Article

John Horsley
John Horsley 11 September 2014
Categories Social Media

The World's Largest Social Travel Network - Peter Ward on Participation Marketing (Video)

Peter Ward, CEO & Co-Founder WAYN.com sharing his points of view on Participation Marketing. See Peter at Digital Leaders - The Age Of Participation briefing on the 24th of September at the Magic Circle, London.

 

Peter Ward, CEO & Co-Founder WAYN.com sharing his points of view on Participation Marketing. See Peter at Digital Leaders - The Age Of Participation briefing on the 24th of September at the Magic Circle, London. http://bit.ly/participationmarketing

 

My name is Peter Ward. I am the Co-Founder and CEO of WAYN.com which stands for Where Are You Now? The business was set up in 2002 and we’re the largest social travel network in the world.

  • What does Participation Marketing mean to you?

So Participation Marketing, what it means to me, essentially I think it’s the same thing as Engagement Marketing, it’s really about building a relationship with your customers or prospective audiences in a more emotive way than just communicating one-way to them. So I think the real transformation that we’ve seen in the last few years in this space is really about how you can actually get them involved in creating the brand persona or experience that you want.

  • What differentiates moving from a campaign mentality to an ongoing dialogue with your audience?

People talk about moving from a campaign approach to a dialogue approach in terms of marketing. I think it’s very much around campaigning over the duration of the relationship and actually building that over time so one way we like to present that is continuing the conversation.  It’s one thing launching an initiative and getting your prospective or existing customers interested in what you have to say, it’s about them working out how you can create, if you like, a never ending story. And to create a never ending story it’s about finding ways in which you can essentially have touch points where you are then moving that to the next stage of where you want to take the message.

So one example that we have used is the World Cup. It’s something that happens every four years, you can do the build up to the World Cup which is all the anticipation, during which is obviously the event itself at the height of the excitement, and afterwards which is very much the aftermath, what you learnt, what the experience and the emotional attachment to that was, and I guess then the lessons learnt for the next four years.

  • With the rise of content marketing many businesses are becoming publishers in their own right and may indeed become community owners, what are your points of view on this and do you have any advice to offer them?

My point of view on brands becoming more like publishers is that it’s just a matter that everyone now has to create a conversation with their audiences, and if you can’t find ways to engage through dialogue, through content marketing messaging, which is essentially very much tapping into the emotions of your customers, then you’re going to leave your customers behind. Those that are doing it well have shown that they can take their customers with them and actually build their brand experience around them. That’s something that I’m seeing a lot in what we’re doing as well.

  • What are some great examples of Participation Marketing, even outside of your own business?

Some good examples of Participation Marketing that I’ve seen outside of WAYN I think a couple spring to mind. First of all Nike with their fuel band. I purchased a fuel band a few months ago. I’m not wearing it now but I’ve seen how engaged it is for me as a customer and how it’s changed my relationship with the Nike brand, as it’s something that I’m competing against myself, it’s about how I can improve myself, and how I share that with my friends.

Another big brand example is Coke and how they are using the ‘share a coke’ and the name which you feel is personalised to you, and actually I saw one in the shops the other day which was ‘Piot’ which is my name in Polish. And as a half Polish person I thought, that’s really cool, I wanted to get that to show my wife. So I think that anything that personalises the message makes me want to share it with my loved ones and friends is a good thing to do.

  • What are the key benefits?

Some of the key benefits of Participation Marketing are, well first and foremost I think it’s about creating brand advocacy, so really about converting your customers and prospective audiences into people who not only are your customers but they are sharing your brand with their friends with others and saying why it’s great. There’s no better way to influence others about your products and services than by getting other people to recommend them for you. In fact, 70 percent of people who buy products or are influenced by brands do so through recommendations. So that I’d say is the main benefit, the other benefits include creating an emotional attachment to what their perception of your brand is. It’s very hard to think about a product as just a widget or something that you buy versus something that makes you feel good about yourself. Anything that attaches to a value trait or an emotional trait, I think this is something that Participation Marketing allows you to do.

 

Hear Peter speak at the Digital Leaders Trends Briefing - Age of Participation, Sept 24th 2014 London

 

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