Consumers are Key Influencers in the Modern Marketing
The consumer journey comprises 4 steps – awareness, consideration, decision and promotion. In order to ensure that a consumer becomes a promoter of your brand, an integrated marketing campaign is required and all communication needs to reflect this integration.
In the world today this communication is distributed through multiple forums, from digital to TV, radio, consumer experience and word of mouth. This article is going to look at the some ideas around how to use an integrated campaign and multiple touch points to build on your communications with your clients and ensure that they in turn become brand promoters.
Your customer is one of your greatest assets
Products and their marketing campaigns have a single common element: the customer. Products are created, targeted, and marketed based on their customer’s needs and wants – essentially, what they will buy. Because they are at the centre of all your sales and marketing efforts, it is crucial to leverage your customer as an asset in the marketing process.
In the planning stages of your campaign the consumer’s need, as established through a number of process, becomes the focal point. The campaign will speak to the consumer in a manner in which the consumer will respond to, and once a campaign rolls out, the customer becomes a sounding board and ultimately a promoter.
Analysis of your success in meeting your campaign goals now allows you to re-visit your strategy. How can you further tailor your integrated strategy to engage the customer further?
Once you have successfully engaged through this process, your customer becomes your promoter, and this is as valuable as any TV campaign or billboard advertising your brand.
People trust people
Imagine someone is looking to buy a new mobile phone. It is likely that they would ask around for recommendations from other users before going in store. They will have some knowledge of the product before they enter the store – be it through word of mouth, activations or on line research for example.
The first person they may approach could be a friend, colleague or family member, seeking to understand why they chose the cellphone they did, and why they would recommend it. Consumers are expressing the important of hearing (or reading) opinions and reviews from trusted friends talking about how they love the brand. Brands in turn are realising the importance of establishing themselves as trusted friends.
Remember, when a customer loves your brand, they will not only recommend it to other customers, but will form an ongoing, personal relationship with that brand, not only investing in it, but acting as a promoter for the brand, becoming the one of most valuable assets of a campaign.
How does Penquin do it?
In 2015, Penquin, together with their client Suzuki Auto South Africa, embraced this concept with the Suzuki Therapy brand campaign. Darren Leishman, MD of Penquin describes some of the thinking behind this campaign, “The insight for this campaign grew from discussion with client, dealers, customers and fans. Suzuki fans are an extremely loyal and tight knit group. They promote and defend the brand and products – both face-to-face and on line. You just have to search Jimny forums to see how passionate they are about the brand.” Suzuki owners see themselves as committed followers, and not just owners. In order to capitalise on this sentiment, this campaigns TV spots focused minimally on the specific models, and instead highlighted the brand and featured customers who were ‘addicted’ to Suzuki.
Showcasing the consumer sentiment for Suzuki allowed for a highly successful marketing campaign that utilized customer promotion to engage with other customers. It was more personal and effective than a campaign merely focusing on the product from a brand perspective. Showing real, relatable people gave the Suzuki campaign that personal touch that is so often a deciding factor in brand loyalty. Have a look at how just some of the Suzuki and Penquin Facebook and Twitter fans responded to the TV ad.
Remember, your customers are using social media – delight them offline and they will promote you online
In the past decade, with South Africans increasingly using social media as a voice for both their praise and their grievances, being aware of, and open to, word of mouth and customer promotion has become increasingly crucial to the success of any marketing campaign. Word of mouth, particularly, is one of the strongest factors in a customer’s decision-making process, and social media is the perfect vehicle for customers to express their own opinion on a product. Facebook pages and Twitter feeds are full of customers engaging with companies, but more importantly, with each other.
With the incredible upsurge in mobile internet usage, mobile apps are becoming the easiest way for customers to find new products, or read reviews from other customers. With apps such as Zomato – a restaurant-focused app – customers can rate and review a product or brand, and often that becomes the final factor in a potential customer’s buying decision.
The question then becomes, how does a company convert customers into promoters?
The path to conversion
Penquin explains the customer journey, and how companies can engage with their customers through each step of a campaign. By understanding your customer, and creating a fully-tailored and integrated marketing campaign in line with what they are seeking, customers will respond positively to your brand, forming a relationship with it. That personal relationship is the key to customer promotion.
Darren Leishman, MD of Penquin emphasises “Lets be clear, a personal relationship does not mean becoming best friends. It means that you, as a brand, listen, care, engage and deliver the services or product of your brand efficiently and effectively in order to ensure that you are meeting the consumers expectation, and in turn delighting them.”
Work to delight your customers and, ultimately, your customers will become your campaign’s most valuable asset.
FOR A MORE DETAILED GUIDELINE ON THE NEW CONSUMER JOURNEY, CLICK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC.