Introduction to Connecting with customers
The following is an excerpt from The Evangelists: Insights from Leaders of the Nation’s Most Beloved Brands. Written by Monica Padillo, this chapter is titled “Adjusting Strategies to Connect Brands to People.” In it, Cristina Beltran-Del Villar, the Marketing Manager of Poundit, is interviewed about how the organization executes its strategy in brand connection with its consumers.
Connect with your customers and everything will follow
In essence, marketing is all about connecting brands to people. By creating unique and sometimes personalized approaches, marketing professionals are able to resonate more their cause to a wide audience. And when executed effectively, these strategies can help businesses bring home the bacon. Perhaps some may find it difficult to establish a connection between brands and people, but not for someone like Cristina Beltran-Del Villar.
When asked how Beltran-Del Villar creates a connection between Poundit and end-users, she mentioned two successful campaigns she’s most proud of: their mystery box project and influencer marketing strategy.
Poundit’s goal is to drive conversion because majority of the products they offer have high average order value, which is why one of the hacks that they created is to curate mystery boxes. Beyond the products, the company created mystery boxes that would elicit happiness to their customers and bring that element of surprise whenever they would open each product inside the box. “I think what sets us apart is the experience that we provide. It always has been ‘happiness in a box’,” Beltran-Del Villar said.
After seeing that people loved their mystery boxes, Poundit decided to amplify it even more by incorporating several distribution channels, including social media and influencer marketing.
For influencer marketing, Beltran-Del Villar and her team picked the right influencers not because of their number of followers but because they fit Poundit’s products, their target audience, vision and values.
“The mystery box initiative combined with influencer marketing as a distribution channel takes up 20% to 30% of Poundit’s social media strategy,” Beltran-Del Villar said. “It worked because of the experience we provide our customers upon receiving their mystery boxes, the element of surprise, the novelty behind it, and the possible products that they can get as shown from our influencers unboxing videos.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Philippines, many jobs and industries were badly hit. People were barred from leaving their homes and malls and other commercial establishments were forced to close, and other non-essential movement was put to a halt. Beltran-Del Villar knew that tech businesses like Poundit were not exempted from strict lockdown regulations. Poundit recognized the problem, which was also felt by all businesses, especially the supply side. Global supply chain and flow of goods were impacted. Customers became more stingy in buying tech products and their priorities shifted to more essential products like food.
The company had to rely on the products that they had on hand and launched their Seller Center, a business-to-business online marketplace where local suppliers can sell to other
businesses. They fixed the supply problem and wrapped it around marketing campaigns that revolved around the “new normal”, creating categories of products that can be used for remote work and learning and other recreational activities that can be done at home.
Even during a pandemic, Poundit strives to be resilient—all in an effort to stay connected with their customers. Perhaps the crisis has also given the company the opportunity to boost their efforts and connections with their partners as well. It is in times like this where marketing has become more important than ever.
To get more insights from other marketing leaders like [interviewee name], please check out the full book, available for purchase here.
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