A new study—authored by Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester Research—on the future of where the social web is headed just hit the streets... and is proving that organizations looking to succeed in this turbulent economy need to embrace and empower their advocates. As referenced in this excerpt from the study:
Focus on Advocates and Prepare for Communities Marketers must be ready for yet more changes in how they reach customers over the next few years. Traditional marketing is becoming less effective, and to retool it, marketers must do more listening than talking. To thrive in this rapidly changing environment, brands must focus on their most vocal advocates. New forms of advocacy will emerge as social applications systems enable rating friends’ reputations for reliability. because consumers will trust their peers, brands must learn to rely on their advocates more than ever.
Focusing on advocates is nothing new, but the tricky part has always been to not only identify and mobilize advocates, but to also track the results of their efforts... and Zuberance provides a groundbreaking system to do exactly that. As an example:
Last quarter, amidst the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, a well-known consumer software giant boosted its sales by $26 million. And to what do they attribute much of the boost to? That's right... word of mouth. By energizing its customers to spread positive word of mouth, the company doubled its ratings on shopping sites, generated qualified leads, and boosted conversion rates. The ROI speaks for itself.