Who’s receptive to your marketing?

When we present results to our brand partners after their campaigns, we provide a thorough array of outcomes: reach, engagement, branding, and sales, with sub-metrics and sub-sub-metrics therein. Usually, it’s the standard, tried-and-true metrics that get the spotlight: impressions, for instance, or lifts in favorability and purchase-intent.

But there’s a less flashy metric, one usually tucked into a slide near the end of a House Party results deck, that just might be more crucial, in the long term, than anything else our campaigns typically deliver. We call it “marketing receptivity,” and it addresses the idea that the weeks of engagement a House Party or Chatterbox™ campaign comprises, and the personal relationship between the brand and consumers that results, will make those consumers more interested in and attuned to the rest of the brand’s marketing mix.

This isn’t necessarily an obvious result of the campaign, like trials or tweets, but it’s perhaps a more powerful one, as its effects are even more widespread and long lasting. We delve into two of those effects in particular when surveying participants after a campaign:

      1. How much more frequently they’ve seen the brand in ads or in stores — that is, how much it’s caught their eye. With newer products, especially, guests report all the time that they had never even heard of it before, but now see it everywhere.
      1. How much more likely they are to actively seek out other branded information — by Liking the brand on Facebook, for instance, or keeping an eye on store flyers for new deals. (We even find people reporting frequently that in the weeks following their party, as they were fast-forwarding through TV commercials, they noticed one for the sponsor brand and rewound in order to watch it and recall the fun they had at the party. We hear this specific anecdote regularly and without prompting; it’s hard to overstate how remarkable it is, at a time when consumers are otherwise going to every conceivable length to avoid watching commercials, to have these hosts and guests go out of their way to see ads simply because of the emotional connection they now feel with that brand.)

Even if there were no data to support this idea (which there is), it would still make sense on a gut level. If you see, say, a billboard for a certain product, it’s unlikely that it’ll cause you to recall a specific magazine or banner ad for it that you saw years ago. But you will remember that you once spent an entire afternoon at a party for that brand — that you had a great time with your friends, and maybe got to try a product that you never otherwise would have. That sort of engagement is unique, positive and informative, and it sticks with you as a result.

House Party sent a delegation this week to the Shopper Marketing Conference & Expo in Minneapolis, and their main takeaway, heard across sessions, was that nothing great is built or promoted in isolation anymore. Manufacturers and retailers are increasingly working together on integrated campaigns to get consumers in stores (and get them spending more once there). And both of those groups are working directly with the consumers themselves to create content, gather insights and spread advocacy.

This isn’t unique to shopper marketing, of course; all marketers today are facing an increasingly complex ecosystem. And as budget-makers take a closer look at secondary and tertiary effects of their decisions, we expect more attention will be paid to strategies and platforms, like House Party, that can create passionate brand advocates for life. Marketing doesn’t have to be an endless effort to break through the clutter, to find more people and serve them more impressions until one of them purchases. Consumers are willing to do the hard work for you — to seek out information, to spread the word, to offer their reactions — if only you’re willing and able to make them feel valued (and make yourself seem valuable) enough to do so. “Marketing receptivity”? It doesn’t have to be an oxymoron, if you’ve done the marketing right.