Subscribers, Fans, & Followers

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  • 1. INTRODUCTION When reading marketing headlines like those highlighted in the image at left, itseasy to understand why marketers get the impression that email, Facebook,and Twitter are in direct competition for the online consumers attention. And while channels like Facebook and Twitter may compete withone another among advertisers, consumers share a very differentperspective. Ultimately, consumers treat marketers differently than friends, and they want marketing communications torespect those differences.With a short attention span and ability to multi-task,consumers constantly shift their attention from one online communication tool to another. For example, the emails they receive inspire them to Tweet and post to Facebook, and the messages theysee on Facebook and Twitter remind them to email old friends. Consumers communicate freely across these channels and dont isolate one from the other. Shouldnt you do the same? In The Collaborative Future, the sixth and final installment of the SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research series, well bring you face-to-face with the future of interactive marketing byturning common assumptions about channel competition on their head.INSIDE THIS REPORT, WELL HELP YOU:Consumers Compare the email, Facebook, and Twitter x-factors, so you understand the significant differencesthat exist between the three channelscommunicate Understand the differences between what SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, and FOLLOWERS want, so youfreely across these can deliver the right message in the right placechannels and Learn how to effectively integrate these channels to improve acquisition and retention marketingdont isolate one If email, Facebook, and Twitter shared similar strengths, it might make more sense that they would bein direct competition with one another. But just like each individual consumer is unique, so are each offrom the other. these communication channels. This final report will put an end to the confusion that surroundschannel and budget competition, so you can develop a tightly integrated strategy that combinesShouldnt you not isolatesthe powerful strengths of email, Facebook, and the same?2 2010 ExactTarget

2. EMAIL FACEBOOKTWITTER X-FACTORS X-FACTORS X-FACTORSFAMILIARITY CONNECTION INFLUENCEMANAGEABILITYTRUST & PRIVACYSELF-EXPRESSIONENTERTAINMENT BREVITYACCESSIBILITYRELEVANCY DISCOVERY INTERACTIONEXCLUSIVITY CONTROL VERSATILITY 2010 ExactTarget 3 3. SUBSCRIBERSSUBSCRIBERS, FANS, THEN: Before email, the term& FOLLOWERS: SUBSCRIBER described an individual who paid money to receive content on aTHEN AND regular basis. In exchange for this mon- ey, SUBSCRIBERS received interesting content that was delivered consistentlyNOW from a publisher.* THEN: Close your eyes and envi-Despite the recent hype over SUBSCRIBERS,sion a FAN, pre-internet. Youre probably imagining sports spectators, music group-FANS, and FOLLOWERS, these termsand FANS ies, or pop-culture junkies. The concept ofthe concepts of what it means to be eacha FAN was well-established before the Facebook and internet era, and individu-arent new. What is new are the tools that als have become FANS over the years asmarketers use to communicate with each a means of self-expression. Understand-of these target audiences. Well explore ing what a person is a FAN offrom the Grateful Dead to the New York Yankeeswhat it meant to be SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, reveals a lot about that persons identity.& FOLLOWERS pre-internet (or as we referto them in this section, then), and howmediums like email, Facebook, and Twitter THEN: FOLLOWERS(post-internet) have changed the way In the pre-internet era,marketers facilitate conversations with theFOLLOWERS were categorized as sup- porters of influential leaders, politicians,members of these age-old audiences. or social movements. People FOL- LOWED others to express admiration and to become closer to those whom*When using the terminology then vs. now to compare SUBSCRIBERS, they admired.FANS, & FOLLOWERS, then describes these audiences pre-internet,while now describes these audiences in the post-internet era.4 2010 ExactTarget 4. 