As I look back at the last decade of our own agency's clientele, many customers have come and gone who we inadvertently met through our inbound marketing efforts. However, the foundation of our business has been word-of-mouth marketing from those customers we've produced results for over the years. In fact, three of the proposals that we're currently working on in are related directly to previous clients that we've worked with.
It's no surprise that brand advocates have 50% more influence in a purchase decision than a typical customer and 90% of consumers report that a word-of-mouth (WOM) recommendation leads the influence of their purchase decision. In fact, in 20 to 50% of all purchase decisions, Word-of-Mouth is the leading influence
Advocacy drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending
What is Brand Advocacy?
In marketing, a brand advocate is a person, employee, influencer, or customer who speaks favorably of a brand or product, resulting in positive word-of-mouth (WOM) messages about the brand to their network.
What is Customer Advocacy?
To encourage brand advocacy, brands are adopting a culture that is customer-centric, providing a superior customer experience. The result of customer advocacy isn't just an increase in retention or average customer-value, it produces a return on investment as those customers become brand advocates.
The downside, of course, is that there's a large advocacy gap where businesses are not doing a good job of identifying or enlisting the assistance of potential brand advocates. Over half of all companies don't even know who their brand advocates are. JitBit has put together this infographic, 15 Reasons Why Brand Advocacy is the Bedrock of Your Business, that shares all of the ins-and-outs of brand advocacy and developing your own customer advocacy programs.
Ways to Cultivate Brand Awareness
- Focus on the relationship – what makes a customer fall in love with your brand? A quality product, excellent customer service, and a consistent experience.
- Serve with speed – when purchasing online, 71% of visitors expect help within 5 minutes. Provide help when your customers need it.
- Share successes – amplify the positive feedback and successes of current advocates – feature reviews in ads, share results in case studies, and always mention your customers.
- Reward customers – provide sneak peeks into new products/services, host special invite-only events, send exclusive offers, create a loyalty program, and provide VIP service.
- Surprise customers – surprise loyal customers when they least expect it, and they'll talk about the surprise, and its sender. It could be anything from thank you notes to free upgrades.
- Empower advocates – advocates love to praise their favorite brands. The best form of praise they can offer is a referral. Offer advocates an incentive for sending new business your way.
- Remember special occasions – sending customers a card or gift on a special date like Christmas or their birthday is a simple way to deepen their personal connection with your brand.
- Solicit and act on feedback – ask customers for feedback, and act on it. Consumers become advocates if they feel like their feedback is heard and their input is valued.
- Say thanks, even to the detractors – recognize and thank all feedback, even the negative. If unhappy customers feel valued, they will stick around longer.
And don't forget to check out Jitbit! Their helpdesk ticketing system is dead simple, amazingly powerful and takes seconds to set up.