forrester research

Top 5 Takeaways from “Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer”

Forrester Research Inc Analyst, Josh Bernoff, released a report recently entitled, “Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer.” The report discusses the only sustainable competitive advantage in the current customer-centric era: engagement. Below are some highlights from the report.

  • Key takeaway: Companies need to adjust their business strategy from being customer focused to customer obsessed. The proliferation of social media has disrupted every industry and created empowered consumers. They now have the tools to rave about your products, complain about your customer service, or follow your brand within the interconnected social web.  Customer obsession should be business’ #1 priority over any other strategic imperative.
  • Value versatility over lock-in. Focus your strategy, energy, and budget on processes that improve knowledge of and engagement with customers that take priority over maintaining traditional competitive barriers. Don’t back your “loyal” customers into a corner through contracts and proprietary technology. Instead, aim to create authentic advocacy by adjusting to customer needs. Enthusiastic repeat business is much more valuable than content customers (who might actually be detractors) that are stuck in a contract.
  • We are now in an empowered-customer-centric era. Shift your thoughts and budget accordingly. As Ian Wolfman of imc2 said, “Stop using ads to cover up a weak reputation and unhappy customers. Prioritize Word of Mouth over mouthing off.” Bernoff suggests cutting 10% of your traditional advertising budget and reallocating it to strategies that include a viral potential like social, devices, and content. Ads are far more effective when consumers are primed to believe them through the influence of their peers.
  • Find ways to sell more to current customers and get them to recommend your brand to their networks. New customers are more expensive to acquire than repeat customers; and repeat customers are much more accessible. Let your current customers, particularly you’re Advocates who are willing and ready to spread their enthusiasm, be your customer acquisition force by making it easy for them to recommend your brand.
  • Measurement is key. Prove your word of mouth marketing efforts are successful but measuring results. Appropriate metrics will vary across companies, but companies must measure campaigns that can tie back to business results such as leads, database sign-ups, inbound clicks, etc.

Brands- Stop thinking that all eyes and ears are on you. All eyes and ears are actually on your customers. Download “Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer” here.

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance


Top 5 Reasons Why Brands Need to Focus on Earned Media

To download the white paper, click here.

Marketers currently face a barrage of challenges and shifts in the way consumers engage with their brands. The over-saturation of advertising, and an ever-increasing distrust of ads, has led to a decline in the effectiveness of Paid Media. All the while, Earned Media is only gaining momentum, and for good reason. Today, it's Earned Media impressions that are building brands and paving the way for an open dialogue between companies and their customers.

Download the white paper and learn:

  • Earned Media is the most trusted and credible form of content for a brand
  • Social media has amplified the sheer quantity and reach of Earned Media
  • 25 to 40% of all traffic and lead generation comes from Earned Media
  • Earned Media Lasts
  • Earned Media is Measurable

Paid vs. Earned media was also the topic of our recent webinar featuring Forrester's Sean Corcoran, Edelman Digital's David Armano, and Zuberance's Rob Fuggetta.

Click here to watch the webinar recording, "A Marketing Imperative: Balancing Paid vs. Earned Media."

-Cara Fuggetta, Marketing Manager, Zuberance