Consider a typical marketing campaign. A company’s Marketing Director hires a professional advertising agency to create adverts. The adverts are then pretested by a small number of people before being launched in popular television stations. If the marketing budget is huge, the Marketing Director will once again hire a marketing research company to track the adverts and assess their effectiveness. Else, the Director will sit back and hope that consumers will find the adverts interesting and then buy the products. This model is not only costly, but it’s also outdated. A 30 second commercial will cost you more than $ 100,000 in national TV stations. This figure goes much higher if you are considering advertising on glamorous occasions such as during Super Bowl. The model also predates the internet when the TV was the primary source of information and entertainment. The key question is how are you supposed to market your products or company? Without doing away with TV advertisements entirely, consider harnessing the power of the internet by adopting a consumer-led marketing campaign.
Consumers usually take the back seat in a conventional promotion. They are only expected to appreciate the already prepared promotional message and then buy the product. However, in a consumer-led marketing campaign, consumers are the stars of the show. They are the ones who prepare the promotional message after sampling the product. The result is that you have thousands of different promotional messages of a single product flying around. This is made possible largely because of the internet and the social media. The trick is getting the consumers to share promotional messages of your product after sampling it. And there are many ways to get them to share. Online eyeglasses retailer, Warby Parker, encourage their customers to carry home five different pairs of sunglasses during purchase. The customer is then supposed to wear a different pair each day for five days, take photos of a different pair every day, and upload them online for friends to comment. This way, Warby Parker gets free publicity. Whatever the method you elect to use, customers will only share promotional messages for two reasons, social recognition and financial rewards. Customers are more likely to share a promotional message if that gets them a discount. Customers will also share if that gives them more likes in their Facebook accounts or more retweets in their Twitter handles.
Once you implement the marketing campaign, you will be bound to reap extra benefits. First of all, you will have credible and authentic messages about your products. Credibility and authenticity are not easy to come by. They are not something that you can buy. But consumers will find promotional messages from fellow consumers more authentic and credible. You simply don’t have to go quoting research numbers that no one will believe. The second benefit is brand promotion. Getting your product and its features stand out in a crowded market is already a herculean task. There is nothing more helpful other than having someone who will be more credible do the job for you. And with the social media, where news spread very fast, you could have your brand emerge from obscurity fast. Lastly, it is very cost effective. You have external stakeholders to your business, using their time and resources to market your product. You don’t have to go hiring advertising agents. Just have a message that will get people to market your product on your behalf.