FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 25:  A Coca-Cola delive...
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We’re all in sales. Whether you’re Coca-Cola or the GateWay College Gecko soccer teams, you’ve got an audience you’re trying to reach and some action you’re trying to inspire. These two groups may be miles apart in terms of scale, but they’re both actively engaged with their communities online. Coke has it’s and the GateWay Geckos use Facebook, Twitter. and their Browser Theme. They are strengthening their ties with their existing audience, and, in effect, selling more.

For many businesses, the sales strategy falls into two roles: Hunter and Farmer. Every company will have a mix of these two that fit best with its overall objectives. Coke and the Geckos will use advertising and outreach to bring in new people and give the Hunters prey, I mean, prospects. The rewards programs and social media these two groups are involved in… that’s all Farming and creating deeper engagement with existing “customers.”

I borrowed the descriptions below from Go-to-Market Strategies web site and their Two Sales Personalities: Hunters and Farmers.

  • The Hunter is the person who gets their sales energy off of the “hunt” for the new opportunity.
  • The Farmer is the sales person who builds and cultivates relationships and opportunities, typically within existing accounts.

Each sales type has its  value in an organization, and the tools in your marketing kit will help one of them more than the other. The browser theme excels at serving the Farmer because it brings about a level of hyper-engagement that few other channels offer.

It took me a while to understand this difference in selling focus. For the early years of Brand Thunder’s interactive browser themes, the early adopters of the product were – sports teams and large online communities. Both of these channels foster a participatory relationship with their audiences, and entertain  concepts that will create a new channel for interaction with that audience. That made sense.

I was surprised we never saw movies, like the Harry Potter series, or even Consumer Packaged Goods with a well-liked brand, like General Mills Cocoa Puffs and Sonny its spokesbird – large fan bases, longevity to the product line. The sales strategy of the people marketing those products, however, are mainly focused on ticket sales and product trials. They’re less concerned with maintaining the relationship once the movie is watched or the cereal eaten. It’s pure Hunter mode.

Maintaining and deepening the relationship with a user is the strength of the browser theme, and these marketers saw that. While they loved the concept and product, it didn’t help them meet the objectives they were measured against.

Where the browser theme does fit in is with the sales strategy around the web initiatives for any business, company or group. It drives up the frequency of visits, interactions and engagement between a brand and its user base. Assuming your web site is built to meet your businesses needs, the browser theme will get users back to your site on a more regular basis. They’re also more engaged with commerce. Our themes that integrate stores into the theme can see up to 10% of browser clicks going to their commerce site. That’s a great percentage in a world where content is supposedly king.

With the launch of BT:Engage, our free DIY browser theme creator, anyone can quickly build a browser theme and start sharing it with their audience. If you’re responsible for marketing to your online community, it’s worth a try.

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