Posted June 23, 2014 by Jerry Shereshewsky (@shereshewsky)
Marketers are a strange lot and all desire the engagement of customers and prospects – they want these individuals to consume their advertising, take part in their campaigns, and of course, make that cash register ring. However, it comes as a surprise that some brands are still often reluctant to engage back. This should not be the case and is increasingly becoming a thing of the past as more and more brands are learning to “lead by example.”
The big win for marketers happens when they learn to market with their consumers, rather than at their consumers and move from simple problem solving to more profound levels of two-way engagement with their very best and most important customers, their ambassadors or advocates. This is real participation; true 1:1 marketing.
The question now is how to identify who these advocates are, so that marketers can ground their focus on developing mutual relationships with these influential people. Running promotions is a great way for measuring advocacy and identifying influencers.
Promotions enable brands to activate fans and followers on social media, which leads to higher engagement frequencies and in some cases, virality. Partnered with the proper tools, social promotions can also facilitate the measurement of advocacy and identify true influencers. For example, in a promotion that Hyperactivate ran for Activision’s launch of Call of Duty, a mere 10 individuals expressing their excitement for the video game reached over 2.5 million friends, fans, and followers. The result: 50,000 page views to the Call of Duty website and over 2,000 additional posts and shares. Influencers are the omnipotent weapons that marketers need to pay close attention to and keep close 1:1 relationships with.
We’ve been reading and talking about 1:1 for several decades, but the costs of both the communications themselves (think USPS) and the difficulty of data management made this essentially an intellectual exercise. Until now.
Today we can not only listen to the conversation out there (not to mention react to immediate problems) but actually follow it from person to person and see who has the real clout with their fans, friends and followers. And here’s the fun part: we now have affordable and easy-to-manage CRM systems that allow us to segment our friends and deal with them as if they were really in a 1:1 relationship with us. We move them from customer to friend. And that’s when the good stuff happens.