THE LAST WORD

THE LAST WORD

By Jamie Matthews

Brands have long understood the power of offering winning experiences to consumers and the rise of social media has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for them, from entry mechanics through to promotion.
But standing out in such a crowded environment isn’t easy, and to get it right the needs of the consumer, brand and retailer all have to be served appropriately.
Consumers want a quick and easy win, brands want to gather consumer data, boost sales and drive advocacy, retailers want exclusive, sales-boosting partnerships.
Brand activations with winning experiences at their core are a brilliant tactic, but successful execution isn’t easy. On paper it may seem easy for brands to target and reach an abundant number of consumers, thanks to the ever-expanding user numbers on social media. To a certain extent that’s true.
But the power on these platforms is in the hands of the consumer, as they choose what content to consume and where. As a result the pressure is building for brands. During the early days of social, a stand-alone plan worked fine, but these days it needs to sit at the heart of, and integrate seamlessly with, wider campaign activity. Appropriately planned and executed competition mechanics are a brilliant way for brands to drive engagement, and sales, but to be successful they need to stand out within the competitive hubbub of social platforms.
Consumers are looking for genuine campaigns that resonate. Younger audiences in particular won’t engage with a brand on social media without first considering what it says about them. Brands need to be aware of an ever widening pool of criteria. Making the assumption that all consumers want to engage with big level campaigns is a dangerous one. That’s where the 1/9/90 rule comes into play. The rule follows the format that only 1 percent of users will actively create content, 9 percent will participate by engaging with content through commenting, rating or sharing and the other 90% will passively watch, view and read without responding. The rule is particularly applicable to winning experiences that rely on and thrive off participation.
The 1/9/90 rule can be used to build on existing strategies and help predict possible outcomes. By asking too much of entrants, you risk a reduction in participant numbers. It’s all about balance and ensuring the level of participation you’re asking for is appropriate to the type of audiences you are seeking to engage. For example, a winner who simply liked something is very different to one who proactively created and uploaded content for a chance to enter. It pays to treat different groups appropriately, propensity to participate is important.
There will always be consumers out there wanting to win. Brands just need to ensure the winning experiences they create are high-quality and engaging enough to cut through a crowded marketplace and engage time-poor consumers with ever decreasing attention spans.
For brand marketers looking to drive sales and consumer loyalty, particularly in the FMCG sector, there needs to be a full commitment to creating truly winning experiences. Starting with collective objectives and then working outwards, carefully balancing the needs of brands, retailers and consumers, will ensure
everyone is a winner in the end.

Stephanie Cornwall
ADMINISTRATOR
PROFILE