The Importance of Community Marketing
The importance of community marketing depends firstly on how you intend to use the community. While having grassroots support can certainly help push your message out, true potential of communities is in their ability to pull the market towards your product.
If done correctly, instead of serving as another weapon in your marketing arsenal, community marketing can actually help you reduce ineffective channels and focus your marketing efforts.
It’s about rethinking marketing through the lens of community.
Why is community marketing is important?
Community marketing is much more than just CHEAPER marketing.
If your idea of marketing is confined to pushing your brand message out, then you might be stuck in looking at communities as simply another way to manipulate the market. This is such a misleading way to view the world.
Stop looking the world as above the line vs below the line. That’s how people who measure marketing by activities look at the world. Start to looking at what your marketi their truly needs, what things can fulfil their anxiety. You can only start to do this if you measure marketing not by activities but resulting impact of brand perception and sales.
See how Nike grew its market. When Nike wanted to grow beyond being a running shoe company, it had to first grow its brand. That’s how we end up with Nike snowboards and bike gears. While Nike might be known for its branding prowess in the media in ‘80s and ‘90s, the Nike you see today is built on the backs of numerous community engagements.
Like other brands that are successful with community engagements, Nike didn’t use activities as their main metrics. They instead look at 3 metrics: loyalty, authenticity and innovation.
How important are these 3 metrics to your business?
Getting the community that loyal to your brand will earn repeat purchase toward your product. Returning buyer is what the sales department aim for. Repeat purchase protects revenue from new players. Having the loyalist creating fix revenue in your bottom-line. It also made a low cost of acquisition for next purchase.
The brand loyalist, will act as a defender of the brand, defend the brand image without having to go to war. They are also a 24/7 crowdsource your listening tools (more media covered by the watchful eyes of your community than the pair of eyes your brand manager could ever see). When the competition rise, conspiracy between competitor will appears, as a loyalist they will stand for you, and will help you to keep your brand credibility.
Community maintain the authenticity of the brand. it elevate products to brands, for example nike 6.0, the product is shoes, and it has nothing to do with surf things. But nike have nike 6.0 surf house, which made for surf community. this is creating new business, innovation and also maintaining the brand image which inventing the new product, they know the product is not going to be sold out. But is about the brand that stay on the heart of the community.
In actual process and revenue proven community is better than brand ambassador. brand ambassador act as person who use and know everything about the product. the communication happen in one to many but does it really impacting the bottom line? maybe yes, but is not huge. People are smart know, they know the brand ambassador is not an honest person.
Brand ambassador is bringing the company’s best interest meanwhile what the customers want is bring your best interest in mind. Community is the who really honest toward the product, they identify, assess and value the product. Whether is good or not they will tell the truth about the brand, because they care with their circle, and they won’t their circle experience the bad experience they have experienced.
There’s no better source of growth and innovation than a passionate brand community. Brand will see how their product being used, for instance like vans, vans is only vans they sell shoes, cheap deck shoes. But see how the community use them, and how the activity inside the community is going on has inspire them to create new product from related event, skateboarding shoes and the gear, as well as skate board park. creating new businesses and new product.
When the community shares a core passion for the brand, they also have unfulfilled needs and challenges. By seeing the brand and the company have to build new business or product in order to fulfil them. such Harley Davidson create motorcycle customization, riding gear, motorcycle-inspired fashion and home decoration. It also created the largest motorcycle club in the world, motorcycle rentals and rider training businesses, a museum, shipping and travel services, and even destination cafés.
Thats how the community marketing earn three metrics to helping the brand to reach their target. However, the most important thing on starting to engage communities is to invite them in instead of thinking of ways to manipulate them to do your bidding.