Did you know that by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, and Bain & Company says that 67% of customers note a bad experience is their primary reason for churn, it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it is to retain one, and 80% of a brand’s future revenue will come from 20% of its current customers?
Then, why do we spend most of our time talking about customer acquisition and not much time talking about customer retention, customer lifetime value and brand advocacy?
And, why do only 20% of brands use brand advocacy programs in their marketing and only 23% use effective customer experience programs?
It’s on us to understand not only every interaction, perception and feeling, buyers and customers have at each touchpoint of our brand, but to partner with them along their customer lifetime journey. We must continuously delight customers and convert them to lifetime brand advocates.
Why is Brand Advocacy so important?
Brand advocates are loyal to the brands they love.
Word of Mouth is more effective than your Demand and Lead Generation efforts.
Your brand advocates’ stories, experiences, reviews and testimonials are too valuable to overlook.
McKinsey says a word of mouth recommendation is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.
According to Marketing Charts, brand advocates are 4 times more likely than non-advocates to share information about products, brands, sales or stores online.
Brand advocates know how to get the word out – whether that is creating their own or curating others’ content.
TNS Global cities the following reasons consumers write about brands:
64% offer advice
61% praise a brand
52% criticize a brand
51% share content brands produce
It has been shown that brand advocates drive conversions because they are trusted – 92% of consumers trust brand advocates. As well, offers shared by trusted advocates convert at a 4-10 X higher rate than the same offer sent by brands (Zuberance). And, according to Deloitte, customers referred by other customers have a 37% higher retention rate.
Brand Advocates are Authentic and Genuine.
They can help you build empathy and humanize your brand better than any marketing effort. Brand advocates have walked where your buyers are at. They are able to invite people into their experiences with storytelling and other content that resonates.
Brand Advocates Are Seen As Influential.
Marketing Charts cites that brand advocates are 50% more likely to influence a purchase decision and are 70% more likely to be seen as a good source of information by the people around them.
And brand advocates cast a wide net: advocates tell twice as many people about their purchases than nonadvocates.
Brand Advocacy programs help drive corporate growth.
Small changes generate huge results. A 12% increase in brand advocacy, on average, generates a 2X increase in revenue and growth rate plus boosts market share. (HBS Press)
Brand advocates spend more, refer more, and are naturally inclined to recruit and enroll others in a brand’s vision. They want to help brands build better experiences.
The ironic thing is you may already have a brand advocacy program and not know it. Your employees, customers, vendors and fans are great brand advocates. And you may have brand advocates that you don’t know which is why you should always engage people who mention you on social media and have some type of a social monitoring tool in your social media marketing toolkit. At the very least, make sure you are using either Google Alerts or Talkwalker Alerts to track who is mentioning you.