As Vertigo 39 (2017) highlights “social media marketing is very much a marathon and not a sprint.” I understand, that while the use of social media marketing is becoming more popular, many companies still need some assistance in managing their expectations of Social Media Marketing and how long it will take to give them the results that they desire – especially as a Small or Medium – Sized Businesses. As a result, my goal for this article is to help companies manage their expectations of Social Media Marketing and better hold companies that offer that service accountable as they deliver this service. Here is what will be discussed during this article: how long does it take to start seeing results from Social Media Marketing, and what you can do to see results sooner on Social Media.
How long does it take to start seeing results from Social Media Marketing?
“It all depends” on numerous factors according to Meredith (2014) and Loates (2016). “It depends on your strategy, what “results” means to you, what you’re willing to pay, what your audience wants (and where), your commitment, and your consistency,” this source further explains. It is based on the nature of your business, the quality of the posts and advertisements made on the social media platforms, how well you identify your target audience on social media, and how responsive you are to what your audience tends to gravitate to while still sticking to what your company stands for (Meredith, 2014).
It takes some time for companies to find their voice on Social Media as a result. Depending on your company’s Social Media needs, it may take up to six (6) months for your company to get a “feel of what is working and what you should tweek for better results” (Meredith, 2014).
What can your company do to see results sooner on Social Media?
So what can your company do in order to know if you are getting value for money with your Social Media Marketing Services:
– Have a Social Media Marketing Strategy: There is a saying “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” You will see results a lot faster if you have a good and clear Social Media Marketing Strategy according to Meredith (2014).
– Understand your company before you can expect others to understand you:
You or the person / entity delivering your Social Media Marketing Services needs to have a clear understanding of your business before even touching a Social Media platform for your company. Trust me, this will save your company from misunderstandings and posts that do not do anything to achieve its objectives. Here are some good areas to start from according to Loates (2016) to ensure that you, your Social Media Consultant, or your Social Media Marketing Intern have a clear understanding of who your company is and what it should mean to others:
- What does your business do?
- What is your value proposition?
- Who do you help?
- What do you know about them? – be as specific as possible
- How do you differentiate yourself?
- What do you want social media to do for your business? – e.g. larger audience, more engagement, etc. (We need to make sure that the expectations are in line with what social media can deliver)
- What resources (Time, Money) do you have available for your social media marketing? – (this one is important – Is it DIY or is there a budget for outsourcing?)
– Understand your target audience: While you are devising an effective Social Media Strategy, you will have to identify who your target audience is and where they get their information (Meredith, 2014). For example: adults who are over the age of 29 and are professionals are most likely not going to be posting on Snapchat, however, it is possible that they may send a lot of time on Facebook, LinkedIn and possibly Twitter. As this source explains, the next thing would be to understand important details about your audience like when would they check their phones at work, do they work, what are their hobbies like. What are some personality traits that they may have?
– Monitor what is happening on your Company’s Social Media Platforms: When you go to your Barber or Hair Dresser (or if you are talented to do it on your own), do you look in the mirror to see if you like the work that they are doing or dislike it? If your answer was yes, then why wouldn’t you do that with your Social Media Platforms. Regardless of if you are hiring a Social Media Marketing Intern, Social Media Marketing Consultant or if you are doing it yourself, you need to look if it is giving you the results that you want. As Meredith (2014) highlights, look on the follower / fan counts, number of views and likes on your posts or stories, persons who call or visit your company after visiting your Social Media Platforms.
– Be prepared to experiment: This is where responsiveness is important. You should be prepared to reflect on and assess what works and what is not working on the Social Media Platforms and highlight it so that the relevant steps can be taken. Sure, you have paid attention to the daily progress made on your Social Media Platforms being checking them for yourself instead of leaving it entirely up to your Social Media Marketing Intern or Consultant. The Social Media Marketing Intern or Consultant should be prompted to brainstorm and try new approaches (or ‘experiment’) so see what will work based on your target audience. You should experiment with what posts your audience likes and will respond to on your Social Media platforms as Meredith (2014) explains.
– Set realistic benchmarks for all or each platform: Are seeing at least a 10 % increase in your major areas of concern for Social Media (for example: Increase in Follower and Engagement on Social Media).
– Social Media Marketing is not a Silver Bullet to increase sales: Fine. Social Media Marketing can reap great results and it has done so for many companies. However, as Loates (2016) explains, depending on the nature of your business you cannot expect to only rely on Social Media Marketing to boost Sales for your business. You should be willing to explore other Marketing Strategies like Direct Marketing (cold calling, face-to-face meetings), Traditional Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, participating in events, or other Marketing Strategies to supplement it to achieve your corporate goals. I had to be reminded the other day that Social Media is not a Silver Bullet to boost sales for a company but should be used in conjunction with other activities to boost sales. However, if your goal is to increase sales then please pay attention to what Loates (2016) explains: “most marketers would agree that Social Media can do some things very well, but not all things. And it is important that you, the client, have a clear understanding of what it can do for your business.
Social media can:
- Help to build awareness of your brand
- Aid in driving traffic to your website
- Assist in differentiating you from your competitors
- Build engagement and increased presence with your target audience
If you are looking for an increase in immediate sales then social media is not the primary channel to look at. There are better options for you.
– If you want to boost posts or make advertisements, remember . . . : You can boost posts or make advertisements on Social Media and get immediate results because it will reach a wider range of people in your target audience quickly. However, if your platform has no substance then those people won’t stay. Furthemore, as Loates (2016) highlights, it is better to spend the time to see what works for free before you spend money to promote it. “You may want to give your strategy a chance to run organically before you start paying to promote updates. It will allow you to spend more wisely. Then again, if you’re in a rush (and you have the budget), paying for greater exposure will allow you to refine your strategy more quickly,” (Loates, 2016).
