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Evolving Customer Engagement, P2P Marketing and Its Huge Scope in India

, October 22, 2021, 1 Comments

Customer engagement has always been recognized as an important and meaningful marketing goal and brings a high level of sales, profit and brand equity to a company.

Customer engagement has evolved over a period of time and in the last decade, it has drawn lots of attention from marketers due to the digital revolutions, social media marketing and the emergence of a new generation of customers. P2P Marketing, a new avatar of customer engagement marketing is added to the marketing dictionary.

Rosetta Consulting has found in a study (2014) that for highly engaged customers, frequency of purchase has increased up to 90% and expenditure in each transaction has increased more than 60%. Promotion of a brand by engagement customers would be four times more than by any other ordinary customer. Over the years, marketers emphasized transforming voluntary customer engagement to a concentrated “Customer engagement marketing strategies” and in the last decade, customer engagement has culminated in “P2P” or “Peer to Peer” marketing. In the era of social networking and digital engagement, marketing has evolved from traditional selling, advertising and promotions to story-telling, extreme customer centricity and creating value to customers’ experience.

Engaging customers in advocating or recommending any brand, product or service to their peers either through references, email, message, blog, content marketing, microblogging or through social media is called “Peer to Peer marketing”.

Customers are rewarded by the company once they refer a product/service to their peers. P2P marketing has become a very popular marketing tactic to reach the target audience because of the digital revolution, emergence of social networking and due to new-generation information and communication technology.

Is P2P Marketing- a new avatar of Word-of-mouth marketing among millennials1 and zoomers2?

Researchers argue that with the rise of millennials (born 1981-1996) and zoomers/Gen Z (born 1997-2012) as a prominent global customer segment, “Word-of-mouth” marketing only has been shaped into a new avatar- “P2P” or “Peer to Peer’’ marketing. Time has gone by when ladies in a party share their shopping chats or office colleagues enjoy typical chit chat about their last purchases and marketers benefit from word-of-mouth communication from satisfied customers. Zoomers and millennials, more habitual with portable digital devices, different in media habits, differentiated from the previous generations by higher screen times, typically are more connected in Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok than in persons.

They get influenced by any post shared by people like them rather than endorsed by celebrities. Maya, Samantha, Taushif or Karen, these new generations have more friends on virtual platforms, they are highly internationalized and believe in Insta-followers, YouTube bloggers or Twitter friends. Whether to pursue a course, to go for a trip, to buy the latest bike or to join a company these young generations give higher weightage to their peers’ opinion. Millennials and zoomers spend a substantial amount of time in the digital world, update their status frequently and share any content liked by them.

Social media becomes a trusted source of sharing their personal and professional information and raising a voice on anything important across the globe. Despite rising concern about the negative impact of screen time on the physical and mental well-being of a person, a study by Snap.Inc (2019) showed that Zoomers spend an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes per day on mobile, a little more than millennials and highest among any generation.

The number has increased even higher due to the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and consequently restricted movements due to a series of lockdowns. The latest trend is showing the usage of TV has gone down whereas multi-device usage becomes very popular among these generations. They are socially conscious and care for brands that share some common values on environmental or social issues.

Success through P2P marketing in the Indian market

Indian population is comprised of 27% of Gen Z and 24% of Millennials (EY analysis, August 2020). For the next decade, Indian economic growth will be reshaped by the youngsters and the market is expected to witness rapid growth with increasing consumption where the millennials and zoomers will play a pivotal role in the consumer market. Marketers can drive these youngsters by engaging them to have interesting conversations, attract them to innovative content and influence them with positive customer experiences. Engaged youngsters need no push but they will recommend the brand/ product to their peer groups.

To grab this huge opportunity through P2P marketing, few things to be considered by the marketers-

  • Generate superior experience at each touchpoint of interaction and build a long-lasting relationship with them.
  • Don’t create pushy marketing advertisements. A socially conscious brand with a message to create a better planet and aligned with the values of these generations are going to stay.
  • Agile innovations, attractive AI and ML-based interactive apps and marketing content will match their expectations.
  • Avoid “Marketing myopia”. A slowdown in income growth rate and fear of job loss due to pandemics make these generations more cautious spenders. A brand or product that adds value rather than having unnecessary extra features will be preferred.

  • Ramya Sai

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