In some parts of the world few businesses have actually attempted to tap into the possibilities in community marketing- a concept of marketing targeting members of various communities (virtual and physical) in an effort to bond them with the particular firm and its business offerings. Community marketing removes the distance factor and brings a business brand closer to prospective customers. More on that later.
Community Marketing In contrast to Wasteful Advertising; Advertising unfortunately in most quarters is seen as just the use of radio jingles, 30 second mini TV dramas that have no bearing whatsoever on what the viewer really thinks of the company and its products. Advertising is that and much more. Advertising has been a reliable way of pushing the products and services of businesses to the consciousness of prospective buyers. But Advertising becomes wasteful when, it in no way, breaks through the cluster of hundreds of advertising messages an average consuming adult gets each day.
The advertising platform is crowded and this means that companies have to increasingly become more creative to ensure the ads produced with millions grab the attention of consumers and make an impression on them. Business executives also have to, from the onset, determine the purpose of every advertising campaign. It’s confusing and senseless when an ad does not have any apparent objective it should set out to attain. Effective Advertising will be a topic for another day.
The Image of the Company Next Door
A bank once pushed a campaign of “Your Bank Next Door” and many consumers were not in the least impressed with the advertising campaign because in essence they failed to actually see that particular bank in the light it was projecting itself.
Community marketing embodies the concept of the company next door. It is no longer a question of putting up structures at every street corner needed or not. That bank didn’t need to do that. With the technology and internet development of the 21st century, community marketing has never been so boundless. Community marketing doesn’t encourage capital intensive expenditure like having to erect customer service centers in every street, opening new branches in every neighbourhood.
Community marketing is about bringing the whole concept of the company and its products home closer to the intended consumers. It is using a combination of subtle and consumer friendly ways to push the consciousness of your company into the average prospective customer. Community marketing is a boundless concept and not a rigid form or type of marketing. See it rather as a marketing concept that cuts across many traditional and new media forms of marketing. In community marketing the company continues to expand the possibilities of reaching out to the customers’ need on a close and personal level that leaves a lasting impression which in turn promotes stick ability of the customer to your brand offering.
Reaching Out To Your Immediate Community Cost-effectively
Your company’s immediate community is in context the state or region of target. In reaching to your prospective consumers the company has to exploit the opportunities in the internet and new technology. This piece is not meant to give ready made ideas but to incite the mind’s creativity. What opportunities are available through social media? What about company bloggers? Can an innovative approach be used to push the brand further into a particular community’s consciousness by identifying such community’s needs and aspirations and positioning in line with that?
Several companies have of late involved in efforts aimed at raising brand awareness in various communities but didn’t achieve much impact except create spectacle for passersby that are quickly forgotten when the stress of the day takes on such customers. Innovative companies can do more to create strong bonds at both individual and community levels by properly tapping into community passions and desires.
Before commencing on the next brand building initiative the company should do well to set a goal or list of direct and indirect goals it hopes to achieve with such campaigns or initiatives. This article is a call to think. Have you started thinking?