Whatever, you do don’t buy followers or fans because the Social Media Platforms are becoming more sophisticated with these new algorithms and stuff and you will be exposed for doing it eventually. You don’t want that stuff on your company.
– Consistently post good content: People need a reason to keep visiting your profile and give you a second look among the many other things that fight for their attention on Social Media. You accomplis that by regularly posting high quality content that actually benefits the audience in ways that they are looking for. For example, if you are targeting a first time home buyer, post things that would interest a first time home buyer – like finances, tips they can use to get good deals on their home, understanding the jargons that come for looking for a new home Then package it in a way that they will actually listen to. For example, someone who is a first time home buyer may be looking for someone wo seems credible discuss the information in videos, blogs, eye catching graphics, audio or whatev type of content that they play the most attention to.
Remember, you cannot post 5 times one day and not post again for two weeks and expect to see results on Social Media. You should post fairly frequently and consistently enough to get seen by your target audience. Imagine, instead of posting five times for a day and disappear for two weeks, you can spread those posts and drop in some posts out over the two weeks period so you post once a day for every three or four days and be consistent with the days thatyou make the post.
– Be patient: I see this happen quite often where Company A may hire a Social Media Marketing Intern today and start using Social Media Marketing today and then see Company B with a lot of followers and way more engagement and wonder why they are not having the same thing. Be patient. Now I am not saying that this should not be highlighted to the Social Media Marketing Intern or whomever is managing the Social Media Marketing to assess and reevaluate the current approach. However, I am just saying to you also need to be patient. Meredith (2014) explains it beautifully: “if your business is a no-brainer for social media (ie., you work with pets, kids, humor, food), your audience may be waiting for you to give them what they want on social media, so the growth in followers, fans, traffic and sales might be very fast – and within the first month or so you might start to wonder why you didn’t do this a long time whatever
For a not-so-obvious business, like, say, business stationery, it might take quite a bit longer and involve more strategy and more adjustments to your strategy before you start seeing the results you want. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done. It just means you have to be a little more creative – and a little more patient”
In closing, Social Media Marketing will not give you immediate results depending on your companies’ objectives even though it has the potential to give your company great results when used correctly. While it can take months to start to see the results that your company desires. However, you can reduce the time spent to see results by having a clear understanding of what your company is, what it can afford to do on Social Media, who your target audience is and what you are looking for on Social Media. You can also ensure that you see positive results in general by consistently positing meaningful content, being aware and responsive to how you are doing on Social Media, setting realistic expectations and being patient. Remember ‘Social Media is a marathon not a spirit’ so I hope that this article helps to condition you so that your company wins that marathon.
Meredith, A. (2014). How long will it take for you to see results from Social Media Marketing? Hubspot – Insiders. Retrieved from: https://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/how-long-does-it-take-for-social-media-to-work
Loates, S. (2016). When will I see results from Social Media Marketing? Steve Loates Consulting. Retrieved from: http://steveloates.com/when-will-i-see-results-from-social-media-marketing/
Vertigo 39 (2017). How long does it take to see results from Social Media Marketing? Vertigo 39. Retrieved from: http://vertigo39.com/sp_faq/social-media-marketing-results/
By: Marcia Bent – Think Premium! (Chief Executive Officer)
Figure 1 – IWC Watch Strap Sticker on a Bus Strap Campaign (Lees, 2015)
The picture in the heading, lead to the creation of this article. It highlighted the fact that Guerilla Marketing is a multi-faceted concept that we often equate to large companies that have the large financial wherewithal to execute it. I hope that by the end of this article that you appreciate that you can use your company’s personality, your product or service and your budget to create an effective Guerilla Marketing Strategy.
Figure 2 – Digicel Cash Vault used in Anguilla (Anguillan, 2016)
What is Guerilla Marketing?
“Guerilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results” (Creative Guerilla Marketing, 2016). Now hang on to this definition, we will be breaking it down during this article. This source further elaborates that Jay Conrad Levinson created this concept in his book titled ‘Guerilla Advertising’ where it was “inspired by guerrilla warfare which is a form of irregular warfare and relates to the small tactic strategies used by armed civilians. Many of these tactics include ambushes, sabotage, raids, and elements of surprise. Much like Guerrilla Warfare, Guerrilla Marketing uses the same sort of tactics in the marketing industry.”
In Jamaica, we know of the competitive Ambush Marketing Tactics that Digicel and Flow would have used against each other that are deploying funds in their Marketing Arsenal to execute competitive Marketing that is like this. However, “for Levinson, guerrilla marketing was all about the little guy with limited resources besting corporate giants by using unconventional marketing tactics rooted in creativity and a willingness to take smart risks” (Pixartprinting, 2017). This source highlights that during that time small businesses in the United States were “desperate to find ways to compete” with the large companies who had the resources to silence them by running more advertisements in the media.
Characteristics of Guerilla Marketing
The definition from Creative Guerrilla Marketing (2016) highlights three fundamental characteristics of Guerilla Marketing. “Guerilla Marketing . . . focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results” These characteristics set the standard for identifying and measuring the effectiveness of a Guerrilla Marketing Strategy. Here’s what each of those characteristics means in no order:
- Maximum Results: “Guerrilla Marketing means going after the conventional goals of profits, sales, and growth but doing it by using unconventional means” (Entrepreneur Staff, 2017), At the end of the day, the goal of any business – regardless of its industry or business model – is to make money. While it is often challenging to quantify the Return on Investment (ROI) on Marketing Strategies, a Guerrilla Marketing strategy must be geared towards achieving a result, which in business, is to make profits, whether it is raising awareness, increasing interest, or facilitating customer interaction with the product or service. Hence, as Entrepreneur Staff (2017) highlights, Guerrilla Marketing “puts profits, not sales, as the main yardstick” To do so, this source explains that “it urges that you grow geometrically by enlarging the size of each transaction, having more transactions per year with each customer, and tapping the enormous referral power of current customers.”
