The media landscape is changing at a rapid rate and businesses have to adapt to keep up. Today the most successful brands are connecting to consumers in experience-based and collaborative ways.
A similar approach applies to advertising which has shifted from outbound – TV, magazine, billboard and pop-up digital advertising – to inbound which focuses on drawing customers through relevant and value-adding content. This reverse approach comes from the myriad of information and platforms instantly available allowing consumers choose when and where they receive content. It’s the reason why Tourism Australia’s recent $36 million ad aired at the American Super Ball was seen as unusual.
While most travel brands around the world are doing targeted online advertising, Tourism Australia reverted back to a cinematic-style ad as part of a $15 million partnership deal with NBC. Time will tell whether it was cost-effective, but what if even a portion of that spend was put into collaborations with local travel and tech companies to create new ways of capturing audience reach? Compare this to TA’s Best Job in the World Campaign which broke new ground in creative marketing and attracted over 620,000 applications in six weeks.
This is a large-scale example, but in the marketing world, everything is about collaboration and experiences instead of broadcasting a mass sales pitch. There are over 1 billion websites and without standing out, you will blend in. So, why do certain brands make you feel bad when you purchase from the competition? While quality is essential, it isn’t enough.
1. Successful brands give their customers an experience
Emily and Sarah Hamilton are the sisters behind Australian subscription service Bellabox and skincare start-up Sand & Sky which sold its first 60,000 units in three months flat. Bellabox recently crossed the $1 million mark and went from shipping 50 boxes in the first thirty days to many thousands. At the heart of Bellabox is an experience – each month customers unwrap a beauty box containing 5+ beauty samples to try at home in comfort. It lets them keep across the latest trends and recreate the latest looks while creating a sense of anticipation and surprise. If they loved what they sampled, they can purchase it in Bellabox’s online shop.
2. Create emotional connections
Airbnb creates an emotional tie through trust and respect and Starbucks has created a sense of community outside of home and work. These emotional connections are underpinned by a sense of community which shouldn’t be underestimated.
3. And they are real and honest
The creators of Bellabox attribute all natural ingredients to their second label Sand & Sky that’s creating buzz on social and selling fast – at one point they had a 2,000 waitlist. Sand & Sky, a face mask made from Australian clay promises instant results from completely natural ingredients at a cost-effective price. They are honest not just in the ingredients but what they promise that’s bolstered through positive reviews. Companies can no longer afford to create corporate distrust in a transparent digital space – honest and efficient brands stand out.
4. They leverage off influencers
Sand & Sky then garnered huge momentum from influencers who they enlisted to spread the word on their platforms. Of course not all brands have the budget to engage influencers, but they can always collaborate with other brands to reach new markets. Being mentioned on a social platform can skyrocket your following like it did for Spell Designs. Work on other marketing avenues like blogging and hosting inclusive events – no business exists in isolation.
5. And encourage user-generated content
Frank is another Australian ecommerce retailer selling exfoliating coffee scrub fast. They tick the boxes of natural, instant and cost-effective, but also leverage off user generated content through their community of unpaid brand ambassadors. Customers hashtag photos of Frank and the brand posts select pictures to their 700K Instagram followers. It does this off the back of its strong brand identity, clever marketing and captivating video and influencer content.
6. Test and measure everything
If you can’t measure the effectiveness of marketing, don’t do it. Measure every inch of marketing and sales activity – from website visits and campaign click-throughs to conversions and comparisons.Then refine and repeat.