Growth Hacking for customer attraction, advocacy and attribution
digital, seo, social media, strategy

3 Focus Areas for Growth Marketing: Attraction, Advocate & Attribution

Philip Kotler, the “The Father of Modern Day Marketing,” coined the phrase Marketing 4.0 in his book Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital (co-authored with Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan). The premise purports that modern consumers are confronted by by alternatives at every turn and have increasingly less time and attention to devote to a brand. As such, the consumer of tomorrow is being shaped by an increasing sub-culture splintering, a shift in marketplace power dynamics, and the paradoxes wrought by connectivity.

Essentially, Kotler makes the argument that marketers need to “stand up, get their attention, and deliver the message [consumers] want to hear.”

If we break that down, we have certain fundamentals of Marketing 4.0:

  • The consumer as the center of everything
  • Data at the center of all strategy
  • Transparency in strategies is more critical than ever
  • Consumer communication being genuine, relevant and constant
  • To gain trust, marketers must focus on social, economic and environmental commitment
  • Marketers need to listen and have a proactive attitude

With Marketing 4.0, marketers must finesse the power of technology while presenting a “human” face to their brand or service.

Marketing 4.0 acknowledges that consumers will continue to have offline interactions with brands and companies, even as we move towards a more digitally-centric world. Therefore, marketers need to be positioned to engage prospects and established customers alike with multi or omni-channel initiatives across a variety of mediums—and they must do this while being genuine, relevant and human. This is the art of Attraction Marketing, which I will go into more detail below.

Another assumption within Marketing 4.0 is the understanding that a multi-channel marketing strategy means consumers will continue to have engagements with a brand after making a purchase. Marketers therefore need to not only perfect their upper funnel touchpoints, but should understand the impact that a negative interaction can have post-sale. In other words, customer loyalty is precarious in a world where transparency and relevancy can have a significant impact on a brand’s perception.

With Marketing 4.0, consumers want to have a say in a brand’s direction and success.

Marketing 4.0 also introduces the concept of the consumer (customer) community. Gone are the days when you saw an ad on television for laundry soap, then at the store you selected that brand without giving another thought to the purchase. Consumers, especially millennials and those of Generation Z, who are not only the most tech-saavy but skeptical group of shoppers in history, desire to be more involved with the brands with which they choose to engage. They seek to have a direct influence on a brand’s social, environmental and development direction while connecting and sharing their experiences with other consumers. To facilitate these interactions and holistically grow a brand in Marketing 4.0, marketers need to embrace models that support Advocate Marketing, which I will cover later in this post.

With Marketing 4.0, marketers need to understand the impact each dollar has for acquisition, activation and retention in order to profitably scale.

As marketers ramp up their commitments to include more multi and omni-channel initiatives in an attempt to broaden appeal to a very woke consumer, the ability to scale and grow is contingent upon a deep understanding of ROI (return on investment) for each strategic outlay. This is where Marketing Attribution comes into play—the art of evaluating each and every marketing touchpoint a consumer may have on their path to purchase. That is also covered in more detail below.

Attraction Marketing

Attraction marketing is all about getting consumers to purchase something without being told to do so. It’s showing consumers the desirability of the product through valuable information focused on features, usability and unique differentiation, so that the buyer makes the purchasing decision without any prompts to do so from the brand or company. Since attraction marketing sets your brand apart from competitors by focusing marketing efforts on what makes your product or service a more attractive option, it can be a powerful strategy to create awareness, activation and brand loyalty.

The key to success with attraction marketing is having a thorough understanding of your targeted audience, where they can be found and their pain points. Once those are defined, the draw to the brand or service comes in the form of educational content that creates credibility and authenticity while dispensing with the “salesy” messaging.

It’s also vital to put a human connection to your brand. People want to connect with people, not faceless brands. Think of ways that you can incorporate your product developers or other internal users into your messaging, or for an even stronger attraction strategy, utilize user-generated content such as reviews and stories to engage your audience.

Inbound marketing is the perfect vehicle for attraction marketing and is something that can keep traffic coming long after the initial investment in the content and delivery. That being said, I suggest that you focus your primary efforts on search engine optimization, making sure your content is laden with relevant keywords that will compete and perform well for contextual searches. Once you’re optimized, you can share the content in social, email and native ads.

Some of the common ways to employ attraction marketing are:

  • Blogs
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Ebooks
  • Videos/Livestreams
  • Newsletters
  • Surveys
  • Online classes
  • In-person classes

And, you don’t always have to start from scratch with content. One of the easiest strategies is to repurpose content that you have already created by either converting it to another format or updating it with new content, imagery or linking. Once you do so, you will want to make sure you have resubmitted the renewed content to Google and the other search engines for fresh indexing.

