The Power of Influencer Marketing: Part 4

Brand Marketing Program Muscatine Iowa

For our final article in the series we’re going to focus on how a medium sized company used a regional Influencer Marketing campaign to combat an industry giant. Again, we’ve held back a few of the details to protect the parties in question.


Background – Medium vs. Goliath

About five years ago I was engaged by a medium sized CPG company, we’ll call them Company K, to revive their entire product lineup in a specific category. Their portfolio was showing several years of decline despite an industry showing heavy growth. In particular, I was tasked with developing a premium brand offering well-suited to their supply chain and consumer base. As this is the brand on which we employed an Influencer Marketing program I’ll limit our comments to this area.


Details

Here are a few of the key details pertaining to this study.

  • Company K was over a hundred-million dollar entity but was small in the category.
  • The primary competitive company, Company P, was a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
  • Company K marketing efforts were previously limited to discounting activities.
  • Company K was only a regional player in the category with sales limited to the Midwest.
  • Company P was the category leader with Share of Market (SOM) of more than 50%.

Results

We launched a targeted premium brand in less than one year and hired a Brand Ambassador to lead a grass roots Influencer campaign. Within 10 months, Company K’s brand had a half-million dollars in sales and was able to replace Company P’s brand as the primary marketing partner in the largest and most influential of their sponsor relationships. Company K went on to average approximately 35% growth over the next 3 years. The premium brand launched by Company K transformed them from a small, regional player and now ships throughout North America through a large 3-tier supply chain.


Success Factors

The Influencer Program was the driving factor in Company K’s evolution from regional also-ran to national prominence. It should be noted that print and internet media campaigns were launched to support and communicate the Influencer Program. Here are a few of the key success factors.

  • Extremely Targeted – The program was limited to a modest but very passionate consumer group that influenced the category. This significantly increased likelihood of adoption by a larger group while keeping costs low.
  • Ambassador Selection – The Brand Ambassador hired by Company K was a nationally recognized authority figure in the category. His credibility enabled Company K to add more Brand Ambassadors at virtually no additional cost to increase the scope of the program.
  • Media & Event Integration – A modest campaign of print and internet marketing and trade events enabled broad engagement of the targeted consumer group. This increased the rate of growth while staying under the mass media radar of larger competitors.

Summary

Overall, the combination of a well-positioned new brand and a very targeted Influencer Marketing campaign enabled Company K, a virtual non-entity in the category, to grab significant business from Company P who was the industry leader. In less than one year Company K reversed their double-digit decline and in less than 4 years their business doubled! This is, again, a testament to The Power of Influencer Marketing.

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Article written by John Howard

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John is the founder and President of Frontera Marketing Group. A graduate of the University of Iowa, John had more than 20 years of professional experience in Sales and Marketing prior to founding FMG. His corporate background included a number of companies, industries and roles including National Account Manager, Product Manager, Brand Manager, Director of Trade Marketing, Director of Marketing and Vice-President of Marketing.

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