Meet the Influencers

Meet the Friends, Family or Influencers

The saga continues. You have made that first sale after thorough preparation and finally explicitly asking for the sale. You may have encountered obstacles but during that process you will have learned a lot about the targets’ market needs, wants and desires. That first purchase will have taught you a lot if you listened. And remember it is not the first purchase that is important. It is the engagement and repeated purchases pattern that you are looking to build. You must have the potential consumer both engaged and supportive. And in the analogy of Seduction and Social Marketing you might now get to meet the colleagues, friends and family! Good luck!

Consumer behaviour has changed. And it is not simply that new channels like the social portals of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are now important in the media mix. No, it is more than that.

There was a time when purchase decisions were driven by the big brands sending their brand message directly out to consumers, the message travelling in a one-way direction from TV, Radio or Print to the lounge of the consumer. The consumer might respond by buying the product! Today, the Brands still drive that message outwards. Consumers still hear that one-way message. But now they share their thinking amongst themselves. In blogs. In chats. In messages. In conversations. They talk. They advise each other. They share. They ask for network opinion. Only then do they make a final, long term decision.

And the similarity of Social Marketing to Seduction returns.
You have met the potential partner. You have socialised enough to know there is an attraction. You asked that person out and he or she agreed. On that date your initial feelings were confirmed. You both feel it is worth exploring. Now what next?

Often the next step is an introduction to colleagues, friend or family.

With the product or service purchase decision the target consumer might have talked to friends or trusted parties before the purchase decision was made. It might have been made in isolation as the target wanted the experience to be more exclusive. But it is highly likely that that decision will now be shown, shared, discussed and verified. And a key part of your Social Marketing must seek to understand, enhance and support a positive outcome to that peer to peer process. Reinforce the positives with further case studies. Create and use influencers. Not only popular and expensive users but micro influencers too. And use the chosen portals creatively, flexibly and optimally. Is it YouTube you target likes to use? Is it Facebook? It is Twitter? Is it Instagram? Use the channels and use them effectively, consistently and regularly. It is not only about what you say but how you interact and respond. Build the network and start to move the target market from interested to engaged. If negatives enter the discussion you must turn that into a positive. Even more important at this stage it is critical to remember that “it is not what the brand custodian wants to say that is important but what the consumer wants to hear that is critical!” In this sense curatorship, rather than company blogging plays an important role. What are others saying? Rather than you, the brand custodian making the point, let the wider thinking in your industry make it. So, spend as much time curating and sharing as possible.

And read what industry research and your own research is telling you about consumer behaviour. Phrases such as “I think” or “I believe“ or “I like” are irrelevant in this discussion. The word “I” should be carefully considered. Be careful what the CEO, MD, GM, Marketing or Social Marketing teams think as iindividuals. More useful is the research that tells you what the consumer, user or target market thinks, likes and wants. You should demand that consumer research from your Social Marketing team .

The similarities with seduction remain. Your partner will talk to friends, family and other influencers they trust. You might have to reinforce parts of that discussion. You might have to counter the negatives. Politics. Life. Social Marketing. Seduction. And it is not what you want to say that is important. You must know what your potential partner wants to hear and create opportunities for that to happen. Be creative. It is all so similar!

And as with the previous post on this topic. Listen. React. Adjust. And move on in a positive and active frame of mind.

About Garth Sutherland

Garth Sutherland has an extensive multicultural understanding.
He has worked with local brands (creating independent strategic positions) and international brands (integrating the international brand vision with the local demand to optimize the “on the ground” brand presence). His strengths include bringing a strong strategic focus into all aspects of marketing delivery, working with multi-agency perspectives, independent thinking & implementing with a consistent and practical teamwork focused delivery.
If you are looking to maximize the strategic value of your brand opportunity, Garth is the ideal resource to task.