The core objective of Marketing is to generate more revenues or sales by reaching out to potential customers and engaging them in more ways than one.
A typical funnel process starts with brand exposure to brand engagement to generating leads. This leads are then pursued to ensure the leads or prospects are converted. The process goes one step ahead and makes sure the customers are retained and remain loyal to the brand.
Companies adopt various methods to expose brands to consumers and attract their attention. They do it through conventional mediums and lately have adopted the immense potential of social media platform.
Companies often spend heavily for such campaigns, try to be creative and try numerous means of customer interaction. Even if they end up reaching out to as many potential customers as possible, they more often than not end up not having the desired results. There seems to be a ‘leak’ in the entire process that takes up valuable customers. This can be due to not understanding the customer’s expectations correctly and making wrong assumptions. This can backfire in disastrous ways spoiling the image and reputation of the company which could lead existing customers leaving the brand once and for all at the cost of immense expenditure and investments.
Here are some examples of brands that went wrong in their social media strategies and failed to transition from one side of the funnel to the other and somehow got lost in the transition.
- Coors a Beer company tried to extend into water, but its transition did not make sense to its own customers and failed miserably
- Kodak went into oblivion when it failed to answer the call of the digital age. Same happened with polaroid.
- Netflix got a lot of heat after it decided to launch Qwikster, whose purpose was to separate Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service from its online streaming service. Users who wanted both DVDs by mail andonline streaming would’ve had to create a separate account for each of the two services. Ultimately Netflix decided not to launch Qwitster
- New Coke launched by Coca Cola dint receive favourable response from the consumers because they thought that original coke flavour had been tampered with and hence started to boycott the brand
- Coke’s heavily-marketed Dasani water, but consumers were outraged to discover that the water they were spending good money on had just come from a tap in London
The most common reasons why brands fail to make the transition can be many; some of which have been summarized below.
- Cultural issues when entering new markets and geographies. New segments of customers do not show the same response as that of local markets and companies make some serious blunders in assumptions
- Products or services fall short of promises and take a big hit on reputation.
- New products that require significant customer education and awareness of using or consuming the product, without which the brand fails to be successful.
- The product is revolutionary, but has no market for it. This might be again due to false assumptions and false alarms on social media platform.
Many companies have learnt the lesson the hard way. Many more still keep on repeating the mistakes. However, it will take a while before companies outline a clear framework of measuring the workability of brands in markets. Consumers will always surprise companies. Hence they should be extra careful about what will work and want will be discarded out of sight immediately.