Article | August 12, 2020
Much of B2B marketing is a one-way street: Companies rely on tradeshow exhibits and conferences to get their names out there and compete for business. They bring brochures, swag, and helpful representatives in an attempt to capture attention, but they often find that to be a hit-or-miss approach. It can be effective, but it can just as easily result in getting lost in a sea of competition. However, there is a way for B2B marketers to stand out—even on a crowded conference floor.
Article | August 12, 2020
Servicing - It is the Keyword of all the keywords for businesses. Have you ever wondered the reason phrases like “the customer is always right” or “the customer is king” are often quoted by industrial leaders? The answer to this question is that increasingly, the customers have become the main advocates of selling your products.
Customers have become one of the most primary marketing tools for businesses across the globe. As the buyers and potential customers are increasingly expecting more knowledgeable insights about the services and products offered by businesses, it is the customers whose advocacy matters the most.
Businesses are actively putting their happy customers at the forefront of their marketing campaigns and potential customers to present the value of their services and products. Advertising satisfied customers in creative ways like community marketing, testimonial videos, interactive stories, customer blogging, etc., has become as imperative as ever for businesses. Some businesses take it even a step further by participating in consortiums, communities, associations, and guest speaking at big events in the industry.
Hence, the marketing & sales teams and leaders across every industry have been trying to fill in the increasing demand for showcasing more customer advocates.
Now, the main question in mind for many people is how exactly to fill in this demand and capture more customer advocates? Is it through providing incentives to the customers? Is it some other way? Let us understand the crux of what makes customer advocacy a major draw and answer these questions along the way.
Customer Advocacy - The What and Why of Its Significance
The definition of customer advocacy is putting in immaculate focus on the needs and requirements of the customers. The customers in 2020 are smart and have many other alternatives to avail the services or products you are selling. Hence, the conception of pulling a fast one over any of your customers just to make easy money is not even an option in today’s age. In a marketplace with intense competition, businesses have no other choice than to provide exceptional customer services and experience.
It is no surprise that word travels at the speed of light in the age of social media, and any review can go viral worldwide in an instant. Therefore, customer advocacy programs have become such an integral part of businesses, providing them with a competitive advantage and acting as a secret weapon for increasing customer servicing standards in the industry.
Best Ways of Generating Innovative Service to Capture Customer Advocates
The paradigm shift in the demands of the customers in today’s age has urged businesses to dig deeper into customer insights and find the best ways to enhance their customer experience. To optimally achieve exceptional customer servicing, businesses need to be creative, intuitive, and innovative with their strategies, which would subsequently help them in generating customer advocates. Here are some of the best-proven ways to ensure peak service innovation:
Deliver on Your Promises and Acknowledge Your Mistakes: Many businesses lost sight of the primary goal of offering promises to their customers - They must be delivered on. An undelivered promise will leave a much worse taste in the mouth of a customer than lousy servicing. Hence, acknowledging your mistakes (if you make any) is a crucial part of generating customer advocacy, as it establishes trust within the customer of expecting complete honesty from a business. Building a solid foundation based on service, customer experience, responsive delivery, and in-person experiences are the main pillars of building customer advocacy.
Know the Problems of Your Customers: Market research is, perhaps, one of the greatest tools for gaining informative customer insights. An industrial leader once said that “The most important thing you can bring to a dialogue with me is knowing my problems”. This is the exact thing that the customers are looking for from businesses. Developing a customer as a viable reference requires businesses to know everything about their problems, their needs, and their expectations. Once a business knows all of this, they can excellently service their customers.
Customer References Should Be Put Together with Their Peers: Executives and managers who might be dealing with similar issues as the customers should relate to your firm for presenting a holistic view of their experience and expectations. So, how can your business connect these two forces you might be wondering? The most convenient way to connect them is via live events, the Internet, teleconferences, consortiums, and events. Here, they can not only connect, but also exchange their ideas while learning various new approaches to customer servicing.
Smartly Market Your Customers: Case studies and whitepapers are the primary sources of marketing for many businesses. Smartly incorporating customers’ achievements in advocating your business and their testimonials can pull in a much bigger number of prospects for businesses. Prospects are not looking for exaggerated descriptions of the services offered by your firm, but the real-life applications of them, which grounds the services and presents them with a real oversight of what to expect.
Coordinating PR Messaging along the Lines of the Customer’s: Customer advocacy has the word “customer” in it for a reason. Aligning your PR messaging with what the customer wants to convey about your business is very imperative. These customers will be providing their time to advocate for your business. Hence, it is important that the core takeaway of the PR messaging is properly aligned with what the customer wants to advocate about your business.
