In this article, "Why Your Customers are Just not that into You," by Dan Kohn, (writing for Marketing Profs) he points to the study he conducted with Pitney Bowes, asking 6,000 consumers what marketing activities draw them closer to a brand. While many of the results were fairly straightforward, I found it particularly interesting that according to their findings, 70% of consumers did not want call center reps to "get too chummy," but 60% of customers wanted more personalization on company websites, etc.
At first glance, this seems something of a contradiction and it creates as set of more perplexing issues for marketers -- if consumers want personalization and recognition for their efforts and brand loyalty, how do we meet their needs without actually meeting the customer? In the past, customers walked into your stores, said hello every morning over the coffee counter, or made other attempts to build relationships with you. Evidenced by this study and many others, over-attempts to create realationships with your customers do not effectuate positive results, but there is a particular balance that needs to be created to both welcome new customers and see a great ROI.
What is it that you do to ensure you're meeting your clients' need for personalization, while staying within their comfort zone? How does your company leverage social media or offline word of mouth to create and sustain relationships with your customers? Amplifinity would love to hear.
Inherent Trust + Need = Valuable Client
This formula explains why it is in your company’s best interest to have an ongoing employee referral program in place. A valuable client is one who believes in what you sold them, spends more with you on their first purchase, and continues to buy from you in the future. Often, this accurately describes your employees. Our experience shows that these clients can come in droves by simply asking your employees to refer them to you. But there is more….Make it easy.
Most companies today still do not have a way to efficiently drive leads from their workforce. There should be a simple system in place for your employees to submit, and track, the leads they give your company. For a lot of Amplifinity customers for whom we’ve developed employee advocacy programs, they listed the following reasons for initially resisting the idea:
a) Their lead generation was focused on external marketing (SEO, SEM, trade shows, etc.);
b) They had no technology in place to manage the employee channel effectively/efficiently;
c) They tried it, tracked results on spreadsheets and wound up with an unmanageable system that yielded results they could not make sense of or easily monitor.
If an organization has over 500 employees, a product that appeals and is affordable to consumers or businesses, and they are not implementing an employee advocacy program, they are missing an incredibly valuable opportunity.
Here’s an example of how easy and successful employee advocacy can be: Amplifinity’s client, a major telecommunications company with over 13,000 employees wanted to activate their people to make referrals on their behalf. Amplifinity came in and examined the company’s sales processes, and created a referral program that rewarded their employees for every successful referral they made.
We provided employees with online and offline referral options and developed integrations that allowed the company to deposit referral rewards directly into employees’ paychecks. The results were overwhelming: more than half of the eligible employees participated. Over the course of the first year, they generated over 3,000 sales through Amplifinity’s referral program. And the momentum is still growing.
Brand advocacy is a hot marketing category today, and its force and importance is just beginning to take hold. A company has thousands, even millions, of inactive brand advocates out there waiting to promote your products and services. The most simple, not to mention logical, place from which to build is within your company. An Employee Advocacy program can transform your marketing efforts. It just makes sense.
This is an insightful piece written by the prolific blogger Brian Solis. The thesis of his article is: "While many brands are designing editorial and engagement programs to encourage consumers to “Like” and follow profiles, view videos, submit user generated content, consumers are simultaneously struggling to find signal against the noise, grappling with stream fatigue and sometimes an overwhelming sense of over connectedness."
Solis goes on to question whether brands are considering their consumers' experiences outside of direct brand enagement. Earning a "Like" does not amount to anything measureable. "In a study published by Exact Target in June 2011, the meanings of Fan and Like in Facebook were scrutinized. The company found that while businesses believed that consumers Like brand pages were truly fans of the company, only 42% of consumers agreed that marketers could interpret a Like as such. In fact, 33% are indecisive and 25% disagree that Likes mean that they are fans or advocates of the brand."
Amplifinity is ahead of the curve when it comes to brand advocacy. While we understand the value of engaging your customers, we know that there has to be a method to the madness. After the "Like" happens, then what? Our technology allows our clients to actually harness the power of all those 'Likes' and other forms of brand buy-in, and amplify it. And, if Solis is right (and I think he is), brands are going to have to get on board with this thinking sooner rather than later.