Build A Buying Audience
Strategic content marketing for competitive advantage
Ambitious brand marketers share a central challenge: it feels as though we’re in less control and have less certainty of ROI than ever before — despite more ways to connect with our audience. The general approach to marketing remains a broadcast mind-set, whether it’s through TV, print or digital advertising — programatic and retargeting advertising is pure sales promotion and, for all but a minority of shoppers on any given day, it moves us further away from connecting with real people at a time when we need to be closer than we’ve ever been.
“Everyone has their face toward the chief executive and their ass toward the customer”
Jack Welch, CEO GE (1981-2001)
To still label people as consumers is symptomatic of our mind-set; people as units of demand or passive recipients. This mind-set is folly at a time of audience-empowerment and an abundance of choice in where to spend their attention and is counter-intuitive to driving deeper more profitable, longer lasting consumer relationships.
Own your audience: hold more attention, more of the time
All brands, to a greater or lesser extent, share this challenge and the solution requires brands leverage digital as a means to connect with more of their audience, more of the time, across and outside of the buy-cycle. To be relevant through playing a natural, active role in and for the whole audience. This is markedly different to sales promoting at a target market.
“What is scarce in all of this abundance is human attention”
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Instead of brands actively ignoring future customers by way of focussing on sales promotion today — the ‘3% conversion’ of todays shoppers above all else — a huge opportunity presents itself in the remaining 97%. Their context is different, but these people are unquestionably potential future shoppers, possible customers and perhaps even brand supporters. So why are they largely ignored, after the cost of gaining their early attention?
Through understanding them, there’s a compelling potential to hold their attention longer by extending the audience experience through strategic content marketing, an opportunity to earn deeper data capture and build a proprietary audience, a buying audience, as an owned media asset. Surely owned media is an imperative in the future of marketing?
Build A Buying Audience™ and engineer brand demand
First 10’s proprietary marketing model, BABA™, is designed to simplify the concepts behind the importance of owned media and strategic content marketing – the two cornerstones to personalisation. It helps, we hope, brands to make their own version specific to both audience and commercial goals.
Seekers, subscribers, shoppers and supporters…
The buying audience appears primarily as a steady stream of new or returning anonymous seekers, browsers and searchers. Their levels of brand awareness, brand trust and purchase intent vary drastically, yet early data capture — behavioural and explicit — enables follow up to serve them in the right context. Our opportunity is to serve and get out of the way, to enable seekers to shop if that’s what they want (the 3%), or inspire subscription in the remaining majority (97%). Audience permission is the gateway to holding a greater share of attention.
Relevant, personalised content is the audience’s base expectation created at sign-up. Forget bland one-size emails, the role of the brand is to keep communication convenient, multi-channel and contextual – or risk the revoking of permission or worse, simply being ignored. Greater relevance of the content experience is the differentiator: Right content; right person; right context via the right channel – for each audience type.
The serving of brand supporters is perhaps increasingly the most interesting and ignored, even by global brands running huge digital experience programmes. So few brands seem to invest resources to create big brand initiatives that exist only to fuel what their audience is passionate about in life and to help them enjoy more of what they already love. Perhaps that’s why Red Bull remains in the mystical space of brand publisher extraordinaire.
BABA™ is competitive advantage
The brand win is ultimately competitive advantage: through building a distinct, owned media brand platform; and enabling direct, access to a proprietary owned audience.
More tangibly, this advantage unlocks:
- A holistic view of conversion rate optimisation (CRO) due to the consideration for the whole buy cycle, and a greater appreciation of long buy cycles
- Evergreen customer and audience data – deep, repeatable data collection across all audience types generates insight that leads to greater understanding and certainty in decision making
- Marketing that delivers incremental behaviour change, through a shift from campaign to always on publishing and communication
Through changing mind-set, being close to the consumer has never been easier or cheaper, and that insight-based decision making never as accessible to much smaller brand budgets. It’s time to cut the noise and inspire valuable, purposeful consumer interaction.
Keen to make your marketing matter?
It’s what First 10 do – we make marketing that is contextually relevant and as a result consumed voluntarily, more of the time. Marketing spend that’s sustainable, cumulative and focussed on ROI.