Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM) harnesses the power of WOM to improve brand perception, reputation, and customer loyalty in a big way.
If you recently read and liked How Customer Communities Drive WOMM, here's a great companion infograph: 9 Big Reasons for Serious WOMM
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Word-of-mouth is storytelling—real customer experiences related by the real people that have them—and it influences up to 50% of purchase decisions today. Word-of-mouth becomes marketing (WOMM) when you harness the power of this inherent behavior, infuse it with intention, measure it, and use it to empower your brand. And in today’s social environment, doing so strategically is more important than ever.
Find out how to do WOMM right in today's social environment. Learn all about trust — the essential WOMM power driver — how to develop a playbook for WOMM, and how to measure it in this new whitepaper from your favorite customer experience content machine: Lithium.
How Customer Communities Power Word-of-Mouth Marketing
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Consumers today basically want to engage with “The Bank of Me”—one that precisely meets their unique set of customer expectations. Make no mistake, this feat requires a major mind shift such that banks must:
create one single vision of the customer.
empower frontline employees with access to data on every customer.
facilitate and train staffing to be responsive in real-time.
provide the same high-level service experience at every touch point.
The finanical services game has changed dramatically in recent years. You'd better have a game-changing strategy. Learn more about how to build trust with today's customers - invest in a serious differentiator that can change your business.Download this new whitepaper from the content folks at Lithium:
Game-changing Social Strategies for the Financial Services Industry
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To succeed in the Age of the Customer you don’t just need to be customer focused, you need to be customer obsessed. Every move you make must be laser-focused on how it will impact the customer experience. Because the consequences for delivering a bad experience are just too high today. Social media has put enormous power in the hands of the customer and their well-socialized disappointments have huge influence.
Don’t worry. All you need is a Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer. This new Forrester report will help you leverage (not drown in) all the digital marketplace disruption swirling around us. Get advice on what your customer-obsessed business model should look like, and why to focus more on business technology.
Palms sweating again?
Yep—your business technology investments will be crucial in helping you to retain customers. But not to worry yet again. Technology Management in the Age of the Customer, another new report from our friends at Forrester will help you untangle the BT knot you’re likely facing (if you’re like most companies today). Find out why IT can’t be the only driving technological force within your business, why marketing , IT, and BT departments need to unite and work together, and what’s possible when they do.
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Wow. This event has really grown. I used to attend shop.org many moons ago in a different marketing incarnation. Then, the buzz word du jour was “multichannel”, now it’s “omnichannel”. A quick search on the Shop.org app shows 6 sessions, 4 speaker titles and 8 exhibitors using the word in descriptions. I predict next year, it will double.
Why is omnichannel replacing multichannel? Because retail customers, especially, expect you to be in all places at all times, of course, and that includes social media.
Naturally, I zeroed in on sessions on omnichannel issues as this is the place where I expected social to crop up. And while I found that retailers do spend quite a bit of time considering their social strategies, they’re missing the mark. By a lot.
Executives from Tory Burch, for instance, keynoted today and spent at least half their stage time talking about how social the brand is. But here’s the problem: The key components of their social strategy had everything to do with the brand, and nothing whatsoever to do with the customer. After they spent the first half of their stage time talking about customer-centric they are, they presented the pillars of their social strategy: volume, frequency, …. wait a second…in other words, Tory Burch measures social success by how much the brand pushes content through social channels.
Huh? What about conversation, responsiveness, and the mother of all social success, engagement? Sadly, it appears that brands like Tory Burch—who clearly consider themselves exemplary at social—are simply using social media as just another push mechanism, a way to talk TO customers, instead of talk WITH customers.
Looks as if retailers know on some level that social is important, it’s definitely a big part of the conversation here at Shop.org. But what they’re missing in spades is that if it ain’t 2-way, it ain’t social. If you’re not engaging your social customers in conversation and importantly, enabling them to engage in conversation with each other, your social strategy is no where.
By contrast, Lithium CMO Katy Keim moderated an afternoon panel entitled “Stop Inviting! Draw Customers into a Real and Relevant Digital Experience.” At the fore of the content for this session were the concepts of trusted content—generated by customers, not brands, and community—an on-domain destination where customers can connect with each other, get trusted answers to their questions and share their passion for the brand and products. In Katy’s words: “Your brand is not who social customers want to hear from.”
92% of customers trust their peers.14% trust brand advertising. If retailers keep using social as another broadcast medium, they’ll never get to any meaningful ROI. (Which, BTW, was one of the top questions trending over Twitter during the Tory Burch keynote—“where’s the ROI?”). Too bad Sephora wasn’t there. Sephora community members spend 10x what other customers spend. How’s that for ROI?
Retailers need to get schooled in social. My advice: Take a page from the playbooks of other industries who do social right—tech, telco, heck, even financial services brands like Barclays do social very well, and they’re changing the game for both their businesses and their customers. Not only are they using social media to listen, respond and engage, they’re bringing customers into the business in a whole new way: as partners.
Retailers hold a unique and highly covetable position with customers. There’s more consumer passion for retail than nearly any other industry you can think of. And if less-than-glamorous financial service brands like USAA can use social technologies to deepen engagement, strengthen customer relationships and build loyalty, what are you waiting for, retail? Get in the game. Get #SeriousAboutSocial.
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