A new change in the loyalty game

The current digital era has almost completely driven demure, unadventurous and “old-fashioned” marketing out. The reason lies not with the fact that it’s no longer effective, but with the realisation that there are many more factors being constantly added on to its equation. While those factors tend to follow new technologies development and relevant social trends in general, they can also be specific to different branding strategies or only be applied to particular industry sector, company culture, target segment etc.

Social media marketing is a good example of how changes to technologies have created a need for new marketing approaches. Many studies have flagged a tentative list of key steps to follow in order to succeed in social media and online marketing. From these lists [1], “relevance” and “value” are two of the main factors to be taken into consideration when planning a campaign, seeing as both bring to the table basic considerations for online users in general and create competitive advantage simultaneously. Other key factors include “patience” and “quality”, which would help brands establish themselves at a steady pace. Despite that, the list is not a bible of rules that one must abide by in order to succeed and doesn’t include a single mandatory process to follow. It’s a guideline, and ticking the points in it isn’t a safe and 100% effective way of creating loyal customers or followers online.

It requires something more than what books and outsiders could tell you. Particularly when focusing on social media platforms, a different type of strategy is crucial to leave a strong online impression and shake the pre-existent reality created by well-established brands. They should be innovative, stimulating and organic, independently of the industry. This type of marketing has been creating disruptive brands [2] which are continuously changing customer relationship with brands in general and the way they engage with them. They don’t necessarily represent the most well-known brands to the audience, but the ones that excel at taking risk and introducing novelty to their respective sectors, even if they don’t hit the headlines for it.

These kind of marketing strategies have been more effective in ‘reaching out’ to passive customers or the ones who are not frequent or completely loyal to the brand. Brands that plan to walk this path, must have a good knowledge of their business model, strengths and of who they target. In cases like Amazon [3], ‘added value’ to consumer in general, ‘simple messaging’ communication strategy and a ‘call-to action’ system integrated onto a social media campaign has done the deal.  The trust [4] on the brand is a relevant factor to its success though.

Different brands and different strategies will for ever make it hard for marketers to track and tail the perfect method because there isn’t one. And that’s the beauty of it!

One can always use top-notch technology and many alternative methods that worked for company A or B and not have the expected result. No brand is the same to another, even competitors, the key is to find what makes them special and show it to their target audience.

 

1 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/218160

2 https://www.marketingweek.com/100-disruptive-brands/about/

3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/gabrielshaoolian/2016/10/31/how-amazon-fresh-and-freshdirect-are-competing-to-engage-users-online-and-generate-brand-loyalty/#24b1f94b567d

4 https://hbr.org/2011/12/why-trust-matters-more-than-ev

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