Having a vibrant marketing department is essential for any business. However, having a team of marketers is even better. By taking advantage of the insights, knowledge, and reach of a full marketing department, you can significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. One way to do this is through specific marketing programs for associates.
Why Should You Market To Associates?
The traditional view on marketing is that it is only for consumers. However, in today’s world, marketers must also consider the “associate” as a potential consumer of their products or services. While many businesses will argue that even interns are consumers, you must remember that they are not your customers. Your customers are the people that purchase your product or use your service. However, the associates of your company are the people that may interact with your brand on a regular basis (e.g., through word of mouth). It is important to consider marketing to associates because:
- They can become your consumers. Especially if you market to people that are influential in their circle of friends, they may one day become your customer.
- Your product or service might be useful to them. For example, if you are helping people to save money, they might value your advice or insight on how to do so.
- They may help your business to become more successful. If you send out a survey asking your associates what they think about your business, you can get valuable information on how to improve your services or product.
- Marketing to associates can help you gain exposure to different markets. If you are able to convince a consumer that your product or service is great, they might recommend it to their friends or colleagues. These people may be more inclined to try out your product or service than your typical customer due to their social status. This is especially effective if you are marketing to millennials or Generation Z as they are more likely to share and engage with content created by or for someone they know or like.
- Marketing to associates can expand your customer base. If you can get 10 people to try out your product or service, you’ll have 10 new consumers. However, if you can get 5,000 people to try out your product or service, you’ll have 5,000 new customers.
What Should You Market To Associates?
Once you’ve considered marketing to associates, the next step is to develop specific marketing programs for them. Just like with consumers, you might consider the following:
- Product awareness campaigns. Teaching your users or customers about a specific product or service, with the aim of increasing its usage or providing it as an option
- Incentive campaigns. Giving something away free or discounting goods or services to encourage people to try out your product or service
- Media campaigns. Using different platforms such as television, radio, and online to educate, entertain, or convince your audience to try out your product
- Outreach campaigns. Sending direct appeals to influential people in your industry or community, to encourage them to try out your product
- Trade shows. Attracting potential customers by showcasing your product or service in public places
- Conversion optimisation. Making small tweaks to your website or app to increase the odds of a user becoming a customer
- Customer support. Responding to any customer queries or complaints, to create a sense of trust and value
- Partnerships. Inking Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) or other strategic alliances with businesses that complement your own
- Graduate campaigns. Reaching out to recently graduated professionals, to encourage them to choose your product or service as a means of starting their career
The key takeaway from all of this is that if you’re going to market to anyone, it should be to associates. They have more power than you might think, and having a vibrant marketing department that considers them as part of the target audience can significantly improve your business.