As long as businesses have been trading, word-of-mouth recommendations have existed. It’s the perfect scenario for any brand: happy customers are helping you with your marketing. Numerous studies have shown that a knowledgeable brand advocate can be the crucial tipping point for influencing a buyer’s decision. So why aren’t more brands incorporating it into their marketing mix?
I think that some companies may still be unsure of how exactly to go about finding a list of influential advocates – or maybe it’s because there seems to be a lack of quantitative measurement so they’re not sure of the ROI? Although this confusion is understandable, brand advocacy, done right, can be extremely effective at influencing sales.
Brands need to focus on the channel that best builds intimacy – and one of the best ways of building this intimacy, trust and satisfaction is via email communications. The rise of mobile only helps to make this relationship more intimate as customers are always connected.
Prompting is one of the main ways brands can obtain feedback on consumer experiences – asking for opinions at crucial moments in their journey, usually obtained by a feedback form or follow-up email. This positive sentiment then needs to be captured and accessed quickly in order to repurpose it – it’s only then that reviews and sound bites can be pulled together to form content that will help support your marketing campaign.
There are various other strategies to increase customer loyalty, which will lead to them becoming brand advocates. From ‘limited-time-only’ promotions to rewards for purchasing and coming back. Offers like these are a great way of engaging with customers.
It’s all about creating both products/services and experiences that your customers will love. A standout example is Apple – this combination drove millions of brand ambassadors to tell others about their Macs, iPhones and so on.
How do you turn your customers into a highly effective marketing channel?