Migrating buyers to advocates

photo via altemark
One of the biggest goals of building close customer relationships is developing brand advocates. In other words, taking the necessary steps to convert your best customers into your best salespeople.

The idea of “hugging” customers, which my colleague Carrie recently wrote about here, is more than simply communicating with buyers. It’s more than relationship marketing or CRM technology. Without the emotional, creative and engaging components, all you have are a bunch of buyers’ names in a database to which you pump out messages.

Here are four stages of not only building close relationships with customers and stakeholders at all levels of an organization, but going even further by using those relationships to migrate customers through stages that create advocates for your brand:

  • Stage one: Identify your lifetime customer value
  • Stage two: Develop an integrated marketing and communication program that moves customers from being first-time buyers to loyal customers and then to active brand advocates
  • Stage three: Establish ongoing forums, marketing activities and communications vehicles that engage customers, listen to their input and respond directly to their questions and concerns
  • Stage four: Send customers information and feedback into the organization to provide front-line employees as well as company management with real-time direction that will guide their brand decisions

You can reach out to these loyal customers and increase their reach to your prospects through a wide variety of special forums. It’s not so much what you use, but how you organize the effort and how you use and integrate each medium and forum. Beyond circulating actionable customer information and feedback, a focus on this approach will likely translate to valuable brand advocates on your side.

For more information, check out Mobium’s eBook “Hugs,” which is available to download here.

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