Success is a Two-Way Street: As mentioned previously, it is important to emphasize the fact that the customer advocates are devoting their time and resources for your business. Hence, their expectations for your business succeeding is for the obvious reasons. If your business falls in the category of an SME, then you are more likely to thrive for a longer time. If your business falls in the category of a large enterprise, then you are more than likely to invest your capital in product development and market research for enhancing the services your business provides. Therefore, do not feel intimidation in asking for legitimate reference support, even from your customer advocates.
Now that you are aware of how to implement innovative service for generating customer advocates effectively, all that remains is for you to practice the techniques. Businesses should understand that getting advocacy from customers is significantly different than getting purchases from them. Fresh value propositions, along with optimum future involvement, is the key to getting customer advocates. Embracing this is the most important step in realizing the true potential of the customers, and it can help your business in recording exceptional growth.
Article | August 12, 2020
Who would have thought one-year ago that popular high-street stores would now be closing their doors for good? Or, that some of the country’s biggest brands would decide to focus solely on ecommerce?
Well, neither did we. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, that is exactly what has happened for many businesses, particularly within the fashion industry.
Now, we are living in a world completely dominated by social media and ecommerce, but what exactly does the future hold?
Here, we speak to Amelia Neate, Senior Manager at influencer marketing agency, Influencer Matchmaker, where she shares her predictions for the future of shoppable social media and social commerce.
The rise of ecommerce
As we have seen throughout the last 12 months or so, there has been a huge influx in the number of ecommerce businesses coming to the forefront of their respective industries. And this probably wouldn’t have happened without Covid-19. In fact, it definitely wouldn’t have.
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have had a tremendous impact on several industries and sectors, many of which have been negative. However, it has accelerated the growth of ecommerce by approximately four to six years.
And, following the closure of numerous brands within Arcadia Group and physical stores in the form of Debenhams, it is proof that brands must ensure they stay relevant and adapt to the ever-changing needs of their consumers.
Social commerce: why is it so important?
Not only has ecommerce taken a front seat recently, but we have now welcomed a new industry trend aboard. A similar concept to ecommerce, social commerce consists of the buying and selling of a product or service within a social media platform.
With the number of social media users continuing to rise, and with 53 million active social media users in the UK alone, it is no surprises that brands and businesses have implemented a brand-new strategy to help boost sales.
And, with 75% of businesses intending to dedicate an entire budget to influencer marketing throughout 2021, it makes perfect sense for them to be targeting their consumers more directly - which is exactly what social commerce does.
Social commerce was well on its way to success in 2019, way before the pandemic had even hit, having generated an impressive $22 billion in the US alone. Social media is no longer simply a place to be confronted with tailored and personalised ads, but is a destination to shop and make purchases, too.
Currently, Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) have a shoppable feature within their apps. This allows brands, businesses, and anyone else with a business account to link directly to a product within their image, taking consumers straight to the product page of their website.
What’s more, they are able to do all of that without even leaving the app they were originally on! Brands such as Zara and John Lewis are just two of the huge names that are utilising the apps and their new shoppable features.
In doing so, this allows consumers to shop and purchase products without having to sacrifice their time on social media.
We are all familiar with the likes of Instagram Stories and their popular swipe-up links. Well, this is taking it just that little bit further, and I don’t think it is going to stop there.
The future of social commerce
Shoppable social media is only going to become more widely used, and before we know it, we will be able to purchase an item with just one click – making it even more streamlined than it is currently.
With features such as IGTV, Guides and Reels becoming increasingly popular on Instagram, it won’t be long before we are replacing hyperlinks with direct purchase links here, too.
It comes as no surprise that currently, video is the preferred way to consume content, so just how long will it be until such features are integrated into the likes of YouTube and TikTiok?
My thoughts? It will happen sooner than we think.
Brands are continuing to steer away from traditional marketing methods and are working hard to build relationships with social media influencers to focus their budgets and campaigns on influencer marketing.
This is just the beginning for shoppable content and social commerce, and I for one, can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Article | August 12, 2020
We have an abundance of data around us, but most business marketers aren’t able to make the most of it. When they can actually personalize the campaigns down to an individual, most of them restrict themselves to only segmenting their audience, creating a few versions of the campaigns and using their names in emails while addressing them. Despite 94% of companies saying that personalization is now critical for success, there are 5% of them who personalize their campaigns extensively. The reason being, an inability to personalize their campaigns. Almost 60% of marketers struggle at personalizing their campaign content in real-time. But when it comes to email marketing, the struggle need not be all that hard.