From Knowing Your Product to Making Referrals: How do you get customers to do that for you?

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Loyalty & CRM, Marketing and Sales, Social media by lizhen

Let's face it, traditional marketing techniques such as direct mail and ads lost their effectiveness long ago. The customer of today behaves very differently compared to customers a decade ago – and brands know this very well. Primarily, the advent of social media and the effect that it brings about (known as viral marketing) has turned things around and changed the way customers behave.

I was recently at a talk held by Direct Marketing Association of Singapore on Social Selling. In particular, Kenneth Goh from Oracle shared his thoughts about the importance of having sales people understand the social behaviours of their customers in order to establish better conversation and consequently successful conversion. This stems from how customers act before making a purchase. Indeed, today's customers acquire more information via search engines and social media platforms. The availability of online information on a brand and its products/services, be it good or bad, makes it transparent to anyone. Thus, brands need to be vigilant and act on the opinions of its customers on various digital platforms; there has to be a consistent effort put into this.

Indeed, many brands struggle to do a good job of this, especially in reaching their target audience and educating them about their products – eventually getting them to make referrals to friends or people within their social networks. This is not something that can be done in just a few days, weeks or even months; it requires a company to have a good understanding of their target audience's shopping behaviours and to educate its employees on how to best approach the former and eventually convert them to customers.

Things do not stop once a purchase is made. This doesn't make a customer a customer. This continuous relationship building is not an easy feat. However, once a brand is able to engage its customers and keeps them consistently happy, there are a lot of things that the latter can do in return. Not only will they come back to you, they will even take on the role of a brand advocator; loyalty customers will help to "sell" the product/service to their network of friends! What happens next – I'm sure everyone knows.

If you have an interest to learn how you can convert potential customers to genuine long-term customers and to subsequently be your brand advocator, Loyalty World Asia 2013 is an event not to be missed in Singapore this September! One of our keynote speakers, Neil Patel, will be sharing on how brands can leverage on inbound marketing to convert visitors to loyal customers with minimal (or no) marketing dollars.

Click here to read more about Neil Patel.