In the coming weeks I hope to analyze the deadly strategies applied by skilled digital marketers to project the brands they are promoting. Some of the tactics applied by these marketers may sound amoral but in the end, it is being heard above the noisy environment of the social media market and getting your customers to locate you and buy your products. So let’s start with the number 1 this week.
- Expose and Attack Your Competitors’ Weaknesses: Amoral! You might yell. “You can’t get your candle to shine brighter by putting off another man’s candle,” you may think. Another thought that might quickly crop up your mind is that “it is only weaker people who attack the most visible to be known.” Well these are all thoughts that are bound to emanate from your innocent mind. Truth is, you must see the social media platform as a market place where you are trying to be heard. Your product may not be the best but definitely you have something you trust is better than your lousy competitor’s so why keep quiet while your potential customers are daily cajoled to buy fake and unworthy products.
Let me show you a typical example. When the famous MTN arrived Nigeria, they were (if I am not mistaken) the second Global System for Mobile – GSM. On arrival, the network providers issued what they termed per minute billing to their customers and had their subscriber identification module (SIM), widely known as a SIM card, sold for as costly as tens of thousands of Nigerian naira. People had no other option than to use MTN in places like Port Harcourt, Rivers State since the then Econet which later turned to VMobile, Celtel, Zain, etc. was not providing a better option to GSM user.
It got so bad that on many occasions users will complain of attempting to dial a number and once it got connected, even before saying a ‘hello’, the line will go off, sometimes due to poor network which was not usually the fault of the user. The GSM Company would charge their normal 50 Nigerian Naira claiming a second is equal to a minute. This action continued while the Federal Government and her agencies like the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) looked the other way. The poor Nigerians suffered while the company smiled to the bank with money most Nigerians considered as ‘blood money’. The people’s plight continued.
While the wounds of this seeming broad daylight robbery tore deep into the heart of the GSM users, Globacom, popularly known as Glo came to the scene. Glo’s arrival was seen as another GSM company coming to milk Nigerians as their counterparts had done over the years. Unfortunately it turned out to be the reverse. Within weeks of being in cities like Port Harcourt, Glo announced her per second billing which replaced the heartless tariffs set by their competitors. With the advertisements on mass media, customers trooped to Glo office dumping MTN for a season when they will be able to buy a second phone. Recall then that there was no dual SIM phone or if there was any, it was not popular in any way.
Now if you were to strategize a digital marketing campaign for Globacom as at the said season, you can conveniently expose those weaknesses you know was popular about the MTN network. The network’s soft flanks had include but not limited to billing Nigerians heartlessly even when a customer makes a call for 3 seconds or 51 seconds.
In this case you will consider the fact that MTN had already been in the market and were loudly heard by many in the city. Infact, at a point they were running an advert showing that the network has covered even into the rivers and oceans. Most customers were hooked to this network because it was their first contact and they had shared their GSM numbers to their friends and relatives. Therefore with a perfect strategy aimed at exposing the inhumanity of the GSM network you could be heard clearly even in a rowdy social media market which was already dominated by your major competitor.
This strategy works well with product that are coming up in the market. Remember that the social media platforms are a set of rowdy disorganized market where everyone strives to be heard. Of course, one who is not heard will not generally get his or her product sold. Therefore taking time to study your major competitors and understanding their weaknesses will help you do a miracle with your product which has just arrived the market with better options. Don’t forget most people may have had the feelings for a better option but are just waiting for who will convince them of the indignity of your competitor’s weaknesses.
REMEMBER: The brand you are competing with on the social media market may be long established brands who are more influential than you are. Your work is not to bring your brand to disrepute through direct confrontation. It is to distract your competitors while bringing your customers to the full knowledge of those things you offer which are not in others. In doing this therefore, you dissuade yourself from frontal attack but think of the ancient myth of using the cat’s purr by kings for certain jobs.
Social media influencers are mostly used for this purpose. These are young people who have between 2 to 5 thousand friends or followers on their lists. What you do is to engage them. Most times they run their subscription doing nothing on the internet that gives them assurances of the next subscription. Volunteer that next subscription and get them trend your idea while you concentrate on promoting the brand that brings succor. Try as much as you can not to trend their hashtag with yours which is usually tailored to promote the brand you are projecting.
Now your rival’s pride has been touched and he may start looking for the source of his misfortunes. Such search may be long since they have to contend with the general public who now sees the burdens they have been subjected to for a period of time. If you are discovered, play the victim – I will explain this in latter articles. Their marketing teams will be so distracted that while they try to defend their brands, more holes will be opened in their reputations for you to attack and attack using various strategies. Once you have established a reputation and a couple of testimonies now flows in from your users, re-strategize your campaigns.
You are now ready to take over the minds of your users and customers. In doing this, you befriend them. Try to understand their perceptions. Create avenues of getting feedback so that you can tailor your gifts to suit their vanity. Launch crusades which will create avenues for your customers to testify. This will usually go into the media for a couple of months as such testimonies resonates into various communities attracting more users. Let former users of your competitor’s product recount their negative experiences while you present yourself as the messiah ready to toil day and night in giving them a better service and product.
For those who are new to this site, IT Matters is designed to bring you updates in the tech industry and to partner with whoever is interested in building a reliable future for Africa in the area of Information Technology. In the coming weeks I hope to discuss with you some strategies that are applied in Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is the latest entry into the Information Technology courses. It harnesses all areas of the industry in promoting brands and products on the internet and other digital platforms to increase sales.