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Communities as a marketing tool


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How to build and use communities as a marketing tool and what's the difference between an audience and a community. Real world case studies of how community management changed the game...

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Communities as a marketing tool

  1. 1. Online Communities as a Marketing Tool Elinor Cohen, December 2015
  2. 2. About me • Engagement Strategist working with B2B a& B2C brands globally • Gamer & Gaming Community Manager • Consulting start-up companies & Incubators on Community • Development and Management • Passionate about all things content, people and meaningful permission marketing
  3. 3. Marketing has changed, because people became more involved…
  4. 4. Traditional media / marketing • Top-down approach: craft message and push it to the audience • Metric: Reach / Frequency – how many times was my message shown? • Communication: One way. • Audience: Passive
  5. 5. In comes the New/Social media… Any medium, digital or other, which allows people to communicate and share.
  6. 6. Tribes are the new “audiences”
  7. 7. New marketing is therefore… • Bottom –up approach: listen, craft your message, respond & engage. • Metric: Engagement / Brand Authority • Communication: Two way • Community: Active
  8. 8. But how we do go from this:
  9. 9. To this:
  10. 10. We build communities!
  11. 11. Why do we even need this “headache”?!
  12. 12. Community Management is in fact Permission Marketing Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. (Seth Godin)
  13. 13. Every brand has communities, whose power it can harness to drive growth.
  14. 14. The Many Communities of any Organization
  15. 15. Some of the benefits of having a good community • Free advertising - online evangelists • Brand reputation support – help in crisis management • Free QA – real time feedback • A wealth of new ideas. Features and extensions = continuous business growth…
  16. 16. So...How do you turn a group of people into a community?
  17. 17. A community is... A group of people who are united around a shared cause / interest / goal / challenge. They are: ★Active ★Involved ★Supportive
  18. 18. To build a community you need to do 2 things: Make the community members realize they share something
  19. 19. To build a community you need to do 2 things: Open 2-way communication channels
  20. 20. Community Management is all about communication Listening & communicating with your communities can and should be done on any channel that best serves the community. This means: ★ Real world (offline) ★ Intranet ★ Collaboration platforms ★ Social Media ★ Blog ★ and more...
  21. 21. The Magic of marketing with/to a community
  22. 22. Real world Case Studies
  23. 23. Hardware company • Pre-community status: Client has good media coverage, lots of people are interested and buy. • Challenge: However, the client fails to deliver the product (due to various reasons beyond the clients' control). The customers are mad, cancellation requests pour in. • Community Management: As a community manager I talk to each of them, I listen to their complaints, I re-assure, check their order status, make sure the company is aware, see that proper compensation is offered for the delays. • Result: most cancellations do not go through. Customers agree to wait and even thank us for the "service".
  24. 24. Tourism: Holiday Apartments in Italy • Pre-community status: Sporadic (very few) bookings, less and less bookings every year, no returning guests. • Challenge: Client’s website was not indexed on Google, no social media/community channels, replies to inquiries were slow and in poor English. • Community Management: Rebuilt the website and set up online presence on social media and tourism indexes (TripAdvisor, Booking etc.). Gathered testimonials from past guests and got them to come back, replying to each inquiry almost immediately, in correct English or the guests’ native language. • Result: Fully booked in summer, added a new property, winter bookings in 2015 / 2016 and returning guests.
  25. 25. Medical Device: life saving solution • Pre-community status: product is a fall prevention solution (the only one in the world). Website is old, no social media presence, no one knows about it. • Challenge: Client has prototype and requires investment to commercialize. • Community Management: Rebuilt the website and set up online presence on social media. Launched a crowd funding campaign, got media coverage and a community of enthusiasts waiting for the product. • Result: Advanced negotiations with investors who got to us through the site. A large (several hundreds) database of interested clients & distributors waiting for the product. 3-5 email inquiries every day, even though the campaign ended over a year ago.
  26. 26. To Sum up • Any brand deals with people eventually. • These people can be united as communities. • Any brand has more than one community. • Careful planning of your community communication promotes dedication and loyalty. • Dedicated communities become brand advocates and drive growth.
  27. 27. Thank you Elinor Cohen, October 2015