Creating More Loyal Advocates – Part 2

Last week we looked at 2 ways to create more loyal advocates – increase attraction & optimize curiosity. Today we are going to look at two further strategies.

An alternative approach to create more loyal advocates is to improve PAR & BAR scores by improving the critical touchpoints across consumer path from awareness to advocacy. To overcome each of the four potential bottlenecks that normally occur across the five A’s, marketers need a set of strategies and tactics. 

Each solution set aims at addressing the underlying problem that keeps customers from moving forward to the next stage. 

Attracting and convincing consumers are important steps toward creating loyal brand advocates. Still, the job is far from done. Marketers need to make sure that consumers end up buying and using their brands. Imagine a consumer who heard about a brand on TV and went online to research that brand further. The consumer was finally convinced that the brand was the right choice upon reading what the brand stands for. The consumer now seeks to buy the brand online but finds out that it is only available only in a store in a remote location. The consumer may decide that it is not worth the time to go there and buy the brand. In this scenario, the consumer path stops abruptly because the brand fails to ensure availability. The consumer may also decide to go to the location to buy the brand. When the store experience – physical evidence, sales process, and salespeople – fails to meet the consumer’s expectations, the consumer path stops as well. Thus the ability to lock in consumer commitment depends on channel availability and the ability to deliver superior experience.

David Jones is a great example of this. A few years ago, DJ’s discovered the relationship between its online and brick-and-mortar business. A dollar spent on search optimization drove six dollars of in-store purchase. Since then, David Jones has been integrating its offline and online operations. Consumers may search a product on their mobile phone and check its availability in nearby stores. Consumers are given the choice of buying the product directly through DJ’s e-commerce site or buying it at a nearby store. 

David Jones has become channel agnostic and is indifferent as to whether consumer purchase products online or offline. Consumers have a higher commitment when they are enabled to make purchases in the moment they want to do so. DJ’s has combined two silo budgets into one marketing budget and therefore is able to optimize spending with the unified goal of delivering the best consumer experience that drives the most sales.

Marketers with a long-term orientation consider closing a sales as the start of a potentially more rewarding relationship. It is also a key moment in building advocacy. For most consumers, post purchase experience, which includes usage and after-sales service, is often about evaluating whether the actual product or service performance is consistent with the pre-purchase claims made by marketers.

To improve the post-purchase experience, marketers should extend the touchpoints and allow more interactions with consumers beyond the regular ones. To the actual product enjoyment and service experience, marketers may add consumer engagement programs. As brands are humanizing, consumer engagement is indeed becoming important.

Ritz Carlton has a well-known reputation for using a human touch to engage its customers. The hotel chain is known for empowering its staff to deliver surprising delight to guests. An example is an occasion when a child’s stuffed giraffe went missing during a stay at the hotel. The parents were forced to tell their child a white lie, saying that the giraffe was on a holiday. Ritz-Carlton went to great lengths to corroborate the story and sent documented proof of the giraffe’s holiday at the hotel.

Online shoe retailer Zappos, for instance, is well known for its engaging call-center operations. A woman who struggled to find shoes for her damaged feet ordered six pairs of shoes from Zappos, known for its free return. The consumer decided to keep two pairs and return the others. After an initial friendly phone conversation, a Zappos rep sent flowers to the consumer just to let her know that she sympathized with her.

The Starbucks Reward program is a way for the coffee chain brand to build strong engagement with its customers. It rewards customers for every transaction across different levels and milestones, each with different perks and benefits. The objective is to motivate customers to increase transactions and improve their status.

In line with the five A’s consumer path, we have introduced a set of new metrics. These are purchase action ratio (PAR) and brand advocacy ratio (BAR), which can better evaluate how effective marketers are in driving customers from awareness to action and finally to advocacy. In essence, PAR and BAR allow marketers to measure the productivity of their marketing activities.

CMO Perspective: Sweta Mehra – Proctor & Gamble

There is always one ad that stands out at the Super Bowl for all the right reasons and this year was no different, which is good given advertisers reportedly shell out a whopping $5m for a 30-second slot. With a mix of humour, celebrity and nostalgia, ‘It’s a Tide Ad’ for the Procter & Gamble-owned laundry brand got tongues wagging for all the right reasons.

Stranger Things actor David Harbour stars in what initially appears to be an ad for a car/beer/aftershave/fizzy drink before he reveals it’s a Tide ad, much to the dismay of everyone else starring alongside him.

At one point a mechanic with grease all over his face asks what makes it a Tide ad, and Harbour responds: “There are no stains. Look at those clean clothes.” At the end, he asks: “Does that make every Super Bowl ad a Tide ad?”

And that was just the beginning. Rather than settle on one 30-second spot, Tide opted for a minute-long ad followed by several 15-second spots peppered throughout each ad break to keep up momentum.

The campaign, which was created by Saatchi & Saatchi New York, clearly made an impact, according to an analysis by Lucid and Realeyes of more than 75 ads among 5,000 viewers. Ads were rated across four metrics – attraction, retention, engagement and impact – to give an overall ‘EmotionAll’ score, with two of the It’s a Tide Ad executions appearing in the top 10.

P&G’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard also singled out the campaign at ISBA’s annual conference, saying the ads are “a great example of creativity sparking a national conversation on something as everyday as a laundry detergent”. He added: “This is the kind of marketing we want on all our brands – driving what we all want – more growth.”

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