Use your customers as your marketers

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Allow your customers to help you drive your marketing strategy, they are an authentic representation of how your product/service is perceived in the market. Here are three ways to work customers into your marketing efforts:

Reward your customers

Inviting customers to tell you what they think of your product directly on your website, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or other platforms, is a meaningful way of showing you care.

Use the feedback you get from them as content on your website / social media platforms, this shows that you value their opinion and they feel like they are part of the brand.

Let customers share inventive ways they’re using your product and allow your customers to create and share stories about your brand.

There is nothing more authentic than learning about how real people use a product and how it has changed their lives. You will learn a lot about your market from the way people define your brand. For example, if you are a fashion business, consider inviting customers who have purchased one of your items to share/post photos of them wearing the item.

Enable customers to create your marketing material

Responding and engaging directly with your customers on social media and other platforms establishes an emotional attachment to your brand. Often the comments or photos they produce can be your best marketing material. They will speak on behalf of your brand on their networks and this will increase your brand awareness.

Post By: SimplyBiz

 

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41 comments
    Good morning South Africa Yes customers word of mouth is an amazing tool for growing your business
    I know of a handyman/builder guy who would turn up himself at my house to fix things. He would do an amazing job going about it in a thorough and meticulous way. The things he did made you feel that he had really done a good job. It was amazing how one person refered him to another and another until he had a permananetly full book of jobs all the time
    So it is true that your customers can be your best marketers
    However if your work product or service is less than exemplary then the reverse is also true. So it gets down to just how good you really are and just how hard you try to be customer orientated
    You know that your customer is fundamental to your strategic success. At the heart everything you do and everything your organization does should be an all-encompassing consideration of your customer. Customer-core. Customer-centred. Customer-centric. Customer-obsessed.
    Digital tools and channels have dramatically transformed the way customers and buyers choose to purchase. Customers aremore empowered and more inclined to research online before reaching out to a sales rep. Because of digital the fate of marketing campaigns and sales pipelines lies very much in the hands of the buyer. And despite this shift in power a large number of organizations still haven’t adopted a customer-centric approach to marketing and selling.
    As businesses become more consumer oriented competition grows fiercer. This lanscape makes establishing mindshare and developing brand advocates increasingly difficult tasks. (Consumers too have set their standards higher.) To make a lasting impression on customers you need to do more than produce an excellent product and provide reliable service: You need to turn them into marketing machines. What methods can you suggest to help achieve this?
    What is CUSTOMER CENTRIC then?? Its the mindsert that we'repreoccupied with ourproducts ourmarketing oursales and OUR success. We’re preoccupied with ourselves. But now it’s time to look at everything through the eyes of the customer. Your success starts with knowing thy buyer.
    I once heard it said that being remarkable meant people were remarking about you. Instead of trying to stimulate social media conversations perhaps you need to be so surprisingly good or disappointingly bad that natural conversations occur. It is unlikely that you will please everyone so creating a polarising product or service is the way to stand out.
    What business problems do your customers face? What are their opportunities? What are they trying to accomplish? What is the environment in which they operate? These key questions should underpin the way in which you market and sell to them. Your primary motivation should be to identify and address the needs of the buyer. Or in the words of renowned entrepreneur and marketer Seth Godin “don’t find customers for your products find products for your customers”.
    Sometimes i think the pressure of selling and landing new business leads us to become more concerned about what we have to sell and who and how to sell it?? and less focused on what the customers issues and needs are and how we can help solve their problems. And believe me getting new business is stressfull and this idea of being cool calm and collected in not being pre-occupied with our selves and our own business is NOT EASY
    But lets take a step back and understand that customer centred is what will get those customers to become our best marketers... reserach says that a word-of-mouth referral is at least twice as powerful as paid for advertising
    So for all you budding small business owners... remember that their is no substitute for the hard work of thinking for your client and like your client and putting yourself in THEIR shoes so that you have a proper understanding of what they want... its a daily devotion
    Recently i went to a new restaurant that had quite a bit of hype.... and as it happened i ran into a friend who i had met at the gym and he was sitting with some other influential guys and he came over with the owner of the restaurant and we all connected and had a ball. So i had a great evening and the restaurant got my nod... as well as the fact that the meal i had was great. Not more than a few weeks later im in a meeting and the same restaurant comes up... and the person says his colleague went and it was a disaster... so he wasnt trying it out... i relayed that i loved it and maybe i was the catalyst for marketing the place when his colleague was turning him off. It just goes to show that every customer you have has the ability to market you or close you down
