Marketers, what is the one marketing tool you know of that works out the best for you? What about one that has been proven time and again to never fail? Now, how about both?
For me, that one tool is word-of-mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing was never invented, instead just existed because people love to share information with others! The power of word-of-mouth marketing should never be underestimated. Just think how many times we turn to our friends for advice when we need help in making a purchase decisions or why we chose Brand X over Brand Y just because we trust our friends’ opinion as he vouches by Brand X. When we share with others our latest purchase, we help to get the word out on the product thereby becoming participants in the marketing cycle. And as a marketer, that’s what you would hope for each of your consumers to do. To get your product, use it, return to you for more of your product and optimally, start recommending the product to others.
When your consumer starts to publicly recommend the product, you should pat yourself on the back for you have now got yourself a brand advocate.
Brand advocates are your ambassadors! Customer loyalty must always be valued with reverence whether you are in a B2C or a B2B market. For when a consumer extends their loyalty to becoming your brand ambassadors, you should value them and reach out to others through them because the reviews, recommendations via peers is very important in helping seal purchase decisions with your potential customers.
Which is exactly what Holly Cordner wrote about, incorporating brand advocates into your marketing strategy. This is a great and tactical strategy that as a marketer, you reach out to others through your customers. Customers are valuable social proof, however, it can be both difficult and time consuming to get them to trust your brand to begin advocating it. So, while you are working hard to get them to being part of your marketing cycle and being brand advocates, I say you shouldn’t look too far to get your hand on some advocates first. If you can’t guess where I’m going at, here’s a good time to get that into your head. These advocates are your employees.
Who better that understands your product? Who better that has that kind of passion to get your product name out there? I’m not just referring to your wonderful sales team who is all fueled to get leads and get your product sold to clients, I’m talking about anyone who is in anyway affiliated to the company. Your finance manager, your product manager, your business development team, your very awesome engineers and hey, your marketing team! Your employees are as valuable in building your product as they are in getting it out. So don’t neglect the significance that they play in the marketing of your product.
Your employees have their own social circle and their opinions, surely, are valued among their peers. As a first step, get your amazing team of co-workers to be the ambassadors of your brand. Have them get the word out for you and begin reaching out to their network of people who someone they know might just be your next customer! And guess what, word-of-mouth, as traditional as it is, has taken a new form in the form of Social Media. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just some of the ways you can get your brand marketed out in a scaled fashion, starting from your battle warriors, your employees.
Would love to know your thoughts on this. Feel free to agree or disagree.