93% NOW:Today, the relationship that brands have with email SUBSCRIBERS is similar. The difference is that con- TIPS:Deliver exclusive email content thats relevant to your individual SUBSCRIBERS. And this sumers dont pay brands to present them with interestingisnt as easy as it used to be. With magazines or news- content (in most cases). Instead, consumers provide their papers, consumers sift through content on their own of U.S. onlineemail addresses to these companies, understanding that these addresses are valuable to marketers. Through this as they look for interesting articles. But with email, they expect brands to do the work for them, getting rid of all consumers are exchange, consumers expect the advantages of subscrip-the articles that wont resonate so the content reflects SUBSCRIBERS*. tion, which include ongoing access to relevant and exclu- only the most relevant offers and information. Make sive content (x-factors #4 and #5). sure that your email content is engaging, relevant, and * U.S. consumers who receive at least one permission-based consistently delivered so each SUBSCRIBER feels like email a exclusive member of your brands V.I.P. club.38%of U.S. online NOW: FANS still exist outside the world of Face- book, but this new medium has created an instantaneous and public way for consumers to express their support for brands. For consumers, the act of FANNING a brand or company can be compared to sporting your favorite clothing stores logoa display of endorsement and per- TIPS: Entertain your FANS on Facebook and theyll be more likely to engage with your brand. Your wall posts should reflect the fun that Facebook provides to its users, and as a result, FANS will be able to interact with you in ways that other channels dont provide. But be sure to remember that consumers areconsumers aresonal expression. And while the act of FANNING a brandFANS first and foremost, not just the means by whichFANS*. doesnt equal an open invitation for marketing messages, it you increase your ROI. Think of the deals and free- doesnt necessarily preclude it either. FANS are more likelybies you offer as a way to thank your FANS for their* U.S. consumers with a Facebookaccount who have become a FANto be receptive to marketing messages if theyre in the spir- support. This will fuel engagement and enthusiasm forof (i.e. LIKE) at least one brand on it of fun and entertainment.your brand.Facebook.5%of U.S. online NOW: Twitter extends the opportunity for more peoplefrom celebrities and television personalities to athletes and ordinary citizensto have FOLLOWERS. Ad- ditionally, Twitter provides a platform that can be used to wield influence, giving people the opportunity to act as a leader and FOLLOWER simultaneously. TIPS: Influence the influencers by delivering insider information, responding directly to Tweets, and providing velvet rope access to the person- alities behind your brand, in 140 characters or less. By providing this type of access to your most influen- tial consumers (i.e. daily Twitter users), theyll be moreconsumers arelikely to recommend and endorse your brand to theirFOLLOWERS*.own Twitter FOLLOWERS, expanding your reach and*U.S. consumers with a Twitter viral marketing potential.account who FOLLOW at leastone brand on Twitter. 2010 ExactTarget 5 5. EXPANDING YOURMARKET REACH 32% DISAGREE 32% DISAGREE 49%Youre probably pondering a common question amongDISAGREEmodern marketers: Are email, Facebook, and Twitterretention marketing channels? While the ability to31%assemble existing customers and prospects into a single41% NEUTRALlocation certainly fits into the old database-marketingMORE LIKELY TONEUTRALparadigm for retention marketing, our research raised PURCHASE FROM34%questions that challenge this assumption.A BRAND AFTER NEUTRALThe charts on this page reflect the percentage of consumersBECOMING A 27% 37% SUBSCRIBER, FAN, AGREE17%AGREElikely to purchase from or recommend a brand more oftenafter becoming a SUBSCRIBER, FAN, or FOLLOWER. OR FOLLOWERAGREE(Remember, 93% of online consumers are SUBSCRIBERS,38% are FANS, and 5% are FOLLOWERS.) Here aresome highlights:EMAILFACEBOOK TWITTERSUBSCRIBERFANFOLLOWER32% of SUBSCRIBERS and FOLLOWERS and 49% of FANS are no more likely to purchase from a brand after MORE LIKELY TO connecting with them through these channelsleaving 68% of SUBSCRIBERS and FOLLOWERS and 51% of RECOMMEND A 31% FANS who may purchase more often.BRAND AFTER36% 47%DISAGREE BECOMING ADISAGREE DISAGREEMultiplying these percentages together, we see that 63% SUBSCRIBER, FAN, of U.S. online consumers may become a SUBSCRIBER OR FOLLOWER of a brand and purchase more often, 19% may become35% a FAN of a brand and purchase more often, and 3%40%NEUTRAL may FOLLOW a brand and purchase more often. NEUTRAL 32% NEUTRALWhat else do these findings suggest, in light of what weknow about each channels unique strengths? 33%THE BOTTOM LINE: Youll be able to drastically expand 24% 21%AGREEAGREE AGREEyour brands online reach by combining the strengths of eachof these communication channels, as theyre highlighted onthe next page. Developing this cohesive strategy will resultin a program that far exceeds that of a program with isolated NOTE: Numbers may not equal 100%due to rounding.channels that operate out of marketing silos.6 2010 ExactTarget 6. EMAILFACEBOOKTWITTEREMAIL IS THE MOST BROADLY-FACEBOOK IS THE LEAST-TWITTER IS THE CHANNELUSED COMMUNICATION CHANNELEFFECTIVE CHANNEL TO DRIVEMOST LIKELY TO DRIVE(WHEN COMPARED TO TWITTER INCREASED PURCHASE BEHAVIOR*. INCREASED PURCHASES ANDAND FACEBOOK) AND IS LIKELY RECOMMENDATIONS AFTER AConsumers generally become