Insights

Can we hack the marketing communication funnel?

Can we hack the marketing communication funnel?

Two regional, pro-social campaigns in Southeast Asia suggest that it’s possible – with netizens’ help.

Marketing and communications professionals are familiar with the usual “funnel” – starting with awareness and leading to advocacy – and are used to applying it to create and plan campaigns. These days, with brands under pressure to quickly gain momentum and positive ROI, brand and communication managers may challenge their agency to leapfrog or skip the early phases of the funnel to convince the target audience to take action. This sounds tempting, but there are conditions to make it work.

Over the past six months, Vero has worked on two regional campaigns that asked us to encourage the public to act first. The challenge was that our clients are non-profit companies seeking to inspire social change while having no real brand awareness or presence in the ASEAN region.

The first client was Thankyou, a social enterprise from Australia manufacturing eco-conscious personal care products. Thankyou’s No Small Plan campaign aims to end extreme poverty by making each purchase a donation to help underprivileged people around the globe. The campaign invites people around the world to work together to convince global FMCG companies to license and distribute Thankyou products without demanding that Thankyou change its charity-focused business model. Supporters simply share the video campaign or post their own photos on social media with the line “I’m in, are you?” and tag the target companies.

The second is the global animal welfare organization Humane Society International. Their recent #SaveRalph campaign is meant to raise awareness of the cruelty of animal testing and convince people to stop buying cosmetics that have been tested on animals. The end goal is to encourage brands to comply with cruelty-free practices and for people to bring the issue to their governments in hopes of inspiring a ban on animal testing.

Both campaigns have similar challenges: 1) zero brand awareness in the ASEAN region, 2) A request to challenge big and influential companies and 3) The need for large masses of people to join to have any real impact. Here’s how we’re doing it: 

Finding a mutual interest

To create immediate buzz and cooperation for both campaigns, we sought a sweet spot where clients and target audiences can both benefit from PR efforts. We found that people generally want to do good and care for others, and they are willing to help if they can.

Hence we chose the shortest route and the simplest strategy to engage with them: sincerity. We came to our media friends and influencers and talked them through the campaign backgrounds and goals. We even admitted that the task is very challenging for us as an agency, but we persevere because we and our client’s belief in people power to make this world a better place.

Not building but nurturing

To garner support from people, we don’t seek to empower them, but rather to emphasize the fact that, as netizens, they already have the power in their hands to bring about change. We provide tools and inspiration to help them easily express their support using videos, interviews, podcasts, and social media posts. We give them the whole story so they can understand the impact their contributions can make.

Final takeaway

These two campaigns emphasize that brands need to find their key values to drive consumers to the end of the communication funnel, as the real power comes from people.

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