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If there’s anything advertising in the past ten years has taught us, it’s that brand attention is no longer a given. With 100s of different beauty, clothing, technology and software brands taking to the airwaves, consumers are no longer limited to a handful of choices.
So how does any brand stand out in a sea of competitors? That depends on who you ask.
Short-Term Growth vs. Long-Term Loyalty
According to Forbes, social marketing positions are expected to grow a combined 19% by 2024, right alongside software developers at 17%. Every day a new “guru” or “maven” is born, claiming ways to “hack” social visibility via data workarounds or trend prediction. To a large degree those claims are valid—it’s possible to create predictive content based on data trends or paid promotion. But data, like any other indicator, is fickle.
Alone, data would say that web ad spending—which reached $300 million in the mid-1990s, and crashed in the “dot-bomb” soon after—would eventually die out. Instead, it’s since grown to surpass TV ad spending with a whopping $72.09 billion reported in 2016.
Demographic tracking, CPMs and PPCs are powerful tools in the advertising tacklebox. They help inform campaigns, suggest new breakthrough markets for product development, and can grow a brand exponentially. But those benefits only happen with a holistic, top-down approach to the problem of consumer attention.
Growth hacking can be effective (even necessary) on occasion. But its benefits are usually short-lived—a drastic increase in followers or search appearances—with little measurement of long term impact.
What is Loyalty?
Longterm impact is another of those areas that has several meanings to several people. For many brands, it’s repeat buys of a product; for others, it’s a core group of constant engagers or ambassadors for social channels. To us, it’s simple: a group of people who have a vested interest in a brand’s products, channels, and vision. While that might not translate to direct product sales on every campaign, this loyalty is a critical factor in brand longevity.
After all, core audiences are hard-earned but demonstrate predictable buying patterns, even in an environment with infinite choice.
The strategy for finding this group of vested people switches from brand to brand, but there are certain factors to consider for every brand: demographics, values, and distribution channels. Interested in how each of these factors impact brand strategy?
Over the next few weeks we’ll be diving into each area with tips and insights on how to supercharge your brand.