- Low-cost: “Instead of asking that you invest money, Guerrilla Marketing suggests you invest time, energy, imagination, and knowledge instead” (Entrepreneur Staff, 2017). Many companies think that Guerilla Marketing should be this expensive and grand odious venture that has a physical structure somewhere that people interact with and it really doesn’t have to be. Guerrilla Marketing focuses on you using your imagination to communicate a message to appeal to your consumers on a personal level. Honestly, it doesn’t even have to be a large physical structure like what is depicted in Figure 3 or Figure 4 because not every company in Jamaica has the kind of money to execute something of that nature (After all it’s a car on the side of a building!). It can be gesture or activity like what is depicted in Figure 5 with the ‘Pay with a Smile’ Campaign by Project Change. What it should do is that it should lead to maximum results, and showcase your brand, product or service in an unconventional way. Unbelievably Guerrilla Marketing “was a concept aimed towards small businesses with a small budget, but this didn’t stop big businesses from adopting the same ideology” (Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2016).
Figure 3 – New Castle Brown Ale Street Standees in the United States (Creative Guerrilla Marketing (2016).
Figure 4 – ATL Automotive created this setup to advertise their Audi Quarttro vehicle in Jamaica (Loop Jamaica, 2017).
Figure 5- ‘Pay with a Smile’ Campaign by Project Change (Creative Guerrilla Marketing, 2012)
Figure 6 – Shark Week Bite Out on a car 1/4 Panel and Fender (Pixartprinting, 2016)
Unconventional Marketing Tactics: “Guerrilla Marketing is the truth made fascinating. It’s going after conventional goals using unconventional means” (Pixartprinting, 2017). It should be done where your target audience is going to see it but uses a method to communicate your message that is both surprising yet vastly impactful. ATL Automotive seemed to have done this in Figure 4. The Promoters for Shark Week also did this in Figure 6. As Pixartprinting (2017) explains, that “where traditional marketing plays it safe with radio spots, TV commercials and glossy ads in magazines, Guerrilla Marketing gets wild and unchained with unconventional tactics executed in unexpected places with the goal of surprising people with something they didn’t see coming.” This source went further by providing a quote from Jonathon Margolis, the Author of the book ‘Guerrilla Marketing for Dummies’ which states that “even though Guerrilla Marketing can use traditional methods (such as print, TV, and radio) to get the word out, what sets it apart is that it breaks traditional expectations by applying these tools in a different way.”
Types of Guerrilla Marketing Strategies and how they are implemented
Pixartprinting (2017) and Guerrilla Online.com (2009), the types of Guerrilla Marketing Strategies are:
- Viral Marketing
- Undercover Marketing
- Tissue – Packing Advertising
- Wild Posting
- Ambient Marketing
- Presence Marketing
- Alternative Marketing
- Experiential Marketing
- Presume Marketing
- Ambush Marketing
An explanation of each of these concepts are as follows:
- Ambient Marketing – “Ambient marketing focuses on getting advertisements in unusual places where they wouldn’t normally be found. In some cases, ambient marketing turns a “place” into an advertisement by using objects or items in the environment in a clever way. Ambient marketing doesn’t necessarily push the product, but creates awareness by creating sights and scenarios that are out of the ordinary (Pixartprinting, 2017).” So with this strategy, space is transformed into the advertisement as depicted in Figure 7.
Figure 7 – Frontline Flea and Tick Spray that used the floor of a mall as an advertisement (Pixartprinting, 2017)
- Viral Marketing – Guerrillaonline.com (2009) explains that “the viral marketing is basically any marketing technique that induces Web sites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect (Anvil Media, Inc., 2009).” This source further elaborates that Viral Marketing assumes “that people like to share interesting and entertaining content and they do so willingly and with no persuasion from the external environment. Viral Marketing creates the content to share and very often also functions or tools how to share the content easily.” It can be sweepstakes or free samples, efforts aimed at branding rather than promoting a product or service or Content Marketers (for instance on Social Media) create content that they hope will go viral. For example, Patrick Bet – David, from Valutainment, created the ‘Life of an Entrepreneur’ which went viral by reaching 1,613,785 views and 33,086 likes which are shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8 – The life of an entrepreneur in 90 seconds (Valutainment, 2015)
- Undercover Marketing – As Pixartprinting (2017) highlights “Undercover marketing (sometimes called Buzz or Stealth Marketing) attempts to sell a consumer on a product or idea without them ever knowing they’re being hit with a sales pitch. Sales Agents pose as average Joes and create scenarios that put the product front and center in a way that just seems natural, sometimes getting the consumers to interact with the product themselves.” An example of this in Figure 9 where a representative from Samsung tried to give away their latest Samsung Galaxy Phone in 2013 to an elderly lady on the plane who turned out to have a company with over 200 employees that she offered to buy the phone for if she liked it.
Figure 9 – A Samsung Representative who offered an elderly lady on a flight to Orlando, Florida to offer her the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone and she offered to buy it for 200 of her employees if she likes it (TheRelevantReport, 2013)
- Tissue – Packing Advertising – Is an example of Presence Marketing. As Pixartprinting (2017) discussed, “one of the greatest examples of this is “tissue-pack marketing”, a phenomenon that started in Japan as early as the 1960s’. Advertisers put their branding on tissue packs that are handed out at train stations and in public areas. Because they’re useful, they’re less likely to be thrown away and stick with the consumer throughout the day.” A common example of this would be giving out branded pens or other stationery at Trade Shows to persons who visit your booth.
