Mumbai: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a pronounced shift in the global market landscape, forcing not only many brick-and-mortar businesses to venture into the online space but also had a pivotal impact on consumers. It stimulated them to become proactive customers wanting to indulge in an immersive retail experience and not merely a transactional activity. While this may have started with growing pains for business owners, they soon realised the limitless opportunities in establishing a robust customer-centric marketing strategy aligned with the brand’s essence.
One such limitless possibility involved network expansion on social media channels by harnessing the prowess of brand ambassadors. Subsequently, this led to the inception of the latest revolutionary trend- ambassador marketing. Unlike traditional social media marketing, ambassador marketing in the present digital age has twisted the aspects of influence marketing, making it more niche-specific, opening doors to genuinely authentic real-time experiences.
Just picture a robust community of people - customers, employees, and social media followers who love and talk about your products or services without sounding biased or transactional! That’s the power of Brand Ambassador Marketing in the digitally driven world.
Why choose brand ambassador marketing?
Brand Ambassadors can come from anywhere be it- customers, employees, influencers, followers, or celebrities. The key factor is that they need to know the products and the brand intimately, have a concrete understanding of the brand’s persona and align with its vision and mission.
Due to their love for the brand, ambassadors authentically build lasting relationships with other like-minded audiences or customers facilitating the development of a vigorous community, and simultaneously accelerating customer acquisition. By ensuring the brand remains visible to new customers, Brand Ambassador marketing has proven to be extremely effective, making it crucial for brands to foray into the latest trends in this innovative realm. Similar to traditional brand marketing, it has paved the way to success in today’s digital age.
Community building- Key to successful brand sxperiences
Prior to 2019, building a community required rigorous planning and the only way to achieve this was through physical events and meetings. However, the entire world witnessed a shift of indulging in virtual communities. As the world was enforced to embrace a digital life characteriaed by technology, this enabled businesses to onboard customers from around the globe in ways they had never imagined before.
The unprecedented rise of social media aided in putting Brand Ambassadors on the radar of brands, helping to match them with the right customers. They play a pivotal role in fostering a virtual community of like-minded customers that breaks geographical barriers. This virtual community is transformed into a trusting audience, boosting awareness, reach, reputation and sales.
Ambassador marketing - A better version of influencer marketing
Ambassador Marketing involves partnering with ambassadors who genuinely like the products and resonate with the brand’s value. Having said that, Ambassador Marketing has moved beyond merely endorsing celebrities or influencers. Brands have now started onboarding customers, followers and employees to make them the face of the brand and leveraging their authentic following. These individuals will offer an alternative viewpoint to the business by sharing their first-hand experience with the brand, positively impacting the audience’s perception.
For instance, green- tech companies are unlocking the potential of celebrity brand ambassadors not only to introduce a face for the company but also to ensure they function as change catalysts. In the longer run, this marketing effort reinforces the brand image as a responsible company, driving sustainability for an increasingly environment-friendly younger generation.
The digital age has resulted in more niche-specific marketing efforts. Unlike influencers, the customer-cum- brand ambassadors only work with companies that they are passionate about and promote products that fit their niche and are relevant to their content. Thus, the audience of niche ambassadors is truly interested in what they have to offer since most of their content is targeted towards those who share the same interests. This enhances trust, credibility and transparency.
Brands employing niche ambassadors have huge potential to reach the audience within that niche, which consequently, generates more leads and conversions.
Customer centricity- Personalised virtual ambassadors
In an era where consumers are seeking a unique and personalised experience, brands are curating AI-powered Avatars inspired by real-life human Brand Ambassadors that align with the brand’s value, persona and overall essence. With the aid of AI and data analytics, brands are providing their customers with a prestigious opportunity to engage in one-on-one interactions, creating a real-life experience of engaging with popular figures.
Real Brand Ambassadors with the assistance of virtual Avatars are able to serve customers in a more personalised way. Further to enhance their retail experience, they offer recommendations and help them make more informed purchase decisions. This puts the brand on the map of a successful customer-centric marketing strategy.
As brands are gearing up to make disruptions in the global ecosystem, Brand ambassador marketing harnesses the potential of genuine user-centered content. It not only promotes but also protects the brand across the vast digital landscape, building a healthy dose of social media responsibility and accountability. Hence, brand ambassadors are a successful and more influential way to build a robust network in today’s digital ecosystem.
This article has been authored by Saatvik Solar CEO Prashant Mathur.