You may be familiar with the terms “brand loyalty” and “brand advocacy”. These are two sides of the same coin: the more you invest in a brand, the more you’ll want to defend it against competitors. The key difference is that brand advocacy is when you promote a brand in order to facilitate a buying decision – like when you’re asked about a product by a potential buyer and you highlight its advantages.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have brand loyalty. With brand loyalty, you want to protect your investment in a brand by not allowing it to be undermined by competitors. This can happen in a variety of ways, from a simple discount to grabbing the lion’s share of the media budget in an attempt to shape buyers’ opinions about your brand.
In light of this, let’s examine the key marketing principles of five marketing gurus, along with the lessons we can learn from each of them.
Marketing Thinkers: The Art and Science of Selling Dreams
1. Create a sense of expectancy
In an ideal world, we’d all get what we want, when we want it – but this isn’t always the case, especially in buying a product or service that requires some kind of upfront investment, such as buying a car or house. In these types of situations, the seller creates a sense of expectancy that they will be able to provide what you’re looking for – at a good enough price – and that you should act promptly to attain this goal.
One of the best examples of this type of marketing is Apple’s “create a sense of expectancy” ad campaign. The campaign kicked off with a TV ad that featured an elderly man dreaming of buying an iPad. To drive the message home, Apple released another TV ad that followed the exact same format as the first, only this time the elderly man was surrounded by his grandkids, brainstorming ideas for their “penniless” grandpa’s 100th birthday celebration. The ads didn’t specifically promote the iPad, but instead served as a platform to tell the story of a man whose dreams have been revived by an iPad.
The takeaway from this example is that creating a sense of expectancy is all about tapping into the desires of the target audience. No matter what the product is, or what type of customer you have, you can find a way to connect with them on a personal level and hopefully guide them toward making a purchase.
2. Measurement Is Everything
When it comes to marketing and advertising, there’s always the tendency to want to take a quick peek at the numbers to see if the effort is proving fruitful or not. In a perfect world, we’d all get the results we were looking for, without having to resort to gut instinct or hunches. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, and trying to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is like trying to measure the quality of sunshine: it’s all about having the right tool for the job.
It’s essential that you regularly measure the results of your marketing campaigns, especially the ones that are more complicated, multichannel, or multibillion-dollar investments, because it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. In these situations, you might decide to go back to basics and review the results of previous campaigns before commiting to another major investment.
Even if you’ve never had trouble hitting your sales targets, it’s essential that you establish metrics for measuring the success of your marketing efforts, because the reality is that no one else is going to do it for you. If you want to create a sense of expectancy about your product or service, you need to measure the results of your marketing strategy and make adjustments where necessary. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that every aspect of your marketing plan contributes to the big picture and helps to achieve your ultimate goal.
3. Keep It Simple, Senderosky, Please
When it comes to marketing, especially online marketing, everyone has an opinion and often those opinions vary widely, which can make it really difficult to distinguish between them. Everyone has an opinion because, well, everyone is an opinionated person. For that very reason, it’s important to keep your messaging as simple and straightforward as possible, and avoid anything that could be construed as “fluff”.
For example, if you’re advertising your new smartphone on social media, but the only content you’re distributing is a bunch of flowery sentences that no one actually bothers to read, you’re probably not accomplishing much except maybe stirring up trouble for yourself.
Even if your product is relatively simple, there are always a lot of ways for your competitors to shoot ahead of you. For that reason, it’s important to ensure that your strategy is simple but effective and that you don’t get too caught up in the “fluff”. When designing your marketing strategy, you want to keep it as simple as possible, but you also want to make sure that you don’t skimp out on important details.
4. Use Multiple Channels
Thanks to the various smartphone applications and online social media platforms, customers have become accustomed to accessing information anywhere and anytime. For that reason, being accessible on all different platforms is critical if you want to ensure that your target audience finds you. One of the best ways to do this is to use various social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook, to promote your products and services.
These platforms were created for connecting with individuals, and as such, they’re a great place to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. For example, if you’re an interior designer, use your Pinterest account to curate images of beautiful homes, and if you’re a fashion designer, use your Instagram account to show off your latest creations.
The more channels you use, the more opportunities you have to connect with your target audience. If your audience is scattered across multiple platforms, you can reach them wherever they are – even if they don’t always check the same places.
5. Customizing Content Is Key
Creating content that is specifically designed for social media is a tried and tested method of attracting potential customers, because it gets them to engage with you on a more personal level. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a professional content creator, there are a variety of free tools that can help you with editing and designing your own content, so you don’t have to settle for boring marketing material.
If you’re looking to spice things up a bit, you can take inspiration from branded content platforms like Blue Train, where you can choose from a variety of different fictional characters to ‘interact’ with your audience. This might seem like a fun option to you, and it is – but on the opposite end of the spectrum, it can be really annoying if you’re not prepared for the massive amounts of spam that comes with having hundreds or thousands of strangers ‘interact’ with your content.
With all of this content creation, it’s important to remember that people are more likely to remember an exciting story than they are a list of bullet points or overly descriptive text. In other words, add value to what you say through telling a good story.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to have a characteristically upbeat tone when recounting your company’s history – if anything, the opposite can be true. The point is to find the right tone for the right subject matter.
Thanks to the various social media platforms, it’s easier than ever to build a digital community around your company. You no longer have to focus on one channel or one platform: you can establish yourself on multiple fronts, using various platforms to your advantage. If you want to create a sense of expectancy about your product or service, using multiple channels is a great way to do it.
For example, if you sell kitchenware, establish yourself as a thought leader in the kitchenware industry on blogs and forums like Amazon, and on Facebook, share content about the latest trends in the kitchen and curate content about your products. Then, if someone lands on your website from an organic search, you can entice them to leave with a simple “please click here to learn more about our products.”
This is a much more effective approach than simply relying on your website’s banner ad – especially on Facebook, where people are more likely to click on and visit your website, than they are to click on and visit a company’s Facebook page, because on Facebook, users can easily skip over the ‘sponsor’ box, knowing that it’s there, but rarely used, especially compared to the content.