FANS of aTO DRIVE INCREASED PURCHASE CONSUMER CHOOSES TO BECOMEbrand in real life before they become FANSINTENT AMONG THE LARGESTA BRANDS FOLLOWER.on Facebook. As a result, theyre alreadyNUMBER OF ONLINE CONSUMERS.purchasing from and endorsing their The challenge for marketers? Only 3%Combined with the high value con FANNED brands. Since FANS may not beof U.S. online consumers are actuallysumers place on trust and privacy and capable of purchasing more, their greatestFOLLOWING at least one brand. But itstheir expectations for relevant and value to marketers lies in spreading theirimportant to remember that while thisexclusive content, email should serve true message to other Facebook friends andpercentage is much smaller than eitheras the cornerstone for brands retentioncontacts. If you havent yet empowered your SUBSCRIBERS or FANS, these consumersmarketing strategies. FANS to spread your brands message, what are the most vocal and influential groupare you waiting for? This can be the most that exists online. And these FOLLOWERSpowerful way to acquire new audiences and influence isnt limited to Twitter alone, oftenincrease ROI. carrying Twitter topics and messages toother areas of the internet through blogs,private forums, and product reviews.*According to a study by Syncapse, Facebook FANSAs a result, you must keep this group ofspend more, are more loyal, are more likely to recommend,and have more affinity for the brands they FAN. consumers happy in order to get the mostbang for your marketing buck.96% 69% 68% of daily email usersof daily Facebook of daily Twitter SUBSCRIBE to at users are a FAN ofusers FOLLOW at least one least one brand. least one brand. 2010 ExactTarget 7 7. As you examine consumer motivations for interacting with brands via email,Facebook, and Twitter, be sure to interpret the information across channels,so youre not falling into the trap of silo analysis.EMAIL, FACEBOOK, &TWITTER AT-A-GLANCEEmail, Facebook, and Twitter all boast unique strengths (andweaknesses). The chart on the following page will help youunderstand why all three channels are equally important andnecessary in the modern marketing ecosystem.As you examine consumer motivations for interactingwith brands via email, Facebook, and Twitter, be sure tointerpret the information across channels, so youre notfalling into the trap of silo analysis. For example, the mostcommon reason consumers engage brands online is toreceive discounts and promotions. And while it may beeasy to assume that you should focus on discounts andpromotions on Facebookafter all, 40% of consumerssay that theyve become a FAN for this reasonconsumers are much more likely to SUBSCRIBE to emailwhen theyre looking for discounts. Smart marketers willexamine this data collaboratively as theyre developingintegrated marketing strategies.8 2010 ExactTarget 8. EMAIL, FACEBOOK, & TWITTER: SIDE-BY-SIDE+ POOR++ FAIR +++ GOOD EMAIL FACEBOOK TWITTER POTENTIAL REACH++++++ RETENTION+++++ ++ ACQUISITION+ ++++++ CHANNEL HIGHLIGHTDrivesGatheringPersonalresponseplace for FANS connectionfrom theready to bewith influentialmasses. mobilized forconsumers.outreach. KEY TO SUCCESS Targeted, Fuel con-Provideexclusive versations insidercontent.among FANS access toand theirfuel contentfriends. creation. MOTIVATIONS TO BECOME SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS To receive discounts and promotions67% 40%31% To get a freebie 55% 36%28% To get updates on future products45% 33%38% To get updates on upcoming sales 50% 30%30% To stay informed about the activities of the company 28% 34%32% For fun and entertainment29% 29%26% To show support for the company to others11% 39%23% To learn about the companys products and services 28% 21%25% To get access to exclusive content 33% 25%25% Someone recommended it to me 17% 22%14% For education about company topics 22% 13%14% To interact (e.g., provide feedback) 14% 13%20% 2010 ExactTarget 9 9. HONORING CONSUMERS PREFERENCES How consumers prefer to communicate with friends and marketers alike These challenges reflect on the teams managing each channel, not on the is incredibly personal and unique, based on their individuality. Marketchannels themselves. In order to overcome these challenges, social media and research provides us with overall market trends, but tells us nothingemail marketers must recognize the relative strengths of one anothers channels about our individual customers. While some consumers believe different so they can develop a cohesive, integrated strategy. Here are some additional channels should be used for different purposes, others see little need totips to keep in mind: keep marketing communications confined to any specific channel, as you Social media has ushered in an era of transparency and can see in the quotes on page 11. The two things all consumers agree1 authenticity that consumers appreciate. Email must embody the upon? Theyre confused about where to turn for the variety