BtoB marketing is a discipline that constantly reinvents itself, because it follows the will of companies to innovate to differentiate themselves from the competition. One of the main objectives of BtoB marketing is public loyalty. This is what community-based marketing aims to achieve.
Community-based marketing is an approach that consists of identifying groups who share an interest in a common theme and sending them a specific message. The element that differentiates these communities from traditional marketing segmentations comes from expectations and behaviors that can be very different. Indeed, communities come together more around the desire for exchanges and encounters around shared centers of interest.
Today, companies can create dedicated spaces for these communities, to provide them with premium content (videos, articles, webinars, etc.) and offer opportunities for qualitative exchange, in a 100% dedicated to the brand. With this approach, the brand creates an exclusive status within a community of select members. A very effective marketing lever.
The community: a virtuous circle of exchange between the company and its public
Integrating communities into a marketing strategy creates trust between members and brands, benefiting both parties. The audience gets a personalized digital experience that brings them value, both in terms of content and professional encounters. The company, on the other hand, obtains precise data on its members in exchange, data that allows it to better qualify, understand and retain its audience. It is therefore a virtuous circle based on a win-win relationship that is established.
The community as a vector of fidelity
The cost of acquiring a new customer is on average five times higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer. Strengthening the feeling of attachment to one’s brand and retaining its current customers are therefore key objectives of the marketer.
The organization of member communities offers brands the opportunity to interact with their audiences all year round, without place or time constraints and at their request. Community members find the opportunity to train or learn about a topic that interests them, as well as the prospect of exchanges with peers. The premium and privileged aspect of belonging to a community further increases the satisfaction that the member derives from it. As American Express said in the 1990s, “Membership has its privileges. “
Furthermore, with the animation of the communities, the brands maintain an open dialogue all year round with their audience. The classic marketing strategies for audience retention are often based on the organization of events. But temporality is different, and this is the fundamental difference between events and communities: the event is, by its nature, occasional, with a beginning and an end; the community is permanent and on demand. Animating its communities on a dedicated site generates exchanges between the company and the public in a company-controlled environment. It is not a generalist social network that belongs to someone else.
The digital space of the community is in the colors of the brand, at its URL, with the content it chooses and the moderation it desires. Data on what is happening in the community can be collected and analyzed by the company, which is a valuable source of information. Finally, for the member, the community can be a space in which to express themselves and contribute, something that is precious both for the member and for the company, which will be able to listen to them.
A significant example of community-based marketing is that of software publishers, who can use online customer communities to collect ideas from their customers and then develop their products. Users feel heard and appreciated, publishers can develop their roadmap as close as possible to market expectations.
All of these elements naturally bring the brand closer to its audience, fostering strong attachment and creating a feeling of exclusivity that strengthens customer loyalty.
Article proposed by François Floribert, CEO of inwink