It is no secret that today’s consumers are not what they used to be and that the digital era has brought many new challenges for marketers. Consumers are now more powerful and demanding than ever since they have the ability to find product information and compare brands in a matter of seconds. Communication between companies and customers has shifted away from one-way towards a two-way conversation where consumers want to be heard.
This week’s industry reading “Customer Engagement: The Best of the Best” highlights the importance of listening and knowing your customer to gain their loyalty and mainly focuses on the significance of engaging customers by providing real-time, convenient, and personalised experiences across different channels.
I found very interesting how companies like Lenovo are successfully using social media data and insights to deliver more relevant products and connect with customers through real-time marketing. This drew my attention as what I have perceived from my digital marketing experience is that many businesses still do not know how to use social media. Many companies use social media platforms just as an extension of their advertising efforts or to develop a company’s profile where content is generated daily but with no customer engagement whatsoever.
When looking into social media marketing successful examples, Lenovo’s case reminded me of Chobani and how this brand builds loyalty by engaging customers across its social media channels. Founded over ten years ago, Chobani is now the top yoghurt brand in the United States with a 60 percent of the market share.
So, how a low-involvement product such as Greek yoghurt generates customer engagement and brand loyalty? The following are some marketing strategies the company has used.
- Increasing WOM by encouraging user-generated content:
Chobani created a marketing campaign on social media encouraging consumers to share their “love experience” with the brand by submitting video clips, photographs, and comments.
These stories not only helped in spreading WOM and creating a community of Chobani lovers called “Chobaniacs” but also allowed the brand to engage emotionally with its customers by using their real-life stories as input for advertisements. (Watch the following video about one of their advertisements)
- Using social media for real-time marketing: Every mention of the brand online generates an immediate response from the company. For example, through social media, the company identifies consumers that have never tried the brand and offers them free packages.
- Leveraging the power of social media to connect deeper with their customers: This has enabled the company to know their customers better and get insights for new products. For example, the black cherry flavour was introduced as a result of suggestions from consumers.
According to market research firm SymphonyIRI Group, Chobani is the top brand for brand engagement in its category. It is a clear example of a company where the customer is the core of the business and where channels are integrated to engage consumers in a relevant, convenient and responsive way. Are there other examples you can think of?