- Wild Posting – Pixartprinting (2017) discusses that “one of the timeless methods of Guerrilla Marketing is wild postings: Plastering posters, stickers and other print materials all over a concentrated area to draw attention. Marketers can get really creative with this one, coordinating the printed material by size or color for dramatic effect.” This source further explains that due to “its affordability and ease of execution, wild postings remains a tactic heavily used by small businesses. Still, it’s common to see movies, albums, and events advertised this way.” As a matter fact, this is a very commonly used tactic during the Student Election period at the University of the West Indies – Mona Campus. While I was a student, there were very few places that you could go on campus and not see some flyer, stick, chalk drawing, bottle fence design, even SMS Messaging encouraging you to vote for someone who was vying for a Guild Positon from the upcoming Academic Year.
- Astrosurfing – As Pixartprinting (2017) explains “Astroturfing attempts to fabricate a consumer movement while at the same time giving the marketing the appearance of being a grassroots phenomenon. In reality, supporters are paid for their positive endorsement and incentivized to spread positive information. Marketers will pay people to create fake blogs and post manufactured comments in forums.” This tactic works because it is a customer mimicking a customer to target other customers . . . until customers realize that it is exactly that. Therefore, it can be deemed as misleading since it breaches the customer trust by attempting to fake customer testimonials or recommendations to gain sales. An example of this would be the select infomercials that pay actors to give fake customer testimonials.
- Presence Marketing – According to Pixartprinting (2017), “Presence marketing aims to make the business name recognizable by putting it in contexts where it shows up daily. Something as simple as handing out mugs, pens, and other office items branded with your company’s logo could be considered a form of presence marketing. Online, presence marketing often takes the form of online interactions on social media or prominent placement in search results.” Figure 4 would be a good example of this, particularly since it would be seen on a public road where cars, potentially even the Audi Quattro owners and prospective customers would be driving on and see the vehicle on a building.
- Alternative Marketing – Pixartprinting (2017) explains that “The basic idea of alternative marketing is publicity earned through events that seem completely unrelated to the company itself. Something else makes the news, and the brand is just along for the ride.” As Guerrillaonline.com highlights Alternative Marketing is “. . . publicity that looks like it is completely removed from the company itself (Delana, 2008)” For example: CONSERVE IT Limited (A Jamaican Renewable Energy Company) sponsored Marbana 2017 (A Soca party on the beach which caters to the Upper – Middle Class and Upper Class) and hired Promotional Hostesses for the event. Sure, it may not seem like the company would have a direct need to be at the event, however, they used that strategy to get in front of members of their target audience (the Upper – Middle Class and Upper-Class persons in attendance) in Figure 10. This demonstrating how the publicity (the attention from the target audience) was removed from the company itself (more attention being placed on an event that seemed unrelated to the core services of that company) in order to generate interest in the brand.
Figure 10 – Damion Crawford ‘goes Solar’ with CONSERVE IT (CONSERVE IT Limited, 2017)
- Experiential Marketing – As Pixartprinting (2017) states, “this is a highly active and engaged form of Guerrilla Marketing that connects people with your brand through a shared experience and capitalizes on the immediate emotional responses that come out of that interaction. The goal is to engage as many senses as possible. In most cases, the experience is intended to be documented and shared elsewhere, whether it’s online through videos and social media, or through word of mouth. Some of the most well-known examples of Guerrilla Marketing are experiential marketing campaigns by major brands.” An example of this would be the Footprint poster that was done for the Antibear Farming Campaign highlighted how a lack of concern contributed to the cruel act by using the footprints from them walking away to create the real picture. This is depicted in Figure 11.
Figure 11 – The Footprint poster promoting the Anti-bear Farming Campaign (TheSupernormalcomm, 2015)
- Presume Marketing – Guerrillaonline.com (2009) discusses that “Presume Marketing is based on thought, according to Philippine Business, 2008, that people need to feel the presence of the product. The company uses Presume Marketing for increasing exposure and recognition of the product on public places, as it is very often achieved during festivals, TV shows or by product placement in movies. Presume marketing may be applied on the Internet by placing the visuals or notes about the product on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and others.” In other words, Presume Marketing mainly uses imagery that connects and or arose human emotion.
- Ambush Marketing – “With ambush marketing, the advertiser’s goal is to piggyback off . . . someone else’s promo – usually that of a major event – to capitalize on the publicity without paying any sponsorship fee” (Pixartprinting, 2017). A popular example of this is Digicel’s advertising hijack at Champs in 2015 when they branded the Calabar Athlete’s uniform with their slogan / central message during that year “Be extraordinary” as depicted in Figure 11 yet LIME was a major sponsor for the event.
Figure 12 – The Calabar High School Captain and Star Performer Michael O’Hara at the Issa / Grace Kennedy Boys and Girls Athletic Championships in 2015 which was sponsored by LIME (now Flow) (The Gleaner, 2015).
Figure 13 depicts the potential reactions and level of risk for each type of Guerrilla Marketing Strategy.
Figure 13 – Table 4 Guerrilla Marketing types assessment, created by Vit Horky on GuerrillaOnline.com (2009). A business risk factor assesses how large is the potential business risk of loss of brand image, loss of sales or loyal customers” (Guerrillaonline.com, 2009).
What makes Guerrilla Marketing effective and how can you execute it in your business?
