Just as you’d never consider not having a website, precision marketing is fast becoming a staple of digital marketing – and it’s one you don’t want to ignore. Here’s why.
The whys and wherefores
Digital and social media marketing merely provide the “where” for your marketing campaigns to occur. But it’s not enough to simply post to digital channels. Your posting has to be precisely calculated – targeted to the right audience, with the right message, at the right time – or it doesn’t stand much chance of engaging the consumers you hope to reach.
To connect with these targets, you’ve got to speak to more than your brand’s attributes – you’ve got to clearly communicate why they should care. But it’s not about your reasons why – it’s about answering their reasons why.
Doing so requires a bit of sleuthing with social media listening tools designed to go further than the demographic boundaries of old. And it’s super important.
Because consumers have nearly endless options now, they can – and do – easily disengage when brands offer messaging that doesn’t matter to them. One wrong move by even the most established brands opens the door for competitors and challenger brands vying for the same audience’s attention to pounce.
So what are the right moves then?
The right stuff
First, all messaging needs to be rooted in true human insight. There’s no wiggle room – or need – for guessing or assumptions. Whatever your brand puts out must be informed by deep social listening, with an awareness of current, real-time trends, and actual consumer conversations.
Additionally, all brands must be prepared to offer multiple, individually targeted messages for the various segments of their audience – the right message for the right person. It’s not about “women aged 25-54” or “parents” anymore. Social audiences are complex and diverse, with distinct concerns and passions. Speaking broadly to one segment of them puts all the rest off – and sends them searching for a brand that understands their unique wants and desires.
The good news is all the information you need exists in the social realm. Once you cultivate it, you can offer up the right conversation to the right person, at the right place and right time.
These last two bits matter just as much as targeting the right consumer. What consumers care about in the morning – like where to grab a healthy breakfast, or the perfect cup of coffee – differs from what they’re looking for in the evening – like meal planning or challenges getting the kids to bed.
Considering the timeliness of your messaging improves the effectiveness of your marketing. As does the channel your message is offered on, and the content itself.
Finally, it’s crucial to track the right measurements – both to tie back to larger KPIs, but also to allow for quick course correction to ensure marketing dollars are being used efficiently.
Speaking of marketing dollars, these strategies aren’t limited to national brands with unlimited budgets. Challenger brands can apply these tactics to gain traction quickly while staying lean – especially against any established brands sticking to more traditional approaches.
For their part, established brands should take advantage of the chance to go deeper with existing audiences – becoming more precise in their targeting, and building stronger connections – to ward off challenger brands looking for an opening.
A juicy argument for precision marketing
To see this in action, here’s how UK beverage company Britvic put precision marketing to work to introduce Fruit Shoot, their children’s juice brand, to an American audience. The challenges Britvic – and their agency Critical Mass/Zócalo – had were as follows:
- Although Fruit Shoot is a major European brand, they’re a challenger brand in the US. With brands like Kool-Aid and Capri Sun dominating paid, owned and earned conversations, how could they break in?
- Without the budget to go after all moms, how could they maximize their ad spend to reach the right moms, with the right message, in the right place, at the right time?
Precision marketing is the answer. Britvic and Zócalo used consumer profiling to unearth 3 key insights on what they termed the “moveable mom.” This was a mom who is:
- 25% more active on social media
- 30% more likely to see and act upon recommendations from friends/family
- Has children between the ages of 4-14
- Willing to try new brands, not typically buying organic, and less likely to dismiss foods because of their ingredients
- More than 98% more likely to use mobile devices to learn more about the product
These insights gave Britvic the direction they needed to put their working media where it would best impact their bottom line. But targeting isn’t the end of the process. Ads and content must align with these parameters. With Zócalo’s help they wanted to efficiently turn these insights into action. They identified 5 million of the most receptive moms on Facebook – based on their research – to target.
Britvic already knew lots of consumers look past the juice category completely due to dislike of artificial sweeteners, but they wanted to know what other concerns their “moveable moms” had, as well as inform them of their ingredients to bypass the first obstacle. However, focusing on formula in their messaging – no added sugar, artificial sweeteners, etc. – didn’t have their target moms warming up to them.
This is an important discovery for all brands: Any assumptions about what consumers want from you is bound to be wrong. Or, even if it’s right, your approach and messaging may be off-putting. This is why social listening matters so much. This is how Britvic discovered the importance of the “why.”
The “why” is what got conversation going with influencers, and answering questions like “Why is this product right for my kids” or “Why do I want to reward my kids with this?” That was when sentiment and passion increased for Fruit Shoot.
The power of influencers
Influencers are game-changers, as Britvic learned. They smartly courted and used influencers to spread awareness of Fruit Shoot, which made all the difference for them. They used 30 ethnically diverse influencers from across the country to offer the mom-to-mom story that matters so much to younger moms especially – who don’t trust traditional advertising tactics.
They also wanted to find new moments of receptivity – to nail that right place/right time moment. This is a great time to employ a tool like Instant Search – to find out what’s driving the passion behind the conversation. Then you keep adjusting until you know you’re driving an action or inspiring a change in attitude.
When Britvic learned that moms identify as givers – it opened the door to the right conversations, with the right content, on the right channels.
They also made an interesting discovery when they saw they didn’t need to talk so much about where to find Fruit Shoot in stores – because their website was doing that job, and consumers were happy to find that information there. What moms on social wanted was something to get excited about with their kids, and to engage with influencers in a more thematic and personal way – so that’s what Britvic gave them.
They created 600 pieces of branded content, and adjusted throughout their campaign, ultimately reaching nearly a million moveable moms, with 80% Net Sentiment. That’s the score that measures positive and negative emotions on a scale from -100 to +100.
Precision in the grand scheme
Britvic is a great example a company using social data in exactly the right way – as a critical part of a multi-layered approach to keeping in touch with consumers. Along with tracking CPG brand health metrics via an outside agency, they use consumer conversations and focus groups to steer assumptions and hypotheses in the right direction.
From there they rely on NetBase and the social space for its live, dynamic insights. They benefit both from the foresight of upcoming trends, as well as hindsight – looking at share of voice and engagement rates from yesterday, last week or last month to guide their actions, precisely, moving forward. This is how they compete as a challenger brand.
For all brands it’s about finding the balance between art and science – getting the right reach with media and paid channels, while being smart with the way you talk to and engage your audiences.
And that’s the takeaway. When you apply insights, precisely, in real-time, you allow consumers to see themselves in your brand – which is what makes them love you and want to share. This is something all brands in all categories can do – from retail to financial services. You can use social media monitoring tools to look at any segment or subset of your audience and dial into what they’re thinking and feeling about anything and everything happening right now, and use that intel to connect with them – quickly, easily, affordably. Has marketing ever been better?
Image from Ravi Shah
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