Days in our life seem like a storm; we wish that a day passes without hurting us and we are able to grab the opportunities the storm brings along. Our preparations to face a new day often become inadequate and many a time we are left surprised grappling with the uncertainties.
A competitor comes up with a new trick, supply chain springs up a surprise, a key resource comes up with an absurd demand, some new regulation has to be complied with or a new tool comes up that presents an opportunity to increase efficiency and at the same time, could disrupt many things in the system. We hope, these situations do not come our way, but they do appear every now and then! We never can wish the storm away and get a quiet environment.
Someone has said, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it is about learning to dance in the rain.”
Brave the Rain
Companies and their leaders are facing dynamic situations in the market. Consumer tastes and preferences have been evolving faster than ever before. Segments of the market are behaving differently. The carpet-bombing approach of advertising in mass media is showing low returns on investments (ROI). While new methods such as social media advertising and influencer marketing are better targeted than mass media advertising, still the ROI is below expectations.
The followers targeted in the process do not convert enough into sales because the followers know that a post or an event is promoted in exchange of a sponsorship amount. Sometimes the targeting parameters on social media are not sharp enough. Artificial intelligence and analytics have surely added strength to the social media analytics, yet they are not able to influence the buyers to buy or recommend the product or service.
We have to change our perspectives of the market and get the rain in.
Micro-influencers have a small set of followers compared to celebrities and stars; however, their followers find them genuine and sincere. They present their personal experiences and showcase methods in their posts. These messages come in multiple formats such as blogs, vlogs, and emails in a range of channels starting from social media, networking sites, company emails and special-interest media platforms.
Micro-influencers are able to instil trust and confidence among their followers. Secondly, the messaging can be quite focused and customised depending upon the interests and behaviours of the group of followers. The investments of marketing dollars on micro influencers give good ROI since the cost involved is comparatively lesser than celebrity endorsements or mass media advertising; secondly, the messages are focused and the audience finds a high degree of authenticity in the messaging, thus giving rise to a high degree of conversion into a sale.
What about the challenges?
We have to choose the micro-influencers carefully and engage with many of them unlike the case of using a celebrity and working with their media managers. Tracking the impact of the investments made on each micro-influencer calls for rigorous execution.
Influencer marketing is not only about sales but also for branding, attracting talent to a brand, adding new business partners to enrich the supply chain or engaging the local communities. Micro-influencers can be deployed for any of these objectives to generate responses from a micro-market. We need meticulous planning and rigorous execution to get the best out of our marketing efforts.
I like a quote by Isaac Asimov: “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, else the light won’t come in.” so, we must challenge ourselves by questioning our assumptions and changing the direction as required.