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This cliché or idea is often thrown around. In boardrooms, brainstorming sessions and any other business gathering.  But are brands really serious about this, or is it just the right thing to discuss for someone’s corporate career ambitions?  We all know we should put the customer first, but sadly this concept mostly remains lip service with nothing or little coming from it. At best, we invest in new competition, referral or loyalty programs. We even discount our product because we perceive that customers demand lower prices!

What if investing in existing loyal customers could gain you more customers?  This notion is not just the oldest form of advertising, but it’s still relevant in today’s ever-changing advertising world.  Mark Zuckerberg says a trusted referral is the “holy grail” of advertising – and he should know a thing or two about the subject. Now, what if these referrals could happen in both on and offline situations. In conversations and environments where there is trust and authenticity. Studies show user-generated content performs 6.9 x better n terms of engagement compared to brand advertising on Facebook. 

If you want to connect with potential customers on their terms; when they’re most receptive to your message, you need to go and meet them on their terms; in their environments and have those conversations there.  Your existing customers are already there, why not use them. 

magine the connection a brand can make by investing back into loyal customers? By encouraging them to share and discuss their positive brand experiences and views. This investment also entrenches the relationship these fans have with the brand. Because brands don’t often drive this kind of relationship. As an example, let’s take your favoured household immune system booster. There is an immense impact when it has been tried and tested over many seasons. Then suddenly approaches mommy to become their brand ambassador. Most might know she is a fan already, but now it’s just official, and simply rewards her for her loyalty. At the same time, this brand involvement elevates her a bit prompting more frequent discussions on the topic.

Engagement with real influence serves to significantly shorten the consumer decision-making journey and time period between information seeking and purchase.  Using the above example, during winter, on an almost daily occurrence the above mom would stumble across someone with flu.  Now, as she knows about a wonder product that works for her and her family, she would happily pass that info on to the people with whom she interacts and whom she wants to help; and those people may very well have bought the product by that evening.  That is influencer marketing in real life.

At theSALT this is exactly what we do!  As per our tagline “Influencer Marketing….Differently”, we are in the business of turning existing brand fans into super fans.  Influencer marketing has become a buzz word in modern advertising and marketing circles over the last few years and even reached a “breakout” status on Google with growth in the search term of over 5000%. 

Brands have invested more than R30 million directly back into the pockets of their fans through theSALT.  Our core strength is the ability to easily match brands with fans. We connect with them via our database to over 67000 consumers, who could be influencers.

What makes theSALT offering unique, is the re-investment into customers. We turn fans into super fans who in turn act as brand influencers. Training is involved. Because even as a fan I might only know 40% of what the brand wants me to know and knowledge is power!!!  Amazing sessions these – when brands meet their real fans in person. Thereafter theSALT implements triggers to stimulate more conversations around the brand. Without being intrusive and without requiring the brand influencer to provide the prompt.

So why are we claiming to be “different”? 

Why?

Because it’s authentic, individuals have the best chance to influence others to try or checkout products or services

Again, why?

Because they’re trusted in their communities (both on and offline). They interact at schools, work, sport or entertainment and social gatherings.

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