As an online media planner, I receive dozens of online marketing newsletters each day, so it takes a catchy headline and a pertinent topic to really pique my interest. Today I came across an article on ClickZ, written by Heidi Cohen entitled Online Marketing: Wedding Bells Meet Content, Community which talks about the three major C’s of online marketing: content, community and commerce and how it relates to planning a wedding. As newly engaged to be married, this article was certainly something that I can relate to not only in my professional life but also in my personal life.
As soon as my fiancé proposed I was amazed at how many questions we got from friends and family wanting to know everything from when and where we were going to get married, to what color the bridesmaid dresses would be. Not only that, every time I email someone with the words “engaged” or “wedding,” banners for tuxedos, wedding invites and supplies seem to pop up on websites that have nothing to with the topic. Only two weeks into the engagement and I already feel behind the 8 ball, so after two blissful weeks of no planning, I started my wedding research. Since I can’t seem to escape the madness that follows when you get engaged, I might as well embrace all the tools that marketers, like myself, use to hit their target audience to my advantage.
The community section in Ms. Cohen’s article I found particularly interesting. Many of Overdrive’s clients are interested in social media marketing so it’s become a hot topic around the office. When building a client’s website, landing page or social media campaign, it’s important for marketers to keep in mind who their customer is and how information is communicated. With a product that requires a long decision marketing process, marketers need to keep in mind that consumers will use the internet to conduct pre-purchase research. Even though company websites are helpful to explain a product, what really hits home when making a big decision are customer reviews and feedback on social media communities.
Facebook email chats with my friends, viewer polls on the Weddingchannel.com, message boards on Theknot.com, and venue reviews on Tripadvisor.com have helped to narrow my search. Peer to peer reviews and suggestions hold a strong stake in my decision making process, as this information comes from people who have been there and done that. As Ms. Cohen writes, “Given the one-time nature of a wedding, one negative comment, which may be taken out of context, could be sufficient to eliminate an option.” This can apply to any product or service, not just for a wedding.
To sum this entry up, marketers need to listen to their customers and monitor message boards and forums to find out what people are saying about their products. In addition, considering how important peer comments and suggestions are in making decisions, marketers need to build their online community and fan base to let customers know that their feedback is important. One bad review and you’re out the door, but one good review can spread like wild fire.
To read Ms. Cohen’s article on ClickZ, please click here