What makes Guerrilla Marketing so effective are:
1. The ‘surprise effect’ – As Pixartprinting (2017) highlights that Guerrilla Marketing should create an unusual experience that is so distinct that consumers cannot help but notice. This source explains that because humans “process surprising stimuli on a deeper level than everyday events (Waddill & McDaniel, 1998)” You can create that through humour, absurdity, or even a shocking message. Whatever your strategy is, ensure that it is usual and something that is usually for your target audience to grab their attention, after all, they are people first before they are anything else.
2. The ‘diffusion effect’ – The experience or interaction needs to be able to be shared by many persons in order for it to be effective. Pixartprinting (2017), people tend to share information about stimuli that surprises them. After all, the more persons interact with your content, the more attention your product/service or the brand, which puts your company in a better position to gain the maximum results that Guerrilla Marketing should achieve.
3. The ‘low – cost effect’ – as Pixartprinting (2017) highlighted companies should remember that effective Guerrilla Marketing should focus on heavy investments of creativity, imagination, and surprise not a high amount of capital. Remember Guerrilla Marketing was born for the small business and not necessarily the large company.
To execute Guerrilla Marketing effectively understand your business, find a strategy that matches the value that your brand delivers while bearing in mind the three characteristics of Guerrilla Marketing and what makes Guerrilla Marketing successful. You strategy be one or incorporate multiple types of Guerilla Marketing Strategies, particularly with the vast and extensive use of Social Media among consumers.
Bringing it together
Guerrilla Marketing is an unconventional Marketing strategy that uses low-cost methods to achieve maximum results. It requires interesting customers through imagination, surprise, and emotion at low-cost. What makes Guerrilla Marketing successful is the low-cost, unconventional Marketing Strategies and its capacity to achieve maximum results. In order to execute it effectively, businesses should focus on their needs and the strategy that is best for their business and what they are trying to achieve and incorporate the features that make Guerrilla Marketing successful. Guerrilla Marketing isn’t necessarily for the company with the deepest pockets but the ones that can communicate a clear message that connects with the mind of your consumers while surprising them. I hope that this will empower your company, regardless.of the size to execute it effectively. Feel free to share this with anyone that you may know that needs to learn more about Guerrilla Marketing.
You can also check out Think Premium!’s website at http://www.thinkpremiumja.wordpress.com for other articles on Marketing topics. Think Premium! is a Jamaican Marketing Company that specializes in the provision of premium Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts, and Brand Ambassadors, along with Event and Booth Planning and Execution, Social Media Marketing services, among many other services to corporate clients. Feel free to contact us at 1-876-359-6158 or email@example.com for us to discuss how we can serve your company.
Anguillian (2016). Digicel brought the beat at their Block-O-Rama Summer Launch and has invested over $150,000 in Carnival events, troupe’s, prizes and more! The Anguillian. Retrieved from: http://theanguillian.com/2016/07/digicel-brought-the-beat-at-their-block-o-rama-summer-launch-and-has-invested-over-150000-in-carnival-events-troupes-prizes-and-more/
CONSERVE IT Limited (2017). [Facebook page]. Retrieved from: https://www.facebook.com/conserveitjamaica/photos/a.10150538431380132.438158.359936795131/10155117937635132/?type=3&theater
Creative Guerrilla Marketing (2012). Guerrilla Marketing – Pay with a smile | Project Change. [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/-cRXRxepsKo
Creative Guerrilla Marketing (2016). What is Guerrilla Marketing? Creative Guerrilla Marketing. Retrieved from: http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/what-is-guerrilla-marketing/
Entrepreneur Staff (2017). Guerrilla Marketing. Small Business Encyclopedia – Entrepreneur. Retrieved from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/guerrilla-marketing
Guerrillaonline.com (2009). Types of Guerrilla Marketing. Guerrillaonline.com.Retrieved from: http://www.guerrillaonline.com/cs/Guerrilla-Marketing-types-65.htm
Lees, M. (2015). Startupedia: What is Guerrilla Marketing? The Whiteboard – Startup Institute Blog. Retrieved from: http://blog.startupinstitute.com/2015-04-22-what-is-guerilla-marketing/
Loop Jamaica (2017). ATL Automotive creates ‘quattro’ buzz with its audacious wall installation. Loop Jamaica. Retrieved from: http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/atl-automotive-creates-quattro%E2%80%99-buzz-audacious-audi-wall-installation
Pixartprinting (2017). The unexpected history of Guerrilla Marketing. Pixartprinting.Retrieved from: https://www.pixartprinting.co.uk/content/unexpected-history-guerrilla-marketing/
The Gleaner (2015). Guerrilla Marketing – LIME furious over Digicel’s advertising hijack at Champs. The Gleaner. Retrieved from: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20150330/guerrilla-marketing-lime-furious-over-digicels-advertising-hijack
TheRelevantReport (2013). Guerrilla Marketing by Samsung. [YouTube Channel].Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/vIRvEYIFo1Y
TheSupernormalcomm (2011). The footprint poster (Antibear farming campaign). [YouTube Channel]. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/0f-W4qawJRk
Valutainment (2015). The life of an entrepreneur in 90 seconds – Best motivation video for entrepreneurs. Valutainment. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/h-KHWUq3B7I
In 2017, many companies still think that the only way for a business to make money is to sell their product or service, collect payment, and let the customer figure it out for themselves after that. To save face, many companies don’t admit this. However, their actions on social media, their actions after they collect payment, and even their actions after prospective customers seem as if they are not going to make a purchase tells the real story. In this article, we will define the concept of ‘adding value’, discuss the different avenues in which companies can interact with their client, explain why it is important to add value to your clients, suggest ways in which companies can add value to their customers and discuss the benefits of adding value to customers.
