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By Rebekah Mackay Miller, managing director UK



The Drum Network article

This content is produced by The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

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February 29, 2016 | 4 min read

At our recent Collaborative Marketing breakfast we asked some industry (and people) experts what the real opportunities are when it comes to Collaborative Marketing. Their top five responses are listed below:

Rebekah Mackay Miller is managing director of trnd UK.

Drive awareness, trial and sales

Getting people to talk about your brand is the holy grail of marketing. As 92 per cent of people trust personal recommendations from friends over all other forms of advertising (Nielsen), word-of-mouth (WOM) is the most effective way of spreading your brand message in a credible way.

But what you can achieve with word-of-mouth goes far beyond awareness. Used strategically, WOM can drive traffic to your store or e-commerce platform, push trial and have remarkable impact on sales. As many as 50 per cent of all purchase decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth, according to Lithium. WOMMA showed in a recent study that one WOM impression drives at least five times more (and up to one hundred times more) sales than a paid media impression.

People have been doing word-of-mouth marketing for millennia, but technological development has enabled us to open a genuine two-way dialogue with vast consumer groups, at scale, and it’s time we realise that we can actively stimulate word-of-mouth to be used strategically in marketing.

Generate compelling content

With consumers becoming increasingly indifferent or even averse to obtrusive marketing, marketers need to shift to meaningful content that people will want to see. And your customers can help you out here. By engaging with them in Collaborative Marketing you can spur authentic and credible User Generated Content to power your marketing activities.

Content created by real people resonates with your audience while showcasing UGC also is a powerful way of illustrating to your consumers that you care and value their opinions – further bolstering consumer engagement and loyalty.

Power your media mix

Mass media could be targeting huge masses of people, but ultimately you’re not going to reach all the people that you want to. This is where collaborative marketing comes into play, plugging the holes in the bottom of that leaky bucket and adding highly targeted qualitative reach to your other marketing efforts.

With research showing that WOM boosts the effects of all media by 15 per cent, conversations truly are a metric worth paying attention to.

Trust and long-term advocacy

The key to building a meaningful and strong connection with consumers is trust and rewards. When we get included and consulted by brands who welcome our feedback or criticism, we feel rewarded.

Brands can tap into this by creating a VIP experience that makes the consumer feel special, like an insider. Businesses that engage with consumers in a genuine and open way demonstrate that customer opinion matters and build a foundation of trust in the brand that will ultimately contribute to future sales. So show your consumers that you are willing to listen and that their opinion matters and you’ll be able to fully make use of the intrinsic reward mechanisms for engagement.

Insights that you own

The biggest benefit for brands using the right platforms to generate Collaborative Marketing is data. Rather than generating insights from a focus group, i.e. a small group in laboratory conditions, you can gain insights from thousands of people in real life. Social media like Facebook and Twitter have great reach, but the full potential of that reach is lost when, ultimately, you don’t own that data. Once you’ve done your campaign it ends there whereas if you incorporate the campaign into your own branded community that is built for the purpose of generating WOM and collaborative marketing, the data output is the richest that you can get.

Rebekah Mackay Miller is managing director of trnd UK.

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