Community Building Through Marketing: All the Definitions You’ll Need

July 9th, 2021

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Don’t just sell your product. Instead, use your brand products and services to create advocates for your company. An army of happy customers loyal to the brand can do a lot of the marketing legwork for you. Sounds pretty good, right?

Before you jump into community building, you need to understand the terms around it. Once you are familiar with the following definitions, jump into our Community Building 101 Guide to expand your knowledge and get started. 

Brand terms not to get confused 

Brand community: A group of customers that are invested in the brand beyond the product they provide. The customers become a part of the brand itself. 

Brands and their most ardent followers make up the brand community. However, having a strong community is not the same as being a highly recognizable brand. 

Brand Awareness: A measurement of the extent to which people can recognize and remember your brand. There are two ways brand awareness is measured.

Two main components

  1. Brand recall – A measure of how well your brand name is connected to your product and industry (e.g., Do customers know that Lulu Lemon is related to the product class of athletic wear?)
  2. Brand Recognition: A measure of when customers recognize your brand by its traits (i.e., company logo and colors). 

Brand Positioning: The way you stand out amongst your competition and how your community will identify and connect with your brand. Your brand position should include the central values and qualities that are synonymous with your business. 

Internal brand needs

Value Proposition: The value your brand promises to deliver to its customers. Basically serves as a pinky promise; it’s a big deal when you break it.

What you need to know:

  • Presented in both business and marketing statements
  • Needs to be communicated to the customer directly via any marketing collateral or digital platforms.
  • They can be shown in any format, as long as they remain unique and specific to the company.
  • Think of a value proposition as a sales pitch. It should be able to persuade a prospect to convert into a customer.

Customer Referral Programs: A word-of-mouth marketing tactic that encourages customers to advocate on behalf of your brand.

Examples: “Give $20 to a friend when they sign up using your link” or “Receive a free gift with your next order for each person who uses your code at checkout for their first purchase.”

Buyer Personas: A semi-fictional representation of your target customer based on accurate data and market research from your existing customers. The more detailed you can make your buyer persona, the better it will serve you. 

Your brand can use buyer personas to focus on qualified prospects and inform product development to suit the unique needs of your target market. 

A buyer persona should include the following:

  • Customer demographics
  • Motivations
  • Behavior patterns
  • Goals

Marketing Strategies 

Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM): The modern definition of WOM is an oral or written advocacy of a service or product from a happy customer to a prospective customer. 

These days it is considered to be the most effective marketing strategy.

Tactics used for WOM

  • Encouraging UGC (User-generated content)
  • Sharing customer reviews
  • Public product ratings
  • Referral programs

Inbound Marketing: A customer-centric strategy that’s primary goal is to draw in the best-fit customers vs. blasting your brand message to anyone you can get to.

Tactics used for Inbound Marketing

  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Blogging

Customer Marketing: a set of tactics targeted at your current customer base to improve their experience with your brand, and they receive value through engagement with the company.

Tactics for Customer Marketing

  • Welcome emails, including offers
  • Curate and share UGC
  • Customer success stories
  • Responding to comments and messages from current customers
  • Reward your customers

Conversational Marketing: This strategy is an essential component of building your community. It allows customers to have real-time engagement with your brand, whether through a chatbot on your website or through social media direct messaging.

Having a robust conversational marketing strategy allows your brand to build authentic relationships with your buyers and provide personalized service.

Metrics to measure for success 

Churn Rate: A measurement used to calculate customer retention and identify the number of customers lost in a defined period. When community building, you can measure success by how low your churn rate is. The goal of a community is customer retention.


Calculated by dividing the number of customers lost during a period of time by the number of customers you had at the beginning of that period. 

Customer Retention: The opposite of churn rate. Customer retention is when you renew existing customers so they continue to engage and work with your company.

This is the primary goal of community building. The benefit of a strong community is always having access to a group of loyal and recurring customers who are invested in your company’s success.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): The cost of turning a lead into a customer.

Formula: CAC is expressed by dividing the total amount you spent on sales and marketing during a defined period by the number of customers acquired during the same period.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): A forecast predicting the net profit associated with the future relationship of a customer.

Formula: To calculate CLV, take your customer revenue and subtract the gross margin. Then divide that number by your churn rate.

Why do I need to know this? 

The more you know about the strategies, metrics, and general marketing ideas involved in community building, the stronger and more streamlined you can make the process.

One of our favorite quotes from the legendary Pablo Picasso is this: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Building a solid community will support your brand goals in many ways, primarily if one of your goals is to go viral. 

At Nowadays, we work with brands that have taken the time to build engaged and loyal communities. Then we take those brands and help them move from playing in small venues to filling entire stadiums.

Turn up the volume until you are in control of the conversation. If that sentence makes you say “Hell yeah!” in your head, then get in contact with us.



How to Create a Buyer Persona (Includes Free Persona Template)

Chatbot Definition | Investopedia

Value Proposition Worksheet | Rutgers