What does the concept “adding value to your customers mean”?
Adding value to customers can be inferred as doing activities to serve the customer beyond the act of selling a product or service (Baran (2014). Unbelievably, Powers (2015) expresses that companies should “start helping and stop selling” to their customers. After all, a disgruntled customer does not want someone to sell them something when he or she are upset instead they want someone who will listen to them and be honest in how he or she are trying to solve his or her issue. For example, if you are waiting for more than the proposed 15 minutes for your meal at a restaurant during your lunch break for the third time in a row, would you prefer if they gave you an honest apology about how long your meal is taking versus them trying to offer you a 15% discount on your next meal.
Channels that can be used to add value to your customers
Companies interact with their customers through their Operations, Sales, Digital Marketing – which includes Social Media, and Customer Service. Therefore, companies can add value to their customers through the customer’s experience from the very first phone call or moment that they walk into the store, to guiding them using the product or service, and being honest with them when apologizing for their poor experience with a product or service while trying to resolve their grievance as best as possible. Furthermore, they can also try sharing meaningful insight about things that matter to their customers which relate to their product or service and having conversations with their followers on social media.
Ways to add value to your customers and the benefits of doing so
Figure 1 – An image of value and factors that influence it
Baron (2015) revealed that companies can and value to their customers by:
- “Recognizing the customers have ‘LTV’ or ‘Lifetime Value’;
- Keep adding value by listening to what your customers want and improving what you do for them;
- Stay in touch with customers regularly, not just when you want to sell them something;
- Be as responsible as you can to customer requests;
- Continually update your knowledge and adopt new techniques and technologies to keep yourself ahead of the game.”
Baron (2014) further elaborates that you get to create the opportunity to realize the lifetime value of the customer (i.e. “the total amount that they are likely to spend with you over a lifetime”). This customer is likely to seek you first when they have any future needs for a product or service that is like what you offer or even try the other items that you may offer in the future. For instance, I enjoy going to my hairdresser, Babae Stylz Salon, because I always get a great hair style during my visit, they also give me a reasonable price and ways to help it to last if possible. As a result, I have been going there for the past three (3) years, willingly allowing them to gain more revenues from my continued patronage over the past three (3) years than what they would have gained from my patronage if I had only visited that Hairdresser once for the first time and never returned. Furthermore, adding value to customers and satisfying the customers’ needs helps to convert them into evangelists that will promote your brand for free. For example, what I just did with Babae Stylz Salon. Figure 2 illustrates this point.
Figure 2 – Illustration of the value companies can get from customers for the entire time that they shop with the company (Kissmetrics, 2017)
No one likes ‘take it or leave it customer service.’ Instead, people appreciate having their grievance listened to and using it to improve their experience at their next visit. For example, a Medical Centre received complaints from customers about the lengthy wait before getting to see the doctor even though they were on time for their appointments and were there before the persons who would have had appointments at different times before their appointment time. The person at the Front Desk could have half – heartedly apologized to the customers and proceeded with her usual activities un-phased by their grievance. Instead, that Front Desk person toke the initiative to listen and empathize with the customer, apologize, and implement their suggestions to reduce the length to time taken to wait and see the doctor on their next visit by improving the flow of clients to see the doctor based on their time of arrival (versus sticking to their appointment time only). By performing the later, those disgruntled customers enjoyed their follow up visit and left good reviews about the Medical Centre.
Dunn (2016) highlights that adding value to customers can acquire and retain customers, increase brand awareness, and differentiate one’s place in the marketplace. This will “improve the customers’ journey and experience”, especially if your company utilizing personal information about the customers to enhance their experience with the product or service they consume. Dunn (2016) highlighted in Figure 3 that 65% of consumers appreciated when retailers contacted them to confirm their orders and delivery information and 54% of appreciated when retailers provided them with discounts for items that they purchased in the past. This proves that by paying attention to your customers’ behaviours and using their personal information can benefit enhance the customer service experience and secure a space in the hearts and minds of the customer in the future.
Figure 3 – Three (3) justifiable uses of customers’ information from Dunn (2016)
A company that invests in improving their knowledge base can add more value to the customers by suggesting innovative and tailor-fit solutions that satisfy their customers’ needs. For example, an Event Planner that makes it a habit of attending other events, regularly watches YouTube videos on Event Planning and participates in event planning workshops will be able to suggest more innovative and effective event ideas than an Event Planner that only relies on what has been done before.
As Vaynerchuk (2017) explains “you can either be a utility, an escapism or entertainment. You decide which one.” Social Media allows companies to add value to their customers by providing an opportunity to be all three to their customers. However, many customers just focus on using it to portray themselves as a utility by only pushing advertisements or posts to promote their product rather than dropping valuable insights and creating content that will keep them glued to their page on the Social Media platforms. Brands like Foska Oats from Chas E. Ramson and Kendel from Kirk Distributors always stand out to me on Instagram because they exemplify how companies should perform on Social Media. Their posts promote their product, act as an escape (because I can easily spend an hour or two on their pages) and heir posts are very entertaining due to the creativity that they employ on their pages.
Rather than only try to sell to their customers, companies and gain more from adding value to customers by forming an emotional connection with their customers by fostering trust and loyalty which allows them to enjoy the benefits of adding value to their customers. One can infer from Baron (2014), the benefits of companies adding value to customers, you can gain new insights about the shortcomings of your product or services so that it can be improved and enhance the customers’ experience. Dunn (2016) insinuates that adding value to customers allows you to design future products or services that your customers would see the value in.
