Andy Pilkington's recent articles
Marmite’s secret online ‘Marmarati’ community draws out their most loyal fans
Marmite show how brands can boost engagement from their most devoted fans by recognising them as such through dedicated ‘elite fan’ communities, though they risk drawing increased focus on the marketing around these sites rather than their brand or products.
Marmite, the popular love it/hate it British condiment, has always traded on the idea that it drives extreme loyalty from fans of the spread, and hatred from non-fans. Expanding this idea online, the brand has for the past few months managed a “deliciously secret society” called The Marmarati, designed for the brand’s most devoted fans to “spread the love for the Noir Elixir.” The Marmite Facebook page is also a mix of regular and Marmarati-focused posts. WaveMetrix looked at replies to these posts to investigate whether passionate Marmite fans are more attracted to posts about The Marmarati, or if there is no difference.
WaveMetrix social media research reveals that the Marmarati posts drive more comments from those who consider Marmite a ‘classic’ brand and who say they have “always used it.” However, they also drive consumers to focus more on Marmite’s marketing itself. This suggests that niche communities for your most devoted fans are an effective means of getting these fans more engaged, but can draw more attention to the fact that you are actively seeking to engage them.
Marmarati posts draw more comments from consumers who consider Marmite a ‘classic’ product:
- Both Marmarati and non-Marmarati posts draw a similar amount of buzz relating to Marmite’s brand values: ‘Delicious’ leads overall, with many fans commenting that they “love” the spread because it is “yummy and rich”
- Non-Marmarati posts draw more comments relating to the ‘quality’ or ‘versatility’ of Marmite: Many consumers respond to more general posts about the product by saying simply that it's "the best", or mentioning their favourite Marmite recipes and combinations such as “Marmite and peanut butter” or “Marmite in spaghetti bolognaise”
- However, Marmarati posts draw more responses associated with the ‘classic’ brand value: This suggests that the idea of a Marmarati secret community attracts more hardcore fans, who say they “can’t live without Marmite”, “can’t imagine life without it” or that “generations” of their family have “enjoyed Marmite”
Marmarati posts draw consumers to focus more on Marmite’s marketing, vs. normal posts:
- Normal posts on the Marmite Facebook page have a stronger product focus: Consumers discuss the spread’s “great taste” when responding to normal posts, but hardly discuss Marmite’s marketing. Marmarati posts also generate significant product discussion, though they lead fans to focus more on the marketing behind the Marmarati, saying it’s an “interesting promo” and they “will join the Marmarati.” While this marketing buzz isn't itself a bad thing, it does dilute the focus of what is otherwise a community strongly centred on the brand and its products
Dear Sir Doran of WaveMetrixshire,
Imagine if you will my delight this morning as I breakfasted - idly searching for friends and new candidates for the Marmarati upon the Information Super Carriageway and finding your article bursting forth with the most wonderful compendium of facts and figures!
Your investigation is a vital one indeed, for it cuts right to the heart of an issue we debated at length before rising from the shadows during our first voyage into public perusal back in 2009. It is also of great importance to note that the Marmarati do not run this fan page - we merely have friends on the council who provide the keys to enable us to slip in now and again and help spread the word of our illicit activities.
Make no mistake; our humble society leaders have been very wary of, and sensitive to, the needs and habits of Marmite's existing fans on the Book of Face - men and women who we consider as our brethren in our fight to make Marmite the most glorified of all spreads. However, we've had to balance these sensibilities with the need to get our missives across to those who are on the most fervent end of the Marmite loving scale, some of which have never heard of us! Indeed, our audience of Marmite fans has grown by some six hundred and fifty thousand since we last rose. I'm sure a learned young gentleman such as yourself will appreciate the difficulty of this undertaking is compounded by being delivered in the kind of short hand that these blasted social media require. (As you may have already gathered from this missive, this is not my preferred method of communication - I miss the simple pleasures of heavy paper, running ink ....the seal of wax on paper).
And so; to your investigations once more! It would appear that despite these difficulties we can take heart from your data that we have been successful in this regard, as our most fervent of fans appear to be picking up the messages we've conceived and designed especially for them. As you have rightly pointed out we have not been able to please everyone on the page. It is a crying shame, but as my dear old granpapa used to say - you cannot make a gloriously yeasty feast without cracking open a few jars.
It has been absolutely marvellous parlaying with you young man, if you wish to converse further please drop by at "Embedded URL removed for security reasons" or come for a chinwag at @Marmarati.
Do have yourselves a most excellent day,
Marmarati Master of Ceremonies
PS. I would very much appreciate if you could remove any mention of the Marmarati being some sort of 'marketing' vehicle, some of the boys are upset and quite frankly, have no idea what the devil you're on about.