There is no denying that social media is “the” new marketing tool and almost every business has made the transition into the digital world to keep up with the times. However, social media is no longer an innovative company practice and does not differentiate a business that is quick to capitalize on the benefits of online communities as it did before. Although pioneering sites are popping up every day that can be utilized to distinguish your brand such as Pinterest, Foursquare and Viddy, it still does not affect consumers like it did when companies first began to market using social media. Those just now beginning their foray into social media are alas, behind the times.
As I sorted through my mail last week I noticed something different about one of envelopes. It was addressed to me in a handwritten fashion. Intrigued, I opened it up and found a lollipop accompanied by a personally inked note from the manager of my bank thanking me for banking with his company. The last time I received a handwritten letter from someone other than immediate family members was over five years ago, so this was special and meaningful to me. The rare experience resulted in the discovery of how distinctive and effective traditional means of marketing have become in our digitized world.
Furthermore, the outdated practice generated a possible answer to a question that I began to explore. How do businesses maintain the ease, accessibility and efficiency that digital marketing provides, while incorporating the personalization of more “old-fashioned,” traditional forms of marketing such as the hand written letter? I came up with an idea that would fuse the beneficial applications of both marketing techniques.
Companies could offer incentives based on a formula that would take into consideration not only social media site interactivity, but also user spending on company products or services to determine a company’s “super users.” These super users would be shown on a short marketing video about your brand monthly, quarterly or annually depending on your budget. These videos would help market your business more effectively by receiving feedback from the super user to better gauge how to speak to your target audience. By helping to “brand,” your super users ultimately feel empowered. He or she would most likely inform friends and spread the good word about your company. It would also make “top” users feel more appreciated and provide greater value than just offering users to “like” or comment on your page.
Additionally, you could incentivize them with discounts or free products/services. Super users could also be empowered by giving exclusive access to new products being tested in exchange for their feedback. This fusion process would build greater brand loyalty and positive word of mouth attention, while allowing the company to gain a deeper understanding of their target consumer.