Bringing it all Together
You may not get immediate monetary returns when you add value to your clients. However, adding value sets your company apart from the other players in your market and creates evangelists that will promote your company to other prospective clients for free. Your company can add value to clients through Social Media, through their Operations, Sales, Customer Service, and After-Sales support just to name a few. Your touchpoints and encounter with the customers serve as avenues for your company to add value to them. If you use those opportunities wisely, then you can gain valuable Word – Of – Mouth promotion for your company and your brand.
Please feel free to like and share this article with anyone else who may have an interest in learning more about using hashtags on social media. You can also check out Think Premium!’s website at http://www.thinkpremiumja.wordpress.com for other articles on Marketing topics. Think Premium! is a Jamaican Marketing Company that specializes in the provision of premium Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts, and Brand Ambassadors, along with Event and Booth Planning and Execution, Social Media Marketing services, among many other services to corporate clients. Feel free to contact us at 1-876-359-6158 or firstname.lastname@example.org for us to discuss how we can serve your company.
Baron, M. (2014). Five ways to add value to retain your customers. SmallBusiness.co.uk. Retrieved from: http://watchcartoonsonline.eu/watch/daria-s5-ep1-fizz-ed/
Dunn, M. (2016). How do we define value and how can we ensure we create added value to our customers? Experian. Retrieved from: http://www.experian.co.uk/blogs/latest-thinking/customer-value/
Kissmetrics (2017). How to reinvent the customer experience to increase Customer Lifetime Value. Kissmetrics. Retrieved from: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/reinvent-the-customer-experience/
Powers, K. (2015). 5 ways to create added value for customers. Vertical Response.Retrieved from: http://www.verticalresponse.com/blog/5-ways-to-create-added-value-for-customers/
Vaynerchuk, G. (2017). How to bring people value. Gary Vaynerchuck. Retrieved from: https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/how-to-bring-people-value/
By: Marcia Bent – Chief Executive Officer – Think Premium!
We are now in the day and age where businesses are creating pages on social media platforms to increase their brand exposure and visibility in hopes of increasing their sales. After all, 95% of adults between the ages of 18 – 34 years of age reported that they used and are more likely to follow a brand on social media (MarketSherpa, 2015). ‘Influencer Marketing’ is a recent concept that has been introduced through the advent of Social Media, however, it is an area that still has a bit of ambiguity around it, especially in Jamaica. In this article, we will be defining what Influencer Marketing is, the difference between it, ‘Content Marketing’, ‘Authority Marketing,’ and ‘Celebrity Endorsement,’ important statistics to note about Influencer Marketing on Social Media and what it means for your business.
With Social Media Platforms like Facebook continuing to be the most widely used platform worldwide (Lister, 2017). Who is the voice that is behind a lot of the content that persons follow, share, and engage with on Social Media? Those persons are called ‘Influencers.’
According to Vaynerchuck (2016) “the cheapest form of arbitrage for attention at the lowest possible cost right now is Influencers.” He explained that Influencers are persons who share or create content around the body of topics for discussion that are centered around product or service that you are trying to promote on Social Media Platforms. “Influencers reach a lot of people (often more than you do), and they have the ability to influence people’s opinions” (Enge, 2012). For that reason, Influencer Marketing can be deemed as “the process of developing relationships with influential people that can lead to their assisting you in creating visibility for your product or service. This type of marketing depends on your having something great to offer your potential customers and the audience of the influencer, and it also depends on you building a great relationship with the influencer as well” (Enge, 2012). This could be celebrities or regular persons who gained popularity on those platforms for creating or curating content.
(See Figure 1 in the Slideshow – for a summary photo of the impact of Influencer Marketing)
Content Marketing is the creation of “a significant amount of high-quality written specifically for your target audience and through that content creation forms a legion of fans who are eager to consume what you create” (Witty, 2017). This source eluded that this content can be pictures, snaps, YouTube or Periscope videos, Instagram or Snapchat stories, blog posts, webinars, books or podcasts. The persons that create that legion of fans through their content become the Influencers for that subject matter. “Authority marketing is leveraging your knowledge and experience to gain leadership status in your marketplace” (Personal Branding Blog, 2014). Authorities frequently provide useful information to their audience – “information which solves problems offers solutions and addresses needs” (Personal Branding Blog, 2014). Content Marketing is one of the pillars for Authority Marketing and apart of Authority Marketing is to utilize referrals gained from Influencers (Witty, 2017). Having said that, the difference between Influencer Marketing, Content Marketing, and Authority Marketing is Content Marketing is the predecessor for both Influencer Marketing and Authority Marketing. You need to create that dedicated legion of fans over time through creating meaningful and appreciated content to become an Influencer. Authorities need to create appreciated content and be given referrals by Influencers to be perceived as an Authority in the field.
(See Figure 2 in the Slideshow- The relationship between Content Marketing, Influencer Marketing and Authority Marketing.)
It should not be confused with Celebrity Endorsement either, which is more commonly used in Jamaica. Celebrity Endorsement “attaches the fame of a celebrity to a brand or product” (Geppert, 2016). Here is an example of Celebrity Endorsement: Dutty Berry gets hired by a company or Association to do an advertisement during his vlog or during an advertisement for an upcoming event. Dutty Berry doesn’t have to know about how the event is being set up, what will be serving at the bar during the event, the hassle that persons may experience at the location where they would go to purchase tickets for the event, or work that went into booking the labour to work during and to set up the event. He just has to promote it in the requisite environments and read the script that the company or Association organizing the event gave him to his followers or in the media. As Geppert (2016) explains “it’s a message from the brand to them, using [Dutty Berry] as a messenger.”
