Using Consumers as Marketers
In an evolving market where gaining brand exposure shifts from desired to required, utilizing any and all marketing tools will separate your business from the competition. One seemingly obvious marketing tool that sometimes seems to fall to the wayside is using consumers as marketers.
Billboards and paid ads are tremendous forms of outbound marketing strategy as they gain exposure across broad groups which generates brand exposure and high levels of brand recognition. However, a more effective way to drive sales is by creating brand loyalty and after doing so, you are able to utilize those loyal customers as brand ambassadors and organic marketers.
Think back to a time that you were making an important purchasing decision. During the process of making this decision you probably conducted your own research and inquired about product offerings from friends or colleagues who have experience using similar products that you trust. Having a trusted ally who you respect and value the opinion of guiding you through the buyers journey is an invaluable asset as you know that they have your best interest in mind with no alternative motives. It is likely that you took the advice of your ally and used it to your advantage when coming to your final purchasing decision.
Now, from the perspective of a marketer, where does the opportunity in that experience lie? Sure, producing necessary information is critical. Creating case studies, white papers and other marketing collateral is an essential component of promoting your product or service, however, an even more impactful method of marketing lies within your current customers as to you they are a client but to someone else they are a trusted friend or colleague. Think of this as a pyramid, if you start at the top of the pyramid providing a quality experience for your customers, in turn they will share their positive experiences with your company down the pyramid to their network of prospective clients and your brand reputation will grow along with your new prospect pool.
It is important to create brand loyalty because the impact that word of mouth has on a brand is make or break. Once you have established strong brand loyalty, your client base should transform into a sect of your marketing strategy. It is important to realize the potential that these loyal consumers have towards furthering your branding and sales goals. Think about it this way, if you’re trying a new drink for the first time, let’s say you’re trying your first ever cup of iced coffee and your friend suggests that you go to Dunkin’ Donuts because they have an affinity for their product. You go to Dunkin’ and love their coffee. There is no reason for you to sample iced coffee elsewhere since you have found a product that suits you. This scenario plays out more often than you might think and no outbound marketing effort will change that. This is why using clients as marketers becomes so crucial.
Hopefully by now it is evident that that there is an untapped marketing strategy that will generate your business a significant ROI. But how do you go about tapping into this wealth of resources? REWARDS! Everyone likes to be rewarded and recognized and so by thanking your clients for their continued loyalty, you will be creating a foundation for them to organically endorse your brand. By gifting valued clients with custom branded products and incentives that fit their company or individual interests, your brand will be illuminated by your clients when someone asks them for industry guidance.
Stran has experts that will help you carefully craft a loyalty program in order to properly utilize and harness the potential that your current client base provides. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to generating new business and make sure that you’re doing everything in your power to maintain current clients. This added personal touch will increase brand loyalty and generate new business!