The American bourbon brand, Maker’s Mark really knows how to connect and engage with their ambassadors and they have always try to have a strong connection with their customers. In this post, we analyze Maker’s Mark’s ambassador marketing strategy and extract the most important learnings from it.
1. Never lose the relationship with your clients and ambassadors
When the Maker’s Mark started to grow, this became impossible and they started to lose their connection with their clients. This made the sales go down and they realized that they needed to give a step back and recover the relationship that they used. That’s when they decided to start an ambassador program to strengthen the community.
2. Ambassador marketing is not just a side activity
What’s so special about Maker’s Mark is that ambassadorship is not an extra marketing activity, but an essential part of the company. The company is completely customer centered.
If you visit Maker’s Mark you’ll see that the link to their ambassador program is included in the main navigation menu, which shows to what extent this program is important for them.
3. It’s important to give back to ambassadors
Digitalization has offered even more opportunities to deploy their ambassador strategy. One of the strengths of their ambassador program is that they combine their online ambassadorship with offline benefits.
Their ambassador program is all about giving back to their loyal ambassadors. When signing up for the Maker’s Mark ambassador program, they pledge to spread the word about the brand. In return, they get their name engraved on their own, personal barrel of bourbon. They also receive an ambassador package by post including a thank you letter, certificate and Maker’s Mark manifesto.
Through their log-in or ambassador app, ambassadors can follow the maturing process of their whiskey. This usually takes up to seven years. Once their whiskey is matured, they have the chance to buy a bottle from the barrel that it’s carrying their own name.
Other benefits of ambassadorship are invites to exclusive events, ambassador gifts and the chance to buy personalized Maker’s Mark merchandising.
With their ambassador program, Maker’s Mark has successfully created an exclusive experience for their ambassadors. They have integrated three pillars of successful ambassadorship: involvement, experience, and personalization. Their efforts certainly pay off, as today, they have an engaged community of over 100 thousand ambassadors!
4. Proud ambassadors are very active on social media
It’s truly astonishing how active their ambassadors are! Just take a look at their Facebook page for example. Ambassadors regularly comment on Maker’s Mark’s posts and share pictures of their own experiences with the brand. They are also active in informing other brand fans about the ambassador program. Their social media is also customer centred as they regularly repost pictures from their ambassadors.
The community Maker’s Mark established through their ambassador program is something they could never achieve through traditional marketing. Consumers don’t want the push model of traditional marketing anymore but are in search of experiences. Therefore, to improve brand engagement, organizations should keep the example of Maker’s Mark in mind and consider ambassadorship.
- Ambassador Marketing should not be taken just as a side activity. It is very important to take care of the relationship with ambassadors in order to have a positive outcome
- Never forget to be back to your ambassadors.
- When ambassador marketing is done right, ambassadors show their gratitude by spreading the word about the brand, which can have a huge impact on social media.