Suppliers often struggle to implement influencer marketing, even though activating brand ambassadors can be very effective and is becoming increasingly popular.
Many companies simply don’t know where to start!
Influencer marketing can be a source of valuable data, but Bethany Stephens of Soapbox says that sometimes suppliers who have just jumped into that pool feel like they’re “drowning in data.” The increased information it provides is more overwhelming than it is useful.
Soapbox, a new company within Kendal King’s Bentonville-based Velocity division, is providing a faster, leaner approach to influencer marketing. They describe their offering as “shopper-sourced aha! moments,” and they offer a range of services leveraging influencers for both market research and influencer marketing.
Soapbox uses proprietary tools to identify hyper-aware shoppers — the passionate shoppers who offer the most insightful feedback and on whom other shoppers rely — and to collect actionable insights from those shoppers. Soapbox works directly with shoppers, joining them on “shop-alongs” to get direct observation of how shoppers interact with a particular space or product inside the store. They also do in-home visits to get a sense for how the products are being used. They gather photos and soundbites from these real consumers to provide real-world data for brands. This deep research provides much more accurate and intense information on suppliers’ specific products than the broad market research reports available to everyone who cares to buy them.
It’s also a faster turnaround. Instead of waiting for 60 or 90 days, Stephens points out, “Soapbox can tell you what shoppers were saying last week.”
Soapbox provides this highly specialized market research, grassroots conversations that go beyond the traditional focus group, and crowdsourced feedback. This data allows suppliers to validate their ideas quickly and cost-effectively.
On the other side of the same coin, through these interactions Soapbox is also able to turn those very shoppers into loyal ambassadors for the brand. The combination of a carefully curated community of influencers and the innovative ways in which Soapbox connects with these consumers creates powerful brand ambassadors.
Soapbox’s name comes from the days when speakers in public places would climb up on a wooden soapbox to make sure their message was heard. Your message may not be the kind public orators shouted from public square, but there are consumers in the Soapbox community who are just as passionate about getting your message out to the people who make a point of listening to them. Soapbox does the matchmaking — finding and working with the people who already naturally influence the people you want to reach.
Specific services within Soapbox:
- Concept testing
- Market research, in store and in home
- Qualitative research
- Insights reporting
- Content marketing programs
- Brand ambassador activation