Marketing effectiveness and ROI are two terms that are consistently being used in the marketing arena. Understandably, why spend marketing dollars if your campaign is not effective and can’t be measured by ROI? The exception to measuring effectiveness with ROI has always been “brand building” marketing that uses numerical witchcraft to determine effectiveness with audience numbers, eyeballs, etc… Most of the benefits ascribed to brand building are focused on buzz, word of mouth, and brand image. Brand Building is an important part of the marketing spend, but brand building can also be combined with direct marketing. Brand Building can be incorporated into a campaign that includes a call to action, measurability, and tracking.
Executing a combined campaign begins with an analysis of your target audience. The universe we want to reach can be divided up into two groups: current customers, and potential customers — people who you want to be your customers, but who are not yet engaged, and who are also the hardest to reach. Direct Marketing can be inefficient at reaching these “prospects” because they are difficult to both target and engage, resulting in a high cost per response rate. Broadcast and out-of-home cast a wide net, and may result in a few caught fish, but as a tactic it is hard to measure. And it is next to impossible to attract prospects through social media channels because if you have not already formed a relationship with a customer, are they really going to follow you on Twitter or Facebook?
That being said, you can’t just give up on attracting new customers, on fielding “brand building” campaigns and prospecting via direct marketing. However, you can focus your efforts on letting your prospect’s friends do the work of making them your customer. We can accomplish this by really focusing on what we refer to as the Loyalty Pyramid.
The first tier of the loyalty pyramid is that large group of people that we call Customers – you may have only interacted with them once. They may be positive, negative or indifferent to your products and services, but they have purchased. The good news is that you have created an interaction and hopefully you know who they are.
The second tier of the pyramid is composed of Fans – these are customers who like your product or service, but they may also go to your competitors based upon price, availability, etc…
After fans become Loyalists – these are customers who, as their name implies, are loyal to you and will choose you over the competitors.
The peak of the pyramid is pure gold – Brand Ambassadors. Brand Ambassadors are not only loyal to your product, but they are vocal in their support and encourage others to join them.
Building a complete strategy to create and nurture Brand Ambassadors–including knowing how to reach them, treating them well, and establishing a dialogue with them–will make reaching new prospects much easier. Let your Brand Ambassadors do the work. Let your Brand Ambassadors execute your social media strategy. Let your Brand Ambassadors find your new prospects.
Part 2 will be about Creating Brand Ambassadors—look for it in the next few weeks.