The Benefits of Community Commerce Marketing
Community Commerce Marketing4 MIN READ
When you need to grow – revenue, sales, awareness, affinity and beyond – and do so as efficiently as possible, Community Commerce Marketing is the best place to start. Why? Because half of the hard work of marketing is already done. With Community Commerce Marketing (CCM), you’re working through your own community of customers, employees, fans and followers.
Whether you realize it or not, you likely have many buyers who actively talk about you to their friends, mention you online, and more. They already know you. They probably like you. They likely already trust you.
According to HubSpot, the average buyer talks about brands 90 times a week. That means that there is a strong chance that your buyers and followers talk or even brag about your brand to their own friends, family, and followers, too.
With your own community, there are no acquisition costs. There are only efficiencies to be had to acquire new customers via trusted recommendations and referrals from those who are often happy to share.
CCM is a new and exciting approach to marketing that combines the power of several fertile pathways of engagement. Approaches from the past like customer loyalty and ambassador programs, employee engagement, user generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing, all fall into a more broad category of CCM. The category adds marketing automation and software approaches to help those scale, but through your community, not as a supplement to it. That guarantees more authentic content and a higher degree of trust transmitted on behalf of your brand.
And that leads to growth.
That’s why you need CCM.
The Four Benefits of Community Commerce Marketing
Lower Customer Acquisition Cost
Because your CCM communications begin with your existing community, you’re spending more of your working marketing dollar handling inbound demand rather than paying significantly more to drive the same by targeting people you don’t know.
Leverage the Power of Trusted Recommendations
When a customer, fan, follower, or employee recommends your business or brand to a friend, family member, or even social media followers, it carries more trust from the audience than an advertisement, or even endorsement from a celebrity or social media influencer not already associated with your brand.
Higher & Longer-Term ROI
Cost efficiencies on the front end, combined with leveraging your own community to create lower-costs in programs like influencer marketing, creates less money spent and more money gained. That translates to higher return on investment. Community Influence marketing alone has been shown to produce a 6-times higher ROI than advertising.
Additionally, building and growing a community of customers and fans as much invested in your brand as you are in them, increases customer retention and lifetime customer value, all while reducing the reliance on more expensive marketing channels like advertising.
Lower Overall Cost of Marketing
Your brand community is not only made up of content creators who have varying degrees of online and offline influence, but ones who can be engaged to create and share content that drives your own marketing efforts. Community Generated Content reduces the reliance on expensive vendors and freelance talent, while at the same time delivering more authentic and customer-driven content. Who better to chronicle your brand through video, photography and even the written word than its most loyal customers?
A Community Commerce Marketing strategy is how a business or brand plans to trigger growth by using its own community as a starting point. That could mean providing content to its fans and followers on social media that proves share-worthy, or enabling social pass-along from its fans to their social connections. It could also mean analyzing its customer database to find out who among them have influence on social media channels, so the brand can tap into its existing fan base for more authentic influencer content.
CCM, or Community Commerce Marketing is focused on growth. That can come in the form of growth in sales and revenue, but also in brand affinity, loyalty, product awareness, brand reputation and even brand health indicators. In fact, revenue and sales, while important to the “commerce” part of the label, are often more outcomes of strong CCM strategy than inputs.
Brands with a truly community-centric approach to marketing see the strategic benefit this way. Community begets sales and revenue, rather than one that asks members of a community to buy more things. Brands focused on more traditional and transactional marketing strategies tend to follow the latter. It is still a valid approach and can prove successful, but in the longview, community-centric strategies result in more sustained growth.
As marketing thought leader Mark Schaefer said in his book Belonging to the Brand, “A community represents the uppermost level of emotional alignment and commitment. It transcends a cult of personality – an audience following a leader or brand image – and becomes a self-sustaining entity.”
CCM Success Depends on Strategy and Execution
These benefits and thoughts are just your starting point. Success in building strong Community Commerce Marketing approaches lies in the convergence of smart strategies, which include the creative approaches to deliver value to the end customer, and strong execution, which is dependent upon capable software to support the efforts. Combining those two elements may not guarantee success, but not having one of them will certainly spell failure.
CIPIO.ai is the leading Community Commerce Marketing platform with a full suite of applications to help your brand deliver the execution to go along with your strategies. We also gladly provide strategic counsel to our customers to better ensure CCM success. Find out more about our platform online or schedule a demo to see how we can best help you.
Also, don’t forget we are offering a free webinar about our Community Influence Marketing platform on Friday called Unlocking the Power of Community Influence Marketing to Grow Your Brand. It is available for you each Friday through March. Head to the link in this post at CIPIO.ai, or look for the link on our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels to register.
If you want to cut to the chase and see a demo of our Community Influence Marketing platform, head to our website at CIPIO.ai and schedule one. We can talk about both it and CGC at the same time if you like.