Marketing is a strange beast

Marketing is a strange beast.  By it’s very nature, it has to evolve as it chases customers and their habits.

Keeping on top of new techniques, latest platforms and metrics to measure their success can be a role in itself. However, at Antelope we believe it’s not about the shifting of sands, but the long term success that comes with building brand loyalty.  Which is the million dollar question, how do you do this in a world where customers are fickle and competitors offer the golden goose to your customers every day?

Here we give our top 5 tips on keeping your customers loyal to you and your brand.

1.    Be transparent

A dichotomy in its own right. Brand building is about building desirability often through aspiration. However, the future of marketing will not be smoke and mirrors but building transparency so that customers understand your brand, trust your products and service and have no hidden surprises. This could mean posting your customers’ comments - the good, bad and ugly - on social media or your own website and responding to them. Customers who see that brands are listening and responding are often the ones who build credibility. 

2.    Collaboration

This transparency will lead to more collaboration.  Inviting in your clients and suppliers to your business will be part of marketing process. What marketers have been doing for years - through market research - asking customers and suppliers their thoughts but in more of an open, co-creation way will be the way to generate buy-in before the point of purchase. Dove has already included customers in its advertising campaign and savvy marketers are allowing splinter groups to create social media fanbases.  Losing control and letting your customers be your ambassadors will be the way to create kudos.

3    Marketing will not be defined by digital

It already feels old school to have agencies that are pure digital and there is no doubt that the next few years every marketing activity will include some digital aspect.  However, marketing will not be defined by digital but will become marketing with technology.  We believe that the clever ones will be those who work out how to use the technology to target their individual customers and use the platforms in ways that engage the right markets. Sounds obvious but it is amazing how so many use an 'one size fits all' strategy.  Instant messages those on who message,  add to review sites for those goods where third party credibility is key, use social media not just to engage customers but allow them to have a voice and respond to that voice.  Think of your audience first, not your brand or product. Where do they go, what platforms do they use and then talk to them there.

4.    Influencing the Influencers

Gen Z are already consumers and having grown up in a world of 360 degree transparency with the internet giving them access to information about brands previously inaccessible, they don’t  to be marketed to. For them it is about buying into the brands they feel have credibility.  And to be one of those brands, you need to influence the influencers.  This means being in it for the long game, building associations with those people, other brands and affiliates that match your brand vision and working with them to court your customers. It's not just about getting your brand Instagrammed with the latest celeb (although that of course can definitely help), it's about making sure the people who your customers trust also know and talk about your brand.

5.    It won’t be about big brands, it will be about big impact

The power of big brands still remains with us - look at Apple and Google, sorry Alphabet. Yet, marketing will become not just about big brands, but about big impact. Sure those with deep pockets will be about to raise awareness of their brands faster. However, those who are clever in their marketing will make the most long lasting and biggest impact.  Look how certain brands have managed to go viral though clever marketing? Metro Trains Melbourne’s ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ video has had 110m YouTube views since its inception in 2012 worldwide reaching far more than just the teens of Melbourne.  Getting creative and sharing the love will be the way to make your marketing viral and spreading your message to potential customers.

Good marketers really are just great communicators - telling your audience what you and your brand is about in the most effective way.  Ignore the trends and make sure your brand lives up to its expectation will be the best way to build your loyalty.