After receiving a book about Creating Customer Evangelists, I was inspired to re-visit a post I had written a while back on the new generation of Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM), Viral Marketing and Evangelism.
Currently we live in a very technological and extremely different world than even as little as a 2-3 years ago, let alone a decade. It seems as though the traditional marketing years are losing their dominance rather quickly. Although, it is true, the traditional marketing strategies will never go away. The question we really need to ask ourselves is difficult as we are individuals from all sorts of groups, such as marketers, advertisers, search marketers, SEO experts, evangelists, etc. etc. So, what is this difficult question that I speak so highly of?
Where is marketing going?…and..Who are the real evangelists?
This question has really to deal with a couple major techniques and I will explain this. But, really, we are talking about Word of Mouth Marketing, Viral Marketing and Customer/User Evangelism at it’s best.
I’ll start with an example. Let’s look at digg.com. The site is a breeding ground for open source evangelists that are really technologists at heart. This is a prime example of viral marketing strategies that are really driven by the customer. Well, in this case open source software, it would really be the user.
Another example with digg.com, is Apple. Apple’s customer base is really expanding at a dramatic pace. Yes, they do have those extremely comedic commercials on TV and traditional marketing techniques, this much we know. What I want to delve into is the number of evangelists they have developed around the world that continuously tell others about their products. I’ll even give you a personal example, anyone that asks me whether to buy a Mac or PC, I recommend the Mac. This is an example or word of mouth marketing and customer evangelism at its best.
So, why is this important to the rest of us and why is this important to marketers?
Well, the answers to these questions are quite simple. We need to learn as marketers and brand marketers to really build around our customer base. Create an outlet to ensure that our customers are becoming evangelists for our organization. Just like the traditional marketing tactics, we will not see an end to internal company evangelism roles, this is in-escapable. There is though a great opportunity, now, more than ever, our customers, employees and clients are becoming evangelists and marketers on our behalf. Thus, we are enlisting volunteers to speak highly about your company’s products and services without any internal campaigns or effort.
So, we have address the what’s, the who’s, the why’s. But, really, how do we get this done and how do we execute on this.
Truthfully, the answer is right at your fingertips. As I mentioned above about Apple and digg.com. Find out where your users/customers are going and doing and really ensure that they have an avenue to speak highly of you. Creating catchy and sticky products and campaigns will also give your customers an opportunity to spread the word. Learn your social media sites and how you can use them to your advantage.
From a search engine optimization and/or marketing standpoint, you can use blogging to increase rankings and readers. Most people really relate blogging to blogging for dollars, but in this case, blog for your brand. Ensuring that your blogging is very well optimized for word of mouth and viral techniques, like email this, digg this, share on facebook, etc. is highly critical. Gives your brand a massive growth opportunity without you even lifting a finger. Make this all highly accessible and let your customers spread the word for you, because, like the saying goes, “If you build it, they will come.”