Guest blogger Steven Matsumoto, CEO of Stigmare, Inc., brings a social media perspective to brand development and customer loyalty.
It did not take professional marketers and brand managers very long to realize the power that Social Media wields in regard to influencing consumer purchase intent and galvanize their loyal brand base. After all a company may develop a brand and determine its brand values, but it is truly the consumer that breaths the fire of life into a brand. Once the brand is released into the ether of the universe the consumer is in control and the best a company can hope to do is manage their brand at that point.
This is where Social Media, or Engagement Media as I prefer to call it as all media is social in nature, comes into play. Take a look at the Consumer Purchase Decision Process diagram below.
Really read the bullet points below each step. Verbiage such as forums, netizines, e-fluencers and online community are used. Look a little closer, this diagram was published in 2001 in the Principles of Marketing. In other words, don’t let all the fancy catch phrases detract from the fact that consumers have been engaging with your brand, and being influenced by online third parties long before Twitter and Facebook.
Word of Mouth has always been the best form of advertising there is because it generally comes from someone the consumer believes to be a trusted source. What these Engagement Media platforms do is allow that word of mouth to travel globally to a mass audience of Friends or Followers in seconds. Understanding this you can monitor and engage at will. This will humanize your brand in the process while turning detractors into advocates, and advocates into Brand Ambassadors.