Third-Party Marketing: Friend or Foe?

By Kate Nelson

Webinar Project Lead at Rockwell Automation

Know your online customers: Brand champions vs. bargin shoppers.

It is no surprise that third-party marketing (especially through websites like Amazon) is becoming a growing area of strategic sales for many companies. But is it right for your business? If you sell consumables, the short answer is YES! Yet, like J.Lo or a Kardashian, it comes with a big BUT.

An extensive, expedient operations system, as well as global exposure to help sell your product online, is exponentially appealing, especially to smaller companies. However, the customers these online sites appeal to probably aren’t your ideal direct purchaser, as these third-party online shoppers typically spend less per order. So how do you make third-party marketing work for you? The first step is simple – KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!

Brand Champion

At the core, every company has a brand champion. You know this champion’s gender, socio-economic status, purchase frequency, average order and a plethora of other statistics. Your brand champion is loyal to you and is willing to pay full price for your product through your website or at your store. You love your brand champion because they love you, but don’t forget this champion likely has a cousin: the bargain shopper.

Bargain Shopper

Don’t let the bargain shopper fool you. They may look like your brand champion, but they have a much lower average order spend and purchase frequency. The bargain shopper is attracted to third-party websites and will purchase your product only when the price is right for them. They find satisfaction in knowing they didn’t have to pay full price for your product like their brand champion cousin. If you want to dip your toe in the third-party pond, then I suggest getting to know the bargain shopper’s profile up close and personal.

So now what?

Marketing to the bargain shopper via print is expensive and illegal via email, which means it’s time to pull your digital marketing levers (i.e., pay-per-click ads, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, etc.). The best way to discover which lever works for you is to TEST! If you have the budget, try doing a small test on all the channels the bargain shopper uses regularly. This testing will help you see where you acquired your bargain shoppers, and of those digital channels, which of them provides the most cost-effective return on your marketing dollars. You won’t know if you don’t give it a try.

Knowledge (and Amazon) is powerful—make it work for you!

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