WHY COMPANIES ARE TRANSFERRING “TRADITIONAL” MARKETING BUDGET TO AMBASSADOR MARKETING BUDGET?
In a time when the marketing budget is under pressure and limited, companies must make choices where to put their dollars to work. Though many companies that are still focusing on traditional marketing, we see that more and more companies are shifting towards building ambassador programs
Why? Here are 3 main reasons:
- 1. People know when they are being sold to and no one likes to be “sold”. Thus traditional channels such as ads, TV, emailing, are no longer being viewed at all read or watched and thus become slowly irrelevant. They will not die, but slowly mellow out.
- 2. Social media advertising is big business but people are blocking ads using technology and/or becoming blind for ads on their social media channels.
- 3. Finally, we know that most people will talk to other people they know, trust and like to get advice when making a buying decision. They are being influenced by their opinions and experiences. Thus, putting your dollars to work with brand ambassadors makes sense.
A brand ambassador is basically the ultimate form of “word of mouth” advertising and sales channel. It’s a person that represents the company in public and talks about their products or services in such a way that it makes other people want to be customers
“Millenials, when they buy products, they are also willing to give back and share thus becoming ambassadors and influencers.”
Also, many recent surveys have shown that millennials, but not only that generation, are making buying decisions based on User Generated and User Promoted Content. When they buy products, they are also willing to give back and share thus becoming ambassadors and influencers. No wonder more and more companies are making it easy to buy more and importantly to share information. Companies are shifting their investment dollars to ambassador platforms, one-to-one customer engagement and development of ambassador programs.
When it comes to brand ambassadors there are 2 types that we can identify: the paid ambassador and the “unpaid” ambassador. The paid ambassadors consist of bloggers and influencers that have the ability to shape customers’ purchasing decisions. The process of looking up to these people is the key component that helps to shape consumers to make buying decision. This is of course an important avenue of many companies to pursue. Call it the “product place” of the era before the internet.
The “unpaid” ambassadors are probably worth as much (or even more) since their “authentic” reach and credibility is much higher. Investing in making these people true advocates is probably the next best move any company can make today. One key driving factor is making sure these people have great experiences and are able to seen as “experts” or “frontrunners” by their friends or peers.
To make big gains with your ambassador program (and win their wallet share and loyalty) you should take the following steps
- A/ Build an army of ambassadors by letting your audience knows you want their opinions, and display them everywhere in the purchase cycle. Keep providing them with info they are craving during the buying process. Give to receive principle
- B/ Let people see opinions from people who matter most to them. Give them the insights they need from experts, people like them, and their friends – highlighting those who share their interests and have experience with the product.
- C/ Everyone wants to be heard. When you improve products or change policies based on first-person consumer input, spread the word. Create two-way conversations that build loyalty.
While these steps cost money, they lead to more one-to-one engagement and generate big repercussions since they ripple through the consumer landscape and lead to more sales.
People, and not ads, are the key to doing business in the future.