The Growing Power of Evangelism!

Best practice suggests that retailers spend between five and ten percent of sales on promotion or communicating with customers and potential customers. The variance is based on whether you are vertical and whether you also wholesale. Either way, it is a sizable amount of your expenditure.

And what is making it scary for a growing number of retailers is the increasing rate of media fragmentation. It is getting to the point where – depending on who you are targeting – in many instances there just isn’t any mass-media left. But is this really a problem?

Many retailers pay high rents to be in shopping centres that deliver foot –traffic to their doors leaving them an opportunity to use the windows, store and centre activity to promote. The biggest trend around the world suggests that money spent on blanket communication in the 21st century produces huge amounts of wastage. This is because many of the people who receive the message either find it irrelevant, un-motivating or are just not interested in hearing it.

Enter The Evangelists (not to be mistaken for early adopters).

This trend is baed on the fact that by far the most over-whelming influencer on purchase behaviour is peer group. And every peer group leader within it for specific categories. Think about your own social circle. Within that there will be a person who is passionate about let’s say food. And your group will ask them about restaurants, ingredients the best place to get…..

Evangelists are peer group leaders and influencers – passionate about their favourite categories. Well researched, knowledgeable and influential, they have the power to recruit, sell and influence their friends, family and peers in large numbers. Best practice retailers around the world now focus their attention on building their offer and their promotion with their Evangelists as their primary target audience.

As the most critical observers, the Evangelists help keep retail offers sharp and magnetic. Retailers deliver stories that can be re-told by Evangelists as they “sell” to their peer group. And they are not hard to find. They are your most frequent or highest value purchasers. They are the ones that buy based on turn-on. And they are the ones you need to keep turned on.

There is nothing as powerful as an Evangelist who is turned on to your store.

There is nothing as destructive as an Evangelist who is turned against your store.

Find your Evangelists. Spend your time, money and energy tuning your offers to meet their expectations and give them stories that they can use to on-sell your offer. This is not only 21st century promotional strategy but the core of building a sustainable retail business which is almost impervious to competitive attack.