If you do business, online or offline, your business will only be as successful as your marketing is.
With the wrong marketing, you’ll fail even if you have the best product.
With the right marketing, however, success won’t be far away.
A great way to shape your marketing strategy is by learning from that of other successful businesses, whether small or great.
One such company you can learn from is Weight Watchers.
While Weight Watchers is a mega corporation, their marketing is very powerful and relateable; whether you’re a blogger, product creator, affiliate marketer or you have a business online, you can learn a lot from weight watchers.
Here are 5 powerful marketing strategies Weight Watchers uses that you can implement:
Lesson #1: Let Your Product Sell Itself
This is a very powerful marketing strategy because it helps you get better.
If you have mediocre product, no one will care about you. If you have great product, it’s easy for your product to sell itself.
Weight Watchers does this not only by creating a great product but by also letting people have a feel for their product.
You can experience Weight Watchers in your city at no cost and obligation by attending one of their meetings in your city. While it seems like bad marketing to let someone who is not a customer to have access to important meetings like this, it helps Weight Watchers in a lot of ways. Here are some ways Weight Watchers benefit from this approach:
- They host the meeting for free and get people to come; they’re able to advertise their products to those who attend the meeting, who will happily purchase the products if they enjoyed the meeting
- When people attend these meetings, they can meet and see people who have had success with Weight Watchers. This alone is very powerful marketing when we consider how important social proof is
You can see this in action online in form of free trials; when you create a great product, you can let people have access to it for free, or relatively cheap for a limited time. If they like it, they can upgrade to get a better version.
Lesson #2: Sell Feelings and Experience, Not Products
Your customers won’t think about your product or marketing when talking with their friends or when in their best moments. Instead, they’ll think about the experience it helps them create.
Does your product leave your customers with any feeling or experience, or do they feel like they’re using just another product?
This is something Weight Watchers understands and leverages powerfully. They don’t just sell their audience the best home delivery diet, they sell them the experience of using their product.
To see this in action, Jennifer Hudson (WW’s spokesperson) after losing weight with Weight Watchers, said: “… at this point I feel I can do anything, I feel good. Weight Watchers has helped me with every department of my life. From my career to being a mom, to being a performer…when I am on stage in front of thousands of people. It gives me so much energy”
Jennifer didn’t just say it in her home or to her friends, she told it to the world and this has resulted in a lot of business for Weight Watchers.
When you create and sell experiences to your audience, they’ll rave about you with a lot of passion and enthusiasm; this in turn will lead to more business for you.
Lesson #3: Expand Your Target Audience
Do you have a successful online business you want to grow but just can’t figure out how?
Sometimes, what you need is to expand your target audience.
If you’re a blogger that only focuses on targeting beginner bloggers, why not expand to targeting intermediate bloggers? Or even advanced bloggers?
Of course, that shouldn’t dilute the main purpose of your brand or the reason of your growth but it can be a very powerful way to expand if you feel your growth is currently stalling.
Weight Watchers’ implementation of this is very powerful:
Most weight loss and dieting products are restricted to females wanting to lose weight but sensing the growing interest among males who want to lose weight; Weight Watchers has expanded to targeting the male audience. In fact, Weight Watchers is the only product to advertise itself during the NBA playoffs; a one minute commercial in the NBA finals costs up to $1 million.
Lesson #4: Take Advantage of Your Competitors Weakness
Creating enemies is a psychologically sound marketing tactic that has been proven to work.
Success in business isn’t just about having a lot of users but about having the right amount of the right users.
To make this possible you need to have your own ideals and a common enemy; you can then solidify your business by attracting like-minded people who oppose this common enemy.
This is something Weight Watchers does smartly, by opposing their main competitor, Nutrisystem’s weakness.
While Nutrisystem embraces a very rigid approach of encouraging strict meal schedules and other guidelines – which is why most dieters quit losing weight along the way – Weight Watchers focuses more on flexibility which allows for “real food in the real world” as compared to a “boxed burger and microwave pizza.”
Lesson #5: Leverage the Power of Influencers who can help You Reach Your Target Audience
Weight Watchers does this very well and you’ll see almost any successful business do it.
If you want to build a very successful business, moving up with others is something you must learn.
It could be in the form of getting endorsed by an expert in your niche who has your target audience. It could be by collaborating with an authority in your field or it could be by associating yourself with an “A player” in your field in some way.
Weight Watchers has proved how powerful this technique can be due to the success it is experiencing by partnering with celebrities.
By having a celebrity like Jennifer Hudson as its spokesperson and by bringing people like Jessica Simpson on board – whom Weight Watchers reportedly paid $3 million dollars to lose some weight – Weight Watchers keeps reinforcing its authority as a key player in the weight loss industry.
To put this in perspective, here’s an excerpt from a CNN report of top stock winners in 2011:
“Thanks to a wildly successful marketing campaign featuring `American Idol’ finalist Jennifer Hudson, Weight Watchers (WTW) has booked fatter profits and seen its stock more than double in value over the past 12 months.”
“Last week, the diet specialist reported a 65% jump in quarterly profit to $73.6 million, and raised its full-year guidance.”
For a big company like Weight Watchers, a jump of 65% in profits is definitely a big deal; and guess what, this happened because of collaborating with one celebrity.
Now imagine the impact working with various authorities in your field can have!