Business 2 Communities
Recent market research reveals that businesses that define the end consumer as a community have experienced increases in revenue of up to 31 percent over the last three years. Businesses have known for awhile now that consumers like to feel connected by marketing. Consumers prefer marketing that is inspiring and inclusive as well as interactive. What many businesses didn’t know is that TONS of money could be made by applying consumer expectations to large corporate accounts.
However, assuming that establishing a community is all about the money would be a mistake. It is also about creating a presence in what Google is calling the “Age of Participation”. Consumers who feel engaged, included or inspired are four times more likely to purchase than those who do not. The job of a marketing team, therefore, is to reel in consumers based on an emotional connection to the Brand and its community.
Defining Your Community For Profit
In order to make profit from the business-to-community model, you must first carefully design your community. Your advertising should seek to create a connection between your consumer and your Brand. Establish an online presence by offering industry specific tips and a comment section where people can interact with one another. Draw people in by becoming known for something great, like Campbell’s did with its website.
Campbell’s Soup has created an incredibly strong brand by establishing its website as a go-to-guide for all things food related. There are great recipes using Campbell’s products as well as tips for entertaining, lifestyle advice and discounts. Of course there is also an online store and a call out to use it. Consumers may not immediately spend their cash; however, after reading a myriad of recipes and participating in online discussions, a fired up home chef may find it easier to loosen the purse strings.
Some companies will also establish a blog or separate website that does not specifically represent the product or your brand. Instead, the content is dedicated to information related to your products and industry with a soft-sell approach to marketing. For example, some supplement companies also publish a lifestyle magazine that details different disorders and how supplements can help. The information provided is well researched and well written and does not specifically focus on one brand. Only at appropriate moments will the magazine recommend a product by the parent company.
These same marketing techniques can be used to greatly affect your large corporate accounts because the decision makers within these corporations are still people. They may represent an entire company, but executives and board members want to be a part of something great, just as much as they next guy…maybe even more.
Psychology & Marketing
Consumer data indicates that when people feel informed and engaged they are more likely than not to buy your product. By providing good content with a subtle pitch for your product, you are doing more than just bringing in new customers; you are also creating a feeling of community and of being a part of something bigger than consumerism. The feeling of community is what produces the 31 percent increase in revenue that all companies are looking for.
It turns out that consumers are not the only people who enjoy being a part of a movement. When employees feel like they are engaged and relevant, they really commit to their tasks and everyone benefits. These kind of intangible benefits are force multipliers for your business and make great sense financially despite an initial investment.
Where Do I Start?
Communication from businesses to communities is essential to gaining revenue production in any industry. Having an excellent blog and community page is a great start to having your own fan base. With Google releasing Panda 4.0, great content is of the utmost importance because that is what determines your result rankings. Unique lifestyle and industry information that is also engaging will raise your Google rankings and result in higher website traffic.
Having an online presence is essential to gaining revenue. Increasingly, shoppers are looking to online vendors for their household and business needs. It will be important to market directly to the needs of these individuals as more sales move online.
Virtue Marketing offers the services you need to drive sales higher than ever before. Send us an email whenever you are ready to improve your search engine ranking!