Grassroot Efforts Provide Meaning
There is a lot of discussion now about the power of your friends online. They have the ability to recommend products, services, websites and even other friends. But how much do we trust those recommendations? Most of these people are not in our lives everyday.
So even though we are living “connected” lives it is the people who we see the most that really influence our decisions. Our colleagues at work, our spiritual leaders, teachers in the schools, the folks in our neighborhoods and our friends we actually see and communicate with beyond status updates.
As a marketer of a healthy product where do you have the greatest opportunity to actually influence the decision of your target audience? In the end you must go where your audience is—in their community. When used effectively, the power of real world influence trumps any online rating that your customers see. Want to know whether to try that new beverage with a fantastic health claim—trust 5,000 Yahoo reviews or your friend you are having dinner with? Found a great vendor at the farmer’s market—do you tweet it or do you talk about it at your next PTA meeting? Has your local supermarket developed a great way for you to save money and stay healthy—do your friends on Facebook or your next door neighbors care more?
For the most part we are all socially driven beings looking to make connections with one another, which is why social media has been so fantastic—it allows us to do it quickly and easily. But there we trade broad reach for shallowness and brief interactions in the form of 140 character updates, 250 word blog posts and obtuse status updates. To generate greater connectivity with a brand look to a grassroots effort in your community where people can see it, touch it, and look into the eyes of their friends and believe what they are hearing. There are lots of people out there right now who are using your brand and are looking for a reason to tell their friends, colleagues and constituents.