of informationsame characteristics going forward. they need from marketers like you (i.e. Do you provide customer service via Twitter or your call center? Do you send product updates via email Email is known for its ability to deliver highly-targeted content based on or Facebook?), and they feel you need to do a better job of respecting 2 SUBSCRIBERS interests. As Facebook and Twitter expand capabilities, individual communication preferences.consumers expectations for highly-targeted content in these channels will increase. Some other common themes among consumers? They realize that brands Consumers rely on Facebook and Twitter to protect them from spam. are struggling to manage cross-channel communications with them, and this3Therefore, marketers must deliver engaging content through these has led to two distinct behaviors: channels or risk being permanently ignored. Because consumers need to trulytrust a brand before SUBSCRIBING to email, this channel will increasingly be held Theyre increasingly confused by the lack of consistency in the messagesto the same or higher standards for content than social media.they receive across channels, leading to frustration that can negativelyimpact loyalty. Marketers need to overcome internal budget battles, which can inadvertentlyposition the email, Facebook, and Twitter teams in direct competition with Some consumers have learned to use this lack of consistency againstone another! While channel specialists need to have input into how success isbrands. Instead of seeking information through their preferred channels,measured, marketing analystsunaffected by the performance of one channeltheyll seek out the channel that offers the best information or the bestversus anothershould be responsible for determining which programs are mostdeals, ignoring messages through other channels. As a result, loyaleffective. This approach fosters more collaboration between channel specialistsconsumers are being exposed to your brand less often than if they couldand will improve both the organizational performance and consumer experience.receive all the content they wanted through their preferred channel.10 2010 ExactTarget 10. CONSUMER WHO PREFERS TO KEEP CHANNELS DISTINCT: 12 WAYS TO INTEGRATE EMAIL,I use email mostly for FACEBOOK, & TWITTERbusiness and private personal 1 Promote Facebook games, applications, and competitions in email and on Twitter.communication. Facebook is for2Feature winners of Facebook competitions in your email newsletter.sharing and fun things. TwitterTweet about exclusive content thats only available to a good way to keep up with Promote exclusive deals on Facebook and Twitter, but make it onlywhats going on in the world.4available to email SUBSCRIBERS.5Post links to web versions of your best emails on Facebook and Twitter.CONSUMER COMFORTABLE WITH ANY CHANNEL:6Include LIKE and FOLLOW buttons in email newsletters and promotions.I would follow a company in7Include links to your Twitter and Facebook pages in email newsletters.any mediumits all the same8 Collect email addresses at the point of conversion for consumers who link to your site from Facebook and me.Create an email segment containing Twitter FOLLOWERS and provide9them with additional insider information through email. Include questions posted on TwitterUNIVERSAL SENTIMENT:10 and Facebook in your emails, and then answer them.I prefer people and companies Encourage email SUBSCRIBERS11to contact me the same way I to post questions on Facebook and/or them. That way lines Host videos on your Facebook page.12 Include links in your emails and postdont get crossed.links on Twitter. 2010 ExactTarget 11 11. WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Were in a marketing era where new communication tools arewant to keep these messages private? Not all brand relationships (e.g., introduced at a frenzied and frequent paceand its not difficult tosensitive topics) nor communications (e.g., financial matters) are seen see that this level of fragmentation isnt sustainable for marketers or as acceptable in public. consumers. Checking multiple inboxes isnt convenient, resulting in DETAIL: Are they looking for details, or simply top-line some industry analysts suggesting the need for centralized platforms4 information? Consumers appreciate the brevity Twitter mandates, that consolidate communication into a single interface. but also appreciate the ability to get additional details through email. While theres no way to predict the future of social media and 5 PERSONALIZATION: Do they want general information or interactive marketing, our research suggests that multiple social information specific to their interests? Consumers see social forces make this type of consolidation challenging. Consumers media as a way to receive general information, while they expect spend considerable effort attempting to keep personal, business, marketers to provide more targeted information through