Are you spending your marketing budget wisely?

Are you spending your marketing budget wisely?

RanSahul Pursway
RanSahul Pursway

Ran Shaul, co-founder of Pursway, on focusing your marketing budget to where it will see most benefit.

Numerous studies all confirm the trend that consumers are increasingly ignoring corporate marketing and relying instead on the experiences and recommendations of friends, family, co-workers, and online peers. Nielsen’s recent Global Online Consumer Survey found that 90% of consumers surveyed said they’d trust recommendations from people they know.

Marketers, understandably, put a lot of energy into identifying their most influential customers; those who are often the first to try new products, have large social networks, and are most vociferous in talking up (or down) their experiences online and offline.

In fact, it is a different subset of customers that truly serves as the everyday influencers, with much greater impact on peer purchase behaviour. These ‘influencers’ are already in your customer base – you just need to pinpoint them and start nurturing your relationship with them.


Needle in a haystack

Firstly, no one said it was going to be easy, but even needles can be found if you use the right tool. When looking for influencers, rocket science is particularly useful!

Traditional CRM programs typically view each consumer in isolation, failing to capture the social sphere that affects their behaviour. A new approach, influencer marketing management (IMM), is beginning to emerge.


Step One – Focus on the influencer

Accurately identifying purchase influencers in the first place is the foundation of the approach. Within your customer base is a group of some 7% to 15% that serve as opinion leaders for each product or service type. Each of these opinion leaders typically influences actual purchase behaviour of three to 10 followers.


Step Two – Focus on transactions

Focus on actual transaction data since that is where real influence happens (and this is where the rocket science comes in). Analysing millions of transactions to uncover patterns of influence is not easy, but it is possible with the right approach and the right algorithms.

For example, two people shopping at the same time in the same store could be a coincidence, but if the same two people also shop at the same time in a different town, you start accumulating evidence for a social connection between them. Once you find enough similar patterns, you can be confident that there is a real social connection between the two shoppers. 

The next step is identifying which is the influencer. Crunch enough data and you can determine influence patterns with extremely high conviction (>99.95%).


Step Three – Focus on the story, not the payoff

When marketing to the influencers, it is important to remember that the more meaningful payoff is in their ability to cause others to follow, not the amount they shell out.

What motivates influencers to tell a good story is related to their emotional connection to the brand. Programs that create positive emotional experiences, such as ‘be the first to know’, high touch personal contact, and early access to new products and services, are far more effective in turning influencers into advocates.


Step Four – Measure what counts

Turning influencer marketing from a soft and fuzzy aspiration into a measurable marketing discipline requires a focus on the metrics that the CMO can take to the boardroom. Counting tweets and ‘followers’ may be an interesting exercise, but what really matters is whether targeting the influencers moves the needle when it comes to top line and bottom line business results. 

By identifying, understanding, and cultivating the energy of its advocates, companies can harness the power of viral marketing, reach customers and prospects that might not otherwise be reached, and strengthen long term customer loyalty.

Pursway is the pioneer and provider of influencer marketing management solutions, empowering consumer-facing organisations to close the gap between how they market and how people buy.

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