In Kotler’s proposed “5A’s” of the customer journey, the last step, Advocate, is becoming increasingly important in the digital age. Today’s always-connected customers actively seek out information about brands and make purchasing decisions based on the opinions of others rather than their own personal preferences. However, these trends do not manifest themselves in the same way for everyone, so it is efficient and important for brands to focus their approach on those who are most likely to become their advocates.
What groups are most likely to be brand advocates?
Specifically, Youth, Women, and Netizens are the most likely and influential brand advocates.
They are eager to gather information and actively disseminate it themselves, which makes them extremely influential in the digital age. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each.
Approach Objective: Gain mindshare
Young people are ambitious, dynamic and ready to consume. They are ready to choose, try and experience new technologies and products. They are willing to share information and have the drive to recommend what they like to others.
They are also very responsive to trends. In particular, many young people share a common interest in the movement toward a digital lifestyle, and this enthusiasm is the driving force behind the creation of new trends. The influence of young people is evident in the fact that social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, which have now permeated all generations, began as a trend among young people.
More recently, their curiosity and ability to take action are not limited to things close to home, but have taken on a more social nature and are spreading globally. For example, they are willing to take ownership of global issues, such as environmental problems, and actively act and communicate. They want brands to do the same, so brands that demonstrate a philosophy and concrete initiatives on these issues are very attractive to them.
Approach Objective: Expand market share
When considering whether or not to buy something, women often spend a lot of time researching products and prices before making a final purchase. More recently, they are spending more time in online conversations, gathering information from around them, and are more active in disseminating the information they collect. These characteristics give women a greater voice in purchasing decisions at home and at work.
Women’s tendency to gather information means that brands have more touchpoints (points of contact between the brand and the customer). In addition, women are highly attached to the products and services they spend time and effort selecting and are willing to recommend them to others, making them ideal customers for brands as they are highly loyal and likely to become active recommenders.
Therefore, it is important for brands to engage and connect with these women through positive outreach at the most relevant touchpoints.
③Netizen /Net Citizens
Approach Objective: Expand Heartshare
Netizens are people who contribute to the development of the Internet by not only consuming content but also actively participating in it. They create content, review products and websites, and engage in a variety of other activities that allow us to access quality content and find the information we need quickly.
The willingness to connect with others also fuels online communication, driving interactions that begin as one-to-one connections and gradually evolve into many-to-many connections as each network influences the others.
The communities created by this phenomenon represent a business opportunity for brands. They are a valuable source of information for brands because when they are passionately attracted to and engaged with a particular brand, they will spread the news about it to their own networks. Telling authentic stories from the customer’s perspective and educating those around them is a valuable activity that cannot be replaced by advertising. Netizens, especially those with large numbers of followers and fans, have a tremendous voice and social influence.
Summary of three segments impacted by the digital age
①Youth, ②Women, and ③Netizens are influential segments that are critical to modern marketing and are likely to become brand advocates and influencers. Gather information on each of these characteristics to deepen your understanding and effectively target them.