Are Your Marketing Campaigns More than Just Eye Candy?

By: Susan Ganeshan

December 3, 2014

Any good marketer knows that attention-grabbing campaigns are a critical component of brand strategy. Add the element of a well-timed placement and you may end up with 10,000 retweets within the first hour of launch, like Oreo did with its “Dunk in the Dark” Super Bowl tweet.

But the best marketers understand that timing must be combined with consistency and permanence to truly drive customer loyalty. Campaigns without a sense of how they drive relationships with customers—across time, space and channel—are just eye candy. Particularly in social media where brands are competing for eyeballs and shares, it may be very compelling to create something flashy that will go viral. But will customers remember them every time they need to make a purchase decision?

Take the ALS ice bucket challenge. No one can debate that this campaign was highly successful in raising awareness and millions of dollars for the previously “under promoted” charity. But they can’t stop there. In order to capitalize on the success of their one-time blitz, they need to continue to maintain relationships with their donors, perhaps through channels other than social media. ALS needs to consistently nurture these “customers” to maintain mindshare over time.

If you can answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, then you’re on the right path to building and maintaining strong customer relationships.

1)  You have a journey map of customer experiences.

No matter how creative your marketing campaigns are, they won’t build sustained relationships with customers if they don’t correspond to specific experiences. Experiences can include research, purchase, use, service, and upsell. Chances are, there is a common customer sentiment for each of these experiences. If you can detect it and promote the positive sentiment in your marketing campaigns, then your message becomes more relevant.

2)  You use this map to reinforce the brand at all stages of the journey.

As a marketer, you may be primarily focused on awareness and upsell. Creative social campaigns may go a long way in building awareness but is that same brand personality expressed at the point of sale? Or when your customers are calling into the service center? How can you transform your “eye candy” social campaign into a consistent message that your customers always associate with your products?

3)  You are measuring campaign success by more than just retweets, likes and shares.

Everyone loves to see their social metrics increase. Few things excite the modern marketer like a new record high of retweets and shares. And yet, these stats only tell part of the picture. I sometimes refer to them as “vanity stats” because we can all give ourselves a pat on the back for getting the word out there.

 

The danger with vanity stats is that they could be missing the boat on true audience sentiment. Did they share your photo because they thought it was funny? Or did they share it because you made them laugh, brightened their mood, and now they associate happiness with your brand?

You can answer these questions by mining and analyzing your social data and looking for changes in sentiment across categories that are critical to your industry. When it comes time to continue the conversation with the next marketing campaign, you’ll be able to construct a message that addresses true social sentiment.

Eye candy can be a good thing. Just don’t forget to incorporate it into a larger customer relationship strategy, and your customers will stick around for seconds.

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