email. and commercial communication separate, and multiple modes of communication help facilitate these distinctions. We identified fiveOur SUBSCRIBERS, FANS, & FOLLOWERS research was the first common factors that play into consumers decision-making processesof its kind to capture a snapshot of the modern interactive marketing when choosing where and how to engage with brands online: landscape as it stands in 2010. But it will rapidly continue to change, and its clear from our research that the individualnot the medium URGENCY: Does the consumer want the information 1predicts how a consumer wants to interact with a marketer. Even immediately, or do they want to be informed about futureas you prepare for new and emerging channels, theres no events and have the ability to respond at their leisure? Socialmagic formula to predict how and why consumers interact media facilitates real-time communication while email allows the way they do. Sometimes consumers enter into consumers to control the tempo.economic exchanges with brands where they provide PROXIMITY: How close do consumers wantsomething of value in exchange for something 2 to be to a brand, and what do they wantelse (SUBSCRIBERS). Some consumers simply those relationships to look like? Most of the time, want to express themselves by showing their consumers are simply looking for informationappreciation for their favorite companies not seeking a meaningful friendship. While(FANS). And others just want to get to Twitter provides a higher degree ofknow the people behind a brand interaction and Facebook provides (FOLLOWERS). an opportunity for fun, consumers One thing is for sure: These arent looking for these types of varying relationships between relationships with every company. Inmarketers and consumers have fact, trying to force interactions with your existed for years and will continue consumers may make them less likely to long into the futureregardless of what engage with your brand.that future holds. Its YOUR job to turn PRIVACY: Is correspondence with the brand them into a relationship that builds loyalty and3 acceptable in a public forum, or do consumers extends the value of your brand.12 2010 ExactTarget 12. Despite common trends and helpful tips, theres no magic formula to predicthow and why consumers interact the way they do. 2010 ExactTarget 13 13. CONSUMERS Our last request for consumers who participated in our focus groups and interviews wassimply to tell usin their own wordswhat they wanted to share with marketers. The SPEAK OUT: themes were simple, but the emotions were consistently emphatic: Make it worth their time. WHATS YOURShow gratitude for their business.Deliver quality products. ADVICE TO Honor their individual preferences. MARKETERS? Provide excellent customer service. Be honest.14 2010 ExactTarget 14. FREEBIES ARE A GOOD Make it worth my while. Incentives are always aWAY TO CATCH ME. IF good start, but in the end, anything you do needs I LIKE YOUR PRODUCT, to benefit me as the consumer and get me hooked ILL STICK AROUND AND on your product. TELL MY FRIENDS.Only makeMAKE YOUR POINT CLEARLY legitimate, no-gimmickAND DONT BURY THINGS INoffers and include RESPONDTHE FINE PRINT. WHILE YOUREan easy way to TO ME QUICKLYAT IT, GET RID OF ALL THE LEGAL AND TREAT ME WITH unsubscribe.GARBAGE. IF YOU WANT TO SELLRESPECT WHEN I HAVEME SOMETHING, DONT MAKE ME A PROBLEM THATDIG AROUND FOR IT. NEEDS TO BE FIXED.Be honest and forthright. Include something Consistently deliver quality products and extra from time to time. provide the best customer service possible.Surprise me and show me That will keep me coming back. Send me yourquestionnaire about you value my business.the kinds of things Have an email Im interested in andthat I can sign up for, send me the stuff Ibut dont send emails all tell you I want. the time. If a company Companies should stand behind their sends me too many, I start thinking spam, and then I products, be available for questions, respond just hit delete. quickly, give realistic delivery dates, and charge appropriately for delivery. 2010 ExactTarget 15 15. With a comprehensive email + Facebook + Twitter strategy to manage, youre in chargeof more online customer interactions, more data, and more reports than ever before. Youneed a real (and easy!) way to understand whats being said about your brandright now,in real time.Thats where ExactTarget can help. Well help you power compelling messages acrossEmail, Mobile, Social, and Sites from a single place, so youll never have to juggle multiple EmailMobileproviders again. No matter who you are or what you Social products make it easy for youdo, ourSitesto execute flawless peer-to-peer campaigns.If youre ready to achieve real results from your interactive marketingcampaigns, visit to request a demo.www. ExactTarget. comwww. CoTweet. comThis document may not be copied without the prior written consent of ExactTarget. 2010 ExactTarget.16 2010 ExactTarget