While the impact of traditional advertising is steadily declining, most business executives persist in using their budget on this acquisition channel. Yet, consumers trust their peer recommendations 2 to 3 times more than brand advertising. Is it time to change your tune? Is it time to take a look at referral marketing ?
THE CLIENT, YOUR BEST SELLER
Increasingly mistrustful of brands, consumers have become less naïve.
They understand better the workings of marketing and display a certain skepticism with regard to advertising.
3 in 5 people consider word-of-mouth to be the most reliable source of information.
More than 60% of consumers trust other customers, even if they are perfect strangers.
The power of word of mouth is amplified by social networks; every customer comment or review about your brand can potentially be seen by thousands of people.
Habits that are rooted in consumer behavior.
For example, Generation Y consults three times more comments posted on social networks when looking for a product / service.
When it speaks, users of your products become the showcase of your business.
Having become a real player in the market, the customer can become an opportunity as a threat to your business.
A satisfied customer can be used to increase brand awareness and build trust with other consumers.
A recent study showed that a satisfied customer speaks to 3 people around him.
This number can become exponential if your marketing strategy is well established. Make the customer your best seller!
CAPITALIZE ON POSITIVE EXPERIENCES
Thanks to the collection of customer opinions, you have been able to draw up an inventory of the satisfaction of your customers.
Valuate it! Indeed, if your customers can play a central role in your company’s recommendation, you do not always need their word.
You can use the measure of your customer satisfaction as a real reassurance factor in your communications.
We all know the communication campaigns, like those of Yves Rocher for example, highlighting the satisfaction.
Example: a message of the type “9 out of 10 customers recommend this product” that appears at the end of the commercial.
Blablacar uses the customer notice to reassure: on its homepage, the start-up shows the latest opinions submitted by satisfied users of the service.
What reassure skeptics or novices of carpooling.
Flunch is also an example: for the promotion of its new Flunch Drive service, the brand has communicated via a newsletter sent to its customers.
The newsletter said, “Do you know Flunch Drive?
And posted the customer review from a very satisfied service user.
The confidence given by the customer’s opinion, coupled with a voucher valid for the first use, has generated very good results for Flunch.
These strategies make it possible to value the satisfaction of your customers, and to use the customer reviews as assets for your communication.
Effective, these communications are still issued by the company, and the trust is not as strong as when the recommendation is made directly from client to client.
Let’s see how to turn your customers into brand ambassadors.
“According to a study by Marketly (2016), the most important element sought by a brand in an influencer is its ability to engage and not the number of subscribers.”
TRANSFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS AMBASSADORS
First of all, it is essential to know how to identify a client ambassador.
Any satisfied customer is not a brand ambassador. An ambassador client is a loyal and committed customer.
He is the creator of exchanges with the brand, he actively recommends the brand around him.
To activate the potential of the client ambassador, it is therefore essential to start a customer engagement process.
How to recognize the potential of a customer’s ambassador?
By asking her opinion!
This is one of the benefits of collecting customer reviews: identifying the best potential customers.
The NPS indicator, which measures customer referrals, is the most appropriate tool for detecting potential ambassadors hiding among your customers.
A client who scores 9 or 10 (out of 10) is considered a “promoter”.
Once the “promoters” identified in your CRM, use this data to create marketing campaigns specific to their status.
We are talking here about referral marketing (or advocacy marketing).
To increase your loyalty, offer them exclusive promotional benefits (for example, a discount for a second purchase or information in preview) or an effective loyalty program.
Thus, you will increase their frequency of purchase.
Regarding their power of recommendation, social networks have a key role to play.
Encourage your fans to spread your messages on social networks, offering them engaging content or playing on the community aspect of your brand.
The furniture distribution brand MADE has integrated the social network “Unboxed” on its website.
Her most loyal customers proudly post pictures of their sofa or buffet purchased from MADE in the middle of their interior.
Fans can like and comment on others’ photos, share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
MADE encourages its customers to share their photos through contests to earn coupons.
The brand uses these photos to post them on its own social networks. MADE even visits some clients to film their interior and interview them. The approach is very pleasing to customers who dream of having their interior chosen by MADE. The customers of the brand feel valued and share more and more photos on social networks.
Some of your engaged clients may also be opinion leaders. The latter, admired by their peers, have an even greater ambassadorial potential than your clients. Some brands identify these customers to exploit this potential.
This is the case of ASOS, a leader in the UK ready-to-wear market.
The brand identifies “bloggers” and “social influencers” and offers them to integrate their program “Asos Insider”.
In exchange for free clothes and accessories, these Insiders develop selections on the site, and exhibit their style on social networks.
Highly followed, these “micro-fashion-influencers” have various characteristics (size, weight, skin color …) that stick to the range of customers of the brand.
More classic, but just as effective, the sponsorship program is a very powerful way to make your clients ambassadors.
This strategy is based on the win-win principle. Thanks to a winnings system, your customers recommend your offer to those around them. Very popular in marketing for referrals, the referral program is one of the least expensive and most effective sources of client acquisition.
The Tesla car brand, recognized for its advanced marketing strategy, offers a $ 1,000 discount to the sponsor and godson if recommended.
Uber is also a fan of sponsorship programs for both users and drivers. When a customer is sponsored, the godchild and the godfather each receive a € 10 voucher for the first race.
A satisfied customer that you have identified can become an ambassador. For this, it is necessary to shape an appropriate marketing strategy. Rather than spending your budget on advertising campaigns that have become ineffective, think of the customer first and exploit their potential. The customer can become your best seller!
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