Influencer Marketing would have been to use someone who is not a celebrity but has become popular for creating content around a particular area of interest and who is a specialist in that area to promote a product related to that area. For instance, Dutty Berry (who is a Jamaican Vlogger who discusses current events in a funny way) discussing the latest video editing software or smartphone that he uses for creating his vlogs and the benefits that he gained from using it during his vlog would be Influencer Marketing. This is because he actually has experience in using software or phones to create his vlogs, interacts with his fans (whether through vox pop polls, checking his comments, tailoring his content or when they are uploaded to suit his target audience. Dutty Berry can use his own words and experiences to promote that video editing software or smartphone used and its features from start to finish. As Geppert (2016) states “from start to end, the message is considered [his], and . . . [that message is given] a certain credibility and authenticity that celebrity endorsement rarely emulates.”
There is a fine line between Influencer Marketing and Celebrity Endorsement but the difference in the quality of the results are great. Consequently, it is up to the marketer to be deliberate in the way that they want an Influencer to deliver the message and if it matches an area that they are likely to specialize in and use on their own.
Statistics from Duran (2017) and Burgess (2016) illustrates what Influencer Marketing can mean for businesses:
- Roughly 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a Social Media Reference in 2017 (Duran, 2017) while 74% of consumers did that in 2016 (Burgess, 2016). This can be manifested in the hype around the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Persons learn so much about those devices through social media that by the time they are ready to make a purchase they have a firm and clear idea about the device that they wish to purchase and in fact purchase that device despite other similar smartphones that may have been promoted in that store or dealer at the time.
- 57% of beauty and fashion companies use influencers as part of their marketing campaigns in 2016 and Influencers make 86% of the beauty and fashion content on social media which may very well have been consumed by 86% of the women who consult with social media before making a purchase (Duran, 2017). This can be observed when a woman is looking for a new haircut for instance. They check Social Media (whether it is YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and check out the images of styles done on actual customers by a particular hairdresser that may have been referred by an Influencer that they follow or images of styles worn by a particular celebrity or Influencer that they admire before getting that hair style.
- Consequently, companies can potentially gain 650% of each dollar spent on Influencer Marketing if it is done effectively in their company. This is because persons are likely to trust a product or service that they see someone that they know or admire using that product or service. Influencers – by creating content that is appreciated by their legion of followers – gain the admiration of the persons who follow them. Thus making it easier for a brand to reach the persons that they follow by gaining the approval and participation of the Influencer.
(See Figure 3 in the Slideshow – Infographic on the important Influencer Marketing Statistics for 2017 from Duran (2017)and Burgess (2016).
Bringing it all together
Influencer Marketing is the partnership of a business and an Influencer for them to use their product or service produced by that business and refer their followers in their content to consume that product or service. Content Marketing is the foundation for Influencer Marketing because the regular creation of popularly consumed content gains the legion of followers for an Influencer. Influencer Marketing and Content Marketing then acts as some of the pillars for Authority Marketing because the referrals of the Influencer and the content (the images, etc. about the product or service created by the company) help to turn that company into an Authority in the eyes of the legion of followers that the Influencer has. There is a fine line, however, between it and Celebrity Endorsement so Marketers need to be strategic and thorough in how it should be implemented and if it matches the intended results for it to be effective while still maintaining the authenticity of the message and the Influencer in that area.
With that being considered, Influencer Marketing can open doors for a company to reach a target a that they may have had a challenge in reaching on their own. It is a worthwhile investment for a brand to consider in their Marketing Campaigns.
Marcia Bent is the Chief Executive Officer of Think Premium! Think Premium! is a Marketing company that provides ‘Premium’ Promotional Hostesses, Promotional Hosts and Brand Ambassadors for companies that have or participates in events or field marketing activities. They also offer Mystery Shopping, Guerilla Marketing, Event Planning, Event Support, Brand Positioning, Social Media Marketing, etc. She can be reached at 359-6158 or at email@example.com for further information about these services.
Burgess, E. (2016). 11 Essential Stats for Influencer Marketing in 2016. ION.co. Retrieved from: https://www.ion.co/11-essential-stats-for-influencer-marketing-in-2016.
Duran, HB. (2017). 10 Essential Statistics for Influencer Marketing in 2017. ION.co. Retrieved from: https://www.ion.co./essential-stats-for-influencer-marketing-in-2017
Enge, E. (2012). Moz Blog – Influencer Marketing – What it is, and why you need to be doing it. Moz.com. Retrieved from: https://moz.com/blog/influencer-marketing-what-it-is-and-why-you-need-to-be-doing-it
Geppert, G. (2016). How Influence Marketing differs from Celebrity Endorsement. Convince and convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com.jm/amp/www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/influence-marketing-differs-from-celebrity-endorsement/amp/
Lister, M. (2017). 40 Essential Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2017. Wordstream.com Retrieved from: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/01/05/social-media-marketing-statistics
MarketingSherpa (2015). MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey: Demographics of customer reasons to follow brands’ social accounts. Retrieved from: https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/chart/demographics-why-customer-follow-brands-social-media
Personal Branding Blog (2014). How Authority Marketing can fast forward your business? Business 2 Community. Retrieved from: Read more at http://www.business2community.com/marketing/authority-marketing-can-fast-forward-business-01024944#jiHToySIRME7UPmr.99
Vaynerchuk, G. (2016). How to contact Influencers, Music Marketing & preparing to Live Stream| #AskGaryVee Episode 202. Gary Vaynerchuk. Retrieved from: http://youtu.be/huZ2wH0SAKg
Witty, A. (2017). Authority Marketing – What is ‘Authority Marketing’ and how do you achieve it? Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved from: https://www-entrepreneur-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/289963