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Choosing the right house to send mail to is a matter of location & timing.  

Most people follow the herd; they don’t like standing out. This means getting them to change their behaviour is extremely difficult, which if you’re in marketing makes your job hard.

To think about how we can fix this, let’s think about standing ovations. 

Standing ovations are started by, at most, a handful of people standing up. These early adopters influence a few more people who copy them and stand-up too. Slightly more reticent members of the audience then see 5,6,7 people around them standing and are swept into the cascade. Eventually, the few killjoys left sitting in a room full of people standing feel stupid doing so and take to their feet. The result of this herd mentality is the whole crowd standing and cheering.

In fact, theatres know this and have been known to employ people to trigger this herd mentality. 

Something similar happens with brands. A small number of early adopters kick off a wave of adoption and those about them copy them. If adoption reaches a tipping point, it creates a cascade with more and more people adopting the behaviour until brand stardom is achieved.  

But if the cascade never starts, the marketing never benefits from the momentum caused by the cascade and acquisition costs go up and growth stalls. 

Marketing is at its most effective when it looks to trigger these cascades. And this is where mail comes in. Like the theatre placing people strategically, brands can harness behaviourally targeted mail to help establish and maintain cascades.  

When people are exposed to a brand and see those about them in the real world adopting a product, they are more susceptible to their marketing messages. When they see a marketing nudge, via mail for example, the hard work has already been done and there’s a higher probability that they will engage with that marketing activity. This isn’t about just understanding where you have customers, but where and when these “standing ovations” are likely to occur.  

Targeting media when a “standing ovation” is bubbling under the surface leads to increased response rates. For example, Abel and Cole received a 120% uplift in their response rate to a door drop when they used a fully GDPR-compliant software platform called Herdify to identify where their “standing ovations” were about to happen. 

Within your media plans consider whether herd mentality is the missing piece of the puzzle. 

Herdify is a software platform used by media planners and strategists which applies behavioural science to a brands first party data to identify the best time and place for media placement.    

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Ignite your brand power: Why your offline community is the real influencer

“Social communities grow more powerfully offline, yet most marketing tactics tap into the online element. 92% of word-of-mouth – the single biggest influence on consumer buying behaviour – happens offline."

~ Ed Barter, Lead data scientist at Herdify

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