I was reading a Harvard Business Review article, Coca-Cola Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions by Joe Tripodi and really loved it.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, the main point of the article is a need for companies to go from focusing on impressions to focusing on expressions. And, by expression they mean any level of engagement with a brand’s content by a consumer or constituent. It could be a comment, a “like,” uploading a photo or video or passing content onto their networks.
So what can expressions do for you than impressions can’t? Well first you should think of impressions as building brand awareness. Brand awareness is great as it can get you into the consideration set. That being said, impressions are much less connected than expressions to the next level in the purchase funnel: the actual purchase.
Here’s what I think is most important when it comes to expressions:
Do you hear what I hear?–prospects and customers who are engaged will talk about you…alot. So you should be measuring not just how many people are seeing your brand name through SEO and focusing on how many people are talking about you and more importantly…what are they saying.
Houston are you receiving me? –in addition to listening to what your “fans” are saying, you need to actively engaging with your prospects and customers. And by that, I mean talk to them through the same media in which they used to talk about you…social media. By measuring how much they engage with your two-way conversation, you can really get a sense of how likely they are to promote you…can I get a NPS (Net Promoter Score) anyone?
Have you heard the good news? –ok, I am not talking about a commune, but a community. Are you using your social media efforts to build a community of followers? That’s the big pay off in this whole game. Once you get the expressions, you need to be thinking communities. How do I turn expressions of engagement into a community of engaged fans. It’s not easy, but it can be done with time, patience and the right (customer centric) attitude.
So when are you going to quit worrying about impressions and start focusing on expressions?