5 Levels of Community Marketing and Why Marketers Still Don’t Get It

Last year, I interviewed Bernard Cova , the author of a founding book on tribal marketing in the 1990s. Here he is again on the radar of marketers who are not afraid of new ideas and should prepare themselves to face the 5 levels of community marketing. I translated and adapted this October 2017 interview. A must-read for all those who are involved, or would wish to be involved in such activities.

Community Marketing: from marginal to mainstream

community marketing

Your latest book* clearly goes further than the 2009 Neo Marketing (a new edition based on the 1992 best-seller). It poses the question: “Have brands become unavoidable in our lives?”

Brands have moved beyond mere market value and they have become embedded in our social lives. You can look at the life of brands without ever being interested in marketing or selling products or services and that’s what I do in these 200 page-book [editor’s note: this book is only available in French at this time].

Brands have moved beyond mere market value and they have become embedded in our social lives - Bernard Cova #brandingClick To Tweet

In this book, I demonstrate, for example, that we can no longer name certain things without using brands as verbs. We are “skyping” or “googling” or “Twittering”… etc. I also show, matter-of-factly, how communities are built around a passion for brands that go so far as to organize brand celebrations.

*editor’s note: this book “the social life of brands” has not yet been translated into English

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Social Selling: learning from worst practices

Is Social Selling utter nonsense? Let’s save time for our readers, the answer is a resounding no’. What is nonsense, however, is the claim, voiced by some ’experts’, that one may just have to sit behind a computer to sell more. Here I have investigated this matter in the light of my field practice of both selling and social selling. 

Social Selling
The infamous Glengarry Glen Ross ’ABC-Always Be Closing’ sequence

I have had a Social Selling itch for a long time

When so many people are touting the benefits of social selling and businesses are changing their habits to accommodate new trends, there is always a risk that the trend becomes a fad and that all reason is lost. 

This is why, I have long wanted to answer the above question on this blog, and I decided to do it (disclosure) as part of an engagement with our client Touch & Sell. Here is an introduction and an English version of my blog post.  Read more

Permission Marketing: Give Consumers What They Really Want

What is Permission Marketing?

Nowadays, consumers come into contact with at least 10,000 different forms of advertisement on a daily basis. Marketers face the challenge of breaking through this information overload. An effective way to do so is by creating strong customer relations through permission marketing.

Permission marketing is a phrase coined by author Seth Godin.  He defines it as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages to people who want to get them.” Companies often advertise as if they have the right to promote their products/services. The irrelevant information shared by those companies tends to decrease the effectiveness of the advertisement.

In 1998,  William C. Taylor, founder of the business magazine, “The Fast Company,” shared: “Seth Godin and his colleagues are working to persuade some of the most powerful companies in the world to reinvent how they relate to their customers. His argument is as stark as it is radical: Advertising just doesn’t work as well as it used to — in part because there’s so much of it, in part because people have learned to ignore it, in part because the rise of the Net means that companies can go beyond it.” 

permission marketing
The dangers of interruption marketing shown through 2012 statistics.

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Click and Mortar: Is this the Future of Retail Marketing?

Have you ever shopped online and wished that you could physically see or feel an item? Have you ever shopped at a store and wished that the associate could understand precisely what you wanted? Companies are now moving in a direction in which both of these needs, and more, could be met. Businesses need the combination of digital and physical marketing to thrive in today’s competitive market. It is for this reason that the convergence of bricks and mortar into digital is one of the most significant marketing trends today. This integration of offline (bricks) and online (clicks) is referred to as “click and mortar.”

Click and Mortar

The overall idea of the trend is to track consumer habits more closely to provide companies with information, and eventually sales, on products that behavioral data suggests an individual would want to buy. The marketing trend benefits firms while also enhancing a consumer’s overall retail experience. Improving the consumer experience helps a company to establish a positive brand image in a competitive market.

Click and Mortar
All aboard the newest marketing trend: the convergence of bricks and clicks.

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Digital Marketing: What is at stake for B2B companies?

A friend of mine is working in the marketing department of a medium sized B2B industrial company. The latter has just over 300 employees and operates on a large network of distributors throughout the world. The business is quite flourishing. But things can change. In fact, things are changing very fast today. My friend believes he should board on the digital marketing wave, to increase his company’s visibility on the web: in other words, he wants to develop a strategic presence on social networks. The problem is that he is not really familiar with all the digital concepts. So, he turned to me and asked me for advice.

This lead to a long reflection with him about what digital marketing really is and especially what the benefits can be for him and his business. It is important to understand digital before rushing into it prematurely. Finally, I quickly described to him the different steps that are essential to the success of his “digital marketing” project.

Digital Marketing and B2B: the two make a pair!

Digital marketing is first a matter of trend. To be competitive and innovative it is necessary to stay in the race, and therefore follow the flow.

B2B marketing budgets are shifting to digital and social. Overall, B2B marketing budgets are expected to increase, on average, by about 5% in the coming year. But spending on digital marketing programs is projected to rise three times as fast, and over the next five years, the share of budget dollars dedicated to social media marketing will more than double.”

But digital marketing goes well beyond a simple trend. It has real advantages in B2B.

Digital Marketing advantages

What are the advantages of digital marketing in B2B

Multi-channel: By using multiple channels, digital marketing offers many opportunities (complementary to traditional marketing) and allows users / companies to act at all levels of the purchasing process

Cost-efficiency: Digital marketing is less costly than “traditional” marketing; indeed …Even stalwart traditional marketers know that they cannot compete the Internet’s potential to reach thousands with just a single post”. Printing and shipment costs are not taken into account in digital, this is the advantage of CPC (you pay only when click). Read more