I recommend “Flip the Funnel” by social media strategist Joe Jaffe. Jaffe says companies should “flip the funnel” by starting with a customer purchase rather than ending with it. Pointing to successful examples like Zappos and USAA, Jaffe says companies should focus on customer retention, customer experience, relationship building, and the networked effects of customer-originated Word of Mouth.
While I agree with much of what Jaffe says in “Flip the Funnel,” I respectfully disagree with his contention that companies need to incentivize Word of Mouth.
Our experience at Zuberance has shown that the key to energizing Brand Advocates at scale is to have a systematic approach to brand advocacy – a “Brand Advocate System” – that automates the process of identifying and mobilizing Advocates on an ongoing basis, plus tracks results.
This system should make it drop dead easy for Advocates to recommend your brand or product by giving them advocacy tools that are simple, easy to use, and ubiquitous.
Hitting the Advocacy Jackpot
By arming their Advocates, brands are getting amazing results fast (via the Zuberance Advocate Platform):
- Over 33% of Brand Advocates are rating and reviewing products or writing testimonials
- Over 60% of Brand Advocates are answering prospects’ questions
- About 30% are sharing promotional offers with their social networks
Chili’s Grill & Bar, a Zuberance customer, has energized over 100,000 Chili’s Advocates to spread positive Word of Mouth. Not a single Chili’s Advocate – nor any Zuberance-powered Brand Advocate – has ever received a penny for these recommendations.
PS: Not for Sexy Brands Only
By the way, our customers include telecom companies, software, and financial services firms; not exactly sexy brands like Apple or in “passion categories” like cars.