    I think this article about Letting your customers be your Marketers is a very sober reminder to us all thatlovingeach and every customers engagement is the only mantra for starting your working day... WE LOVE YOU CUSTOMERS
    There are always going to be some degree of clashes like price and costs but if the client feels loved then these issues will be easier to resolve.
    And on the issue of pricing and costs etc it was illuminating to hear Alon Raiz speaking of the mental shift we need to make when thinking of pricing. He said that selling time is not a scaleable concept so instead of thinking about services in terms of hours and time rather shift your thinking to the idea os VALUE. What value do you add and how much is that worth. It reminds me of a surgeaon friend in Paris France who charges 10 x the medical aid rates. He is over loaded with patients... and it because he does doubt the VALUE he adds not just the hours
    sorry Doesn't doubt....
    Businesses spend millions of Randsto bring people into their stores. Wouldn’t it be nice if those businesses could incentivize their customers to bring people in for them? That’s what we’re be exploring here today. Here'san example: On a Saturday afternoon I received a phone call from my gym. They called to tell me of their latest promotion which was this: If I bring a nonmember to the gym at anytime during the weekend we both will receive a free t-shirt and a complimentary lunch. So instead of launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign to bring in people my gym implemented a growth hack. They turned customers into marketers by incentivizing them to bring in a friend. Then the friend possibly could become a member.
    Refer a Friend One of the most common ways businesses spread their product and increase their viral coefficient (how many customers your current customers bring in) is through the use of referrals.
    Here's some ideas ive found about making your customers your marketers.... Contests Contests help users get energetic about your brand and the thought of winning something. If you’re creative enough with your contest design it can also get you some PR. Dropbox has gained significant PR by having their annual “Dropquest” contest. Just Google Dropquest and you’ll see all the articles written about it. As a simple contest idea a business can encourage users to tweet a pre-set message. This message can be about a recent feature. At random the business can pick a person who tweeted out the message. Be creative and offer a big-time prize. You may get some PR and customers to boot. Avoid giving out a prize that’s unrelated to your business. Instead of giving them a car or a television give them an upgrade.
    Surprising customers can have a positive impact on customer happiness which in turn spreads your product. However a negative surprise can be damaging to your brand. If you surprise customers by not fulfilling a promise they’ll talk about it to their friends and colleagues.
    It is very easy to fall into the trap of treating some customers better than others when every one could be your next referral or criticism. Before social media one unhappy customer could only spread the word to their few friends but in today's connected social media world a single tweet or Facebook post can be spread to hundreds in a few minutes.
    So remember that if you want your customers to become your marketers above anything else the best thing you can dois to build a really great product andoffer a really great service. People want to spread the word about a product they love. Building a product customers love is easier said than done. It requires tons of focus and listening to customers.
    That is a very interesting point andrewctn! I find now a days consumers tend to respond well to this especially on social media. They don't want to feel like they're being sold into something but rather make up their own minds. Let's just hope that the nature of conversation is how surprisingly good it is and not dissapointingly bad!
    Customers' expectations are higher and yet I'm not sure businesses have necessarily improved their standards. How often have you been disappointed with poor service in the last week from business that continue to operate year after year! To stand out from the crowd it often just means doing what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it - arriving on time for an appointment returning a phonecall sending a quote quickly. Have a look at HelloPeter.com for the positive reviews and see how often it is the basics of Company X was so friendly and helped me with my problem.
    There is a great story of Raymond Ackerman (the founder of Pick n Pay) following a customer home from a Checkers and stopping her in her driveway to ask why she shopped from Checkers. Perhaps a bit creepy these days but a great example of trying to understand your present and future customers.
    Goodness that does sound a little creepy but yes the concept I totally agree with 100%. The only way to improve your product offering is to know what your customer or potential customer wants. Seems like a very obvious principle that is far too often over looked.
    Although many businesses despise social media complaint/review sites as it can happen that unfair/ridiculous complaints are aired without following correct channels. In general I think it has a tendancy to keep businesses more honest as there is no where to hide. Companies can't afford to ride on the coat tails of their good names any longer service has to be consistently good and you are only as good as your last meal. Have you found this to be true is your business?
    It is also a nice idea when you are offering an incentive for a referral such as the gym example to think about getting say a local restaurant that is looking to get its name out there to partner with you and offer gift cards and promotional deals so it works for everyone. Its thinking beyond the ordinary that gets the momentum going