This recession is testing the tenacity of marketers. Appeasing key people within any business is tricky at the best of times but some might say this is the worst. With so much at stake and so little to play with, selling ideas internally has suddenly become very challenging.
I attended the IBDG Marketing Forum recently and during one of the many round table discussions that I sat at, this problem came up. I was reassured to hear that the situation is common within the industry, where marketing is always having to justify itself harder than other parts of the business. Of course it can be accountable, building in direct calls to action, measuring footfall and online stats etc but when it comes to pure experiential ideas i.e. events that drive you into the hearts and minds of your customer, how can you measure how much someone loves your brand, or how much they might talk about your brand as a result? Everyone knows the integrity derived from word of mouth, but how long does it take to work and how do you explain this in figures? It’s a long term strategy in an environment where we simply haven’t got the time.
Keith Abraham’s ‘Seven Points of Contact Philosophy’ predicts that it takes seven positive hits with a customer before they trust you enough to buy. Or as he puts it ‘seven deposits into their emotional bank account before they will make any deposits into your financial bank account’ Nicely put Mr Abraham. He is referring specifically to the service selling experience. However, I would argue that any kind of brand contact is all part of the same thing and perhaps in a marketing sense, it might go something like this: -
- you see a friend wearing a brand and looking cool,
- you notice a great advert,
- you see some editorial in a magazine you respect,
- you see a stylish celebrity wearing the brand,
- you happen to surf the brand website and read something that resonates,
- your friend tells you about what a fab time he had at a brand event
- you walk past the shop window on your lunchbreak and it looks good,
- then hey presto, into the shop you go and the sales assistant gives you a big smile.
Assuming that your product, pricepoints, merchandising and service are all in check. If then we add another two touchpoints to counteract the fact that customers are choosier with their diminishing disposable income, it leaves an updated version of the idea ’ The 200….9 Points of Contact Philosophy’