The DRIP Model

The DRIP model supports the marketing communication plan. It was introduced by Chris Fill in his book “Marketing Communications”. A lot of the articles in this blog are based on that classic read and it is a must for all novice marketers. The DRIP model is very useful for setting broad communications goals. The abbreviation stands for:

Differentiate

Reinforce

Inform

Persuade

The DRIP model can be used in a marketing campaign for either new or existing products. Each of the elements needs to be carefully analysed. They need to be clearly communicated to the targeted audience.

Differentiate

When a company communicates its services or products to their customers, they need to differentiate themselves. It has to be clear how they are different than the next company. What can they offer that nobody else can? Or how are they better than the rest? A clear definition of where in the market the company and its products and services are positioned has to be established.

We will use an example of a service provider. A high-end car wash. How is this car wash different than the others?

The car wash specialises in luxury cars. All the cleaning is made by hand. No automation is used. Only the best available detergents are used. The car wash is accommodated with a top-class waiting lounge for its customers.

Clearly this car wash is being separated from what a regular car wash would be. It is specialised. It targets a niche market.

Reinforce

Reinforce the message send to your customers. Strengthen it by demonstrating why is your brand different. It could be because it is cheaper, better quality, healthier, easier to use or whatever that is that defines your product or service.

How would the car wash reinforce its message? They need to demonstrate their strengths. For example, the attention to detail. Washing every single detail of a car. Polishing the engine. Dismounting and waxing the wheels and the brake disks. Hand scrubbing the mats. While their car has been washed, the customers are relaxing in a luxurious lounge. Complimentary drinks and food are provided. Free Wi-Fi and newspapers. There is even a small gym.

A clear message has been sent that this is an experience for the customers and their supercars that they would not find anywhere else.

drip

Inform

Let people know about your existence. No matter how good your product is, how cheap it is or how much easier it would make somebody’s life, if that somebody does not know about your existence, they won’t buy it. The most important things the audience needs to be informed are the qualities that differentiate you from the others. The audience needs to be not just informed but educated.

Since the car wash is targeting a very specific audience, a traditional advertisement would not work very well. Even though a leaflet in a gas station might pick up some customers, it will not hit the specified target, but the mass audience. A bit of creativity and research needs to be done. The car wash should be advertised in the specialized dealerships for example. Also at the according to car service shops and luxury car shows. Most of the expensive cars are usually driven by hired professional drivers as the owners take their time to do business while driving around the city. If the car wash is known by the drivers’ agencies, they would let the owners know about its existence.

In this case, the market is relevantly small and it is a circle of customers who would probably know each other. Once the word reaches a handful of them, if the service is good, they will spread the word to other potential customers.

Persuade

Encourage your audience for further purchases. Persuade them for more positive actions. Do not let them forget about you, your product or your service. The trick here is that there is a fine line between persuasion and being pushy. Persuade your audience in a way that they will not feel pressured.

In the car wash situation, we can use a monthly email for example. A reminder to the customers that their car needs another luxurious treatment. Or an email with a new cleaning product that you developed. A social media page where a picture of a shiny supercar that comes out of the car wash is posted daily.

This way the car wash will be persuading their customers without being pushy. If an email is sent every day, or every other day, there is the risk of moving those emails to the spam. If a post on social media is reposted frequently, there is the risk of unfollowing that page. That is why gentle reminder as all you need.

 

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