we do not relay a story to someone who we know not to be interested – it makes us look irrelevant and out of touch. This makes people a hugely effective media channel.
Unlike traditional marketing that targets a broad audience on the hope that the message will trickle down the sales funnel, consumer driven communications starts at the bottom, powering purchase and driving high-quality, highly targeted awareness from the bottom up. The reach will not compete with a mass-media activation, however you can expect 1,000 consumers, when activated correctly to drive 500,000 conversations about a brand. The scale of this influence is significant and the memory structures formed will deliver long-term impact.
Zero wastage sampling
Related to the above, targeted sampling is a goal rarely achieved or even attempted by most brands. Getting products into the hands of the right people is critical to enabling trial and ultimately, driving household penetration. Yet the seemingly favoured scatter-gun approach is a hugely costly distribution method.
Far better to equip those consumers who already advocate your brand with samples to share directly with the people they know are a) interested in trying it, b) have a need the product will address and c) are then likely to buy it.
A personal recommendation is the most trusted form of advertising, The key to enabling consumer driven marketing is in identifying, then activating the right people to work with you.