Pactimo, an online retailer of cycling clothing, created a page addressing why someone would choose bib shorts as opposed to those without the straps (Why Cycling Bib Shorts? Padded Bib Bike Shorts Explained). The page falls into into the number one position on Google for searches for “cycling bib shorts,” organically introducing the brand to hundreds of potential new customers per week. Because the page not only has relevant information to the topic, but engages with links to more information, premium products and a $250 prize drawing, it has become a source for new customers.

Use relevant blog content to attract new customers organically. This builds credibility and leads to a higher activation rate.
Answering a question like why wear bib shorts has proven to be a source for many new customers for Pactimo.


Advocate Marketing

We have all experienced word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. Let’s say you’re at a party or get-together with friends and a recent purchase comes up. Someone might tell a story of a great buying experience or the incredible efficacy of the product, which leads you to imagine making a similar purchase. My wife and I bought a robotic vacuum cleaner. Every time someone came over to our house we raved how incredible it was—even going as far as using the app to launch it around the room so they could see it in action. Two of our friends have since bought the same brand.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the key contributors to advocacy marketing.
Word-of-mouth recommendations prove to be one of the best sources for new customers.


Statistics show 92% of consumers trust WOM marketing recommendations over all other types of marketing, and future customers who were referred by other existing customers have a 37% higher retention rate.

Advocacy marketing is act of exciting and equipping your customers to generate buzz around your brand through social mentions, reviews, and word-of-mouth marketing. It’s the art of making the product or buying experience so good that customers feel compelled to share. When that occurs, a brand advocate has become one of your most high-value brand assets for growing awareness and loyalty. They will not only spend more than the average customer, but they’re also passionately-versed on your brand and products, making them a fantastic source and reference for new customer leads. On average, brands with a strong loyalty, rewards or ambassador program see a 650% ROI for every dollar invested in advocacy marketing.

Since advocacy marketing is extremely cost-effective with the potential for high-yields through customer acquisition, retention and reengagement, it is a growth hacking must.

Here are a few of the key components of successful advocate marketing:

  • Provide an excellent product or service
  • Deliver unforgettable brand experiences
  • Operate with a consumer-first mentality
  • Make it easy for consumers to advocate for your brand or service
  • Actively seek new advocates

Attribution Marketing

As discussed, multi and omni-channel marketing is a highly effective way to attract, engage and activate customers. But, it also means the funnel is anything but linear. A typical customer may encounter your brand or service across a multitude of touchpoints before actually making a purchase. For example, was it the blog post you shared on Facebook that brought the new customer to your ecommerce site? Or was it a cool photo of a customer using your product that you posted to Instagram? Maybe it was all the work you’ve done to SEO your product features infographic page. These are important questions you’ll need to answer if you want to determine ROI and scale or when determining CAC (customer acquisition cost).

With attribution, marketers can determine which channels and messages had the greatest impact on the decision to convert. It’s a reporting strategy that allows marketers and sales teams to see the impact that a specific marketing strategy had toward a goal, usually a purchase or sale. For example, if marketers want to see how a blog post or social media strategy impacted sales, they might use marketing attribution techniques.

Heap.io, one of the leaders in marketing attribution describes it like this:

Unlike legacy attribution (like Adobe or Google) which focus on just channels, Heap’s behavioral attribution ties in every user action, like opening emails, reading blog posts, or watching videos. As customers switch from web to phone to email, Heap ties together all that behavior into a single, accurate identity. Finally, marketers can accurately see how behavior influences conversion.

With something like Heap, marketers have access to multi-touch attribution reports allowing marketers to pinpoint the exact channel or initiative that led to a funnel goal or sale. This information can help to make better-informed decisions about future channel decisions, strategy initiatives or investments.

Conclusion

With the full advent of Marketing 4.0 and the move towards a more digitally-centric world, marketers need to be positioned to engage, acquire and retain customers through multi or omni-channel initiatives across a variety of mediums. Attraction Marketing is the perfect method to reach these new prospects in an authentic, credible manner, where sales come holistically as customers become drawn to the brand and product features. Advocacy Marketing is the strategy that activates these customers as brand loyalists who will spread the word about the products and services. Not only will the more intimate relationship drive up LTV (lifetime value) with the advocates, but it supercharges the referred customers buying power as well. Measuring results and knowing when to scale or abandon initiatives should be measured with a multi-touch Attribution Marketing tool. This allows for an accurate study of ROI and campaign analysis where anticipated CAC can be used for predictive scaling.

I hope you found this helpful, and wish you luck in your growth hacking!

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