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Word of Mouth Trend not so much a Trend Anymore

  
  
  
  

lens17790594 130135041892 percent 1Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007, according to a new study from Nielsen. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.

Sure, the number of consumers who trust word of mouth is growing -- and it has been for years.  Technology has made this trend possible, and it's a good thing.  But at what point is a trend not a trend anymore, and just a fact? I think word of mouth has reached its apex and now we are at the point at which companies can rest assured that brand advocacy is an investment worth making.  How do you make that investment?

Turn to Amplifinity.  We can create a Word of Mouth strategic plan for your company that will easily integrate into your existing systems, and will allow you to identity, grow and nurture your advocate base.  From there, the possibilities are truly endless.  Just like Nielsen and so many others have found, your customers trust recommendations from people they know.  And this is not a trend that is going the way of bell-bottoms or the mullet.  This one is here to stay.  Let us explain why we are truly the leaders in brand advocacy management. - click here to view our video, or send us a request for a demo.

Brand Advocacy is a Long-Term Investment

  
  
  
  

long term advocacy goals

These days, there is much ado about the power of influencers, the importance of building brand advocacy, the necessity of managing the people who are most willing and likely to talk about your brand positively and negatively.   Everywhere you look there are “social management” companies springing up, promising to get you likes and fans, assuring you that they can run campaigns that will...

  • Energize your brand advocates

  • Get companies a dizzying number of recommendations

  • Help marketers grow their marketing databases

  • Acquire new customers from the social web

  • Gain deep social insights

  • General viral campaigns

As Brandon Evans pointed out in his recent AdAge article about influencer marketing, there’s no question that a brand must have a way to identify those who create value for it.  I doubt you’d find any naysayers when it comes to that point.  He goes on to write that influencers are not necessarily, as some assert, those with high Klout scores.  Rather, the influencers who actually influence spending/purchasing decisions, are those who interact regularly with their networks and share common interests with them.  Not rocket science so far.

Influencers are important.  We need them.  People don’t pay attention to traditional marketing like they pay attention to their friends.  We’ve got it.  So what now? Evans offers some questions meant to cut through the temptation to simply amass fans and Facebook likes - the flash in the pan variety of brand advocacy.  He recommends incorporating a thoughtful strategic plan when it comes to your influencers. That’s a good first step.  But there must be more than a first step – there must be a series of steps over a period of time.  

It’s becoming fairly apparent that companies can run a MASSIVE referral campaign, thereby generating sales and increasing brand visibility.  They can run a Facebook ‘like’ campaign that draws thousands of potential consumers - sure.  BUT, to truly get to the heart of brand advocacy or influencer marketing, a company must think long-term.  We know that the companies who start now, and manage and build brand advocacy over a period of years will see:  

  • A change in their rate of growth (advocates recruit new customers)

  • A higher level of consumer loyalty (consumers who are recognized and nurtured stay truer to a brand longer)

  • Higher profitability (Advocates recruit and bring in customers who spend more)

  • Metrics, databases and highly useful brand advocate/influencer data that can be harnessed, categorized, cross-categorized, scaled….and ultimately unleashed at the precise right time

long term goalIt’s time for companies to create a brand advocacy strategy that is long-term, focused and comprehensive. It's got to be a part of their overall marketing strategy or they simply will not thrive in this consumer-driven world. Indeed, a long-term brand advocacy strategy is the only logical road to what Evans calls “true influence.”

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