Monday, August 4, 2014

Importance of Community in Marketing

It is a fundamental need as well as a luxury to belong to a community. Through the divergence of social media, community marketing or belonging to a community has become a lot easier. Initially people receive community support from home starting from their family and friends and slowly it gets dispersed by including the people a company is targeting for providing service.

What is Community Marketing?


Community marketing is quite similar to local area marketing where the only difference stays is that the first one comprise of global scale. It is a strategic approach to educate customers interactively about certain brands and develop a community of existing and new customers. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have eased up this process where the members in the community get live interaction opportunity with each other as well as the concerning company. Unlike all other types of marketing, a one-to-one interaction is possible here whenever it is required and thus the companies get an opportunity to make their client feel important. According to Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, acquiring a new customer is five to six times more expensive than retaining an existing one and thus more focus is needed to give on customer retention approach. The rule of thumb for the best marketing approach to this day suggests to focus on meeting the needs of current customers so that businesses can avoid the expenditure on advertising and all to attract new customers.

As history suggests, some of the world’s pioneer brands were originally developed through low-cost community-based marketing like Amazon, Starbucks, Nike, Coca Cola and it goes on. Their primary target was to stay as close as possible to their targeted community and thus they never needed and extensive market research to tell them what people want.

A good example could be Kiehl, a supreme body-care product makers adored by the models and the elites. People around the world would come to New York City to visit their store for the original product. Now this is what we know as L’Oreal and their packaging has always been plain; even its stores are basic since its establishment. Their success was driven by the products that were tailored to customers’ needs. The constant research and upgrade of their products, complimentary in-store product trials and the personal affiliations have kept this brand to form a strong and active community that stands even to this day.

Community Develops Loyalty and Maintains Authenticity 

The human minds are pre-programmed with certain characteristics. The chief among these are felling understood and privileged and these needs are often met through clubs communities and families. When the companies started focusing on individual customers- reaching out the existing customers or motivating a new one has been a powerful impact that forges emotional attachment. An establishment of a new community makes people feel kindred and when an existing community is strengthened, people once felt rationalized now feel privileged.

Community brands are mostly persistent as they’re regularly adapting to the changing clients’ interests and values. The best idea generating source of growth and innovation is actually the passionate brand community. If we consider all the world leading consumer brands, within each of those businesses, new products, services & features and ways of marketing were initialized through a continuous flow of ideas coming from the grassroots.

In a nutshell, community drives innovation and supports natural reinvention.

Apart from this, certain community groups has helped people to meet their desired businesses. Some of these groups also arrange fundraising approach within their members to host local events or for a good cause. In other words, ”community” has a very strong stance in today’s world and should be considered an important aspect of business.