Chapter 7, Energizing the Groundswell, Li and Bernoff (2011) talks about an essential strategy for a business, which is energizing your best customers and allowing them to recruit their fellow mates. This involves ratings, reviews and communities. Another important technique is word of mouth for brand marketing.
Energizing is powerful but risky when compared to talking and listening. Li and Bernoff (2011), suggest five steps to energize one’s customers:
- Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell- Decision if one wants to do it or not. Also one should think if their company needs to energize its customers. Retail Stores like one I work for- Hudson’s Bay, can look for ways to energize their customers, but should be done appropriately and not overdone.
- Check the social technographics profile of your customers- All customers are different and react differently to certain scenarios. Retail customers are spectators and do not actively participate in blogging. However, they do get attracted to videos of the latest trends or ways to express their opinion by using “like” button or interesting articles to grab their eye.
- Ask yourself “what is my customer’s problem?”- Understanding your customer is crucial and communication is effective Therefore, using these means, one can determine what is bothering them and find ways to approach them in order to get their attention.
- Pick a strategy thats fits your customers’ social technographics profile and problems- Retail stores, should have an accurate strategy on their target market and to understand their needs.
- Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul- Once started, you cannot back down. This will disappoint the customers and your company will suffer. This process requires attention for the long run and maintenance.
This chapter emphasizes on how important it is to be engaged with your customers than just selling products to them. It will gain their trust and make them feel part of the company which will generate positive word of mouth and eventually a high return on investment (ROI).
Hudson’s Bay collects data of their customers. This gives them an idea of what products or trends work during what seasons and what doesn’t. Using social media Facebook Likes, Twitter reposts or tweets, word of mouth and other advertising platforms, Hudson’s Bay can pick strategies accordingly and can keep their customers engaged, which will eventually lead to happy customers that would generate more sales and ROI.
Another example is Tesla– In summer 2016, it was energizing its customers to refer through a referral program. Whoever purchased any new customer who purchases a Model S or Model X because of a referral will earn $1000 towards the purchase of their new car. For those who referred them qualified for rewards. such as Tesla merchandise, custom wheels and an invite for two to the Gigafactory opening. All customers who make a qualifying referral will be entered in to a draw to win a Ludicrous P90D Model X car. The more you refer, the better your reward.
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston: Harvard Business Press.