If your business marketing efforts only consist of focusing on getting new leads and converting new customers, then you’re not fully optimizing your marketing opportunities. Building rapport with customers will go a long way to building your brand.
While, of course, attracting more customers to your store or website is a necessity for business growth, it’s equally important for your company to retain customers. Besides the benefits of repeat business, these customers are likely to share their enthusiasm with family, friends, and colleagues, some of whom will become new customers.
In marketing parlance, enthused customers are often referred to as “brand advocates,” and attracting more customers through spontaneous referrals is called “buzz marketing” or “word-of-mouth” marketing. Although you can’t directly recruit brand advocates and create your own buzz marketing campaigns, there are numerous things you can do to encourage it through exemplary customer service.
When it comes to encouraging positive buzz about your business, four things you can do is improve your packaging, throw in some freebies with their purchase, and study how other marketers add little extras to improve the customer experience.
If your business dropships your products to their doorstep, you have a perfect opportunity to win customers over with custom printed boxes. Since you have to ship out numerous boxes during the course of a business day, you probably think about their appearance in a practical way. If they’re properly labeled and protect the content, then you consider it a job well done. However, since the customer is only dealing with a single box, they have a completely different perspective. They look forward to receiving the box as soon as they place the order. The longer the shipping time, the higher their expectations about what your product will do for them. If they receive a plain box, it might stir up some buyer’s remorse, but a beautifully packaged box will remind them of Christmas time.
How important is the quality of packaging for customers? How does it affect their overall experience? Research shows that it matters a great deal. In a Bitcatcha article, Why the Packaging of Your Product Matters, author Fiona Sanguinetti describes how a Dotcom’s 2015 e-Commerce Packaging Study “…found that 39% of respondents have shared a picture or video on social media, and 60% said they would be more likely to share a product image if it came in a gift-like box, rather than a nondescript brown one.”
There is a limited amount of things you can do to make your product superior to other competitive products in the marketplace. R&D costs, production overheads, and other factors limit how much extra value you can add to any product. However, it isn’t necessary to focus on product superiority alone when it comes to thinking of adding extra value. If for example, your company makes bodybuilding protein, there is a limit to how much superior you can make your protein powder compared to others in the marketplace. Certainly, you can throw-in some creatine phosphate and branch chain amino acids, but you can’t load up the ergogenic ingredients too much without raising your price. Still, if you add sample packages with every plastic canister of protein that customers buy from you, you’ll not only give your customers more value for their money, but you also introduce them to other health & fitness products your company offers.
3. Study how other marketers add little extras.
Although sophisticated companies often use attractive customized packaging and adding extra value by throwing in samples, this is only scratching the surface of what’s possible when it comes to winning customers over by going the extra mile. Other little extras you can provide your customers, according to Stan Phelps, the Chief Measurement Officer at 9 INCH marketing, include offering an unusual guarantee, making a follow-up call to customers after a recent purchase, or providing added services to improve customer’s lives.
Why Buzz Marketing Makes a Huge Difference
Buzz marketing not only cuts business costs for marketing but it usually converts better, too. It works remarkably well in informing consumers about your business and persuading them to buy your products because the endorsements are sincere. Most consumers prefer to buy on the basis of something a friend recommends because a spontaneous testimonial is always far more convincing than any marketing pitch, sales letter, or advertisement.