I recently finished reading Monster Loyalty by Jackie Huba. My initial reaction was to create notes based on my kindle highlights. I then thought “why not make these notes public? Surely it would help people?”
This post is the result of that experiment. I’d love to explore this concept more; I’m reading Jackies other books currently.
Who *are* the one percenters?
They passionately recommend your company to friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
New customers are made because a friend wouldn’t stop talking about a product or service, especially about how it changed her life.
Online, we always think about targeting the influencers. If only I could get featured on Problogger. If only I could land coverage on that one huge industry blog.
Influencer marketing is an important part of marketing your product. However, most of us are ignoring the passionate advocates. You want the person that can’t stop raving about your product. You want the guy that is in the field, demonstrating the awesomeness in action. It can be cheaper and easier to give these guys – the one percenters – the tools to talk about your product.
Danielle Laporte stands out when it comes to this.
They believe in the company and its people.
- Customers may actually profess their belief in your mission statement, especially if it is focused on changing the world.
- Transparency and accessibility are key in helping customers understand how you are trying to make their lives better
- The lesson here is that when you try to change the status quo or the industry norm, some people will not like it. These people cannot be converted. Don’t waste time and energy on them. Instead, focus on your cause, what you produce, and your customers. Meaningful experiences and interactions are what we all long for and seek out. The most successful companies understand this and have found ways to maintain an awareness of the meaning in what they do and to ensure that meaning is conveyed through their products, services, and relationships with customers; it is actually an integral part of what they do and sell.aren’t. They need to treat customers like peers and create a feeling of intimacy—a feeling that those customers are part of a group of like-minded people, not merely purchasers to be mass-messaged at.
They purchase your products and services as gifts.
They want their friends to experience what they love.
How to leverage this:
- Have an option in the sales process for purchasing as a gift
- Provide a discount to those purchasing as a gift.
They provide unsolicited praise or suggestions of improvement.
- They have moved beyond simple word of mouth into deep-rooted evangelism by offering you their time and knowledge. They have pressed themselves into volunteerism.
- Those customers who take the time to contact a company do so for a reason. They may be frustrated but they want to get their problem solved. They may be one fix away from being an evangelist. Treat these customers with empathy when solving their problem. Go above and beyond to delight them.
They forgive occasional subpar seasons or dips in customer service.
- Because they have invested some time in understanding your business, they know the score.
Here’s the thing though: You shouldn’t pay them
Creating a paid-referral system for existing customers to recruit new ones is like paying a family member to show up for dinner. You can do it, but it changes the dynamic of the relationship. Paying customer evangelists turns volunteerism into labor. They feel part of something bigger than themselves. They have connected with your brand or company at an intrinsic, emotional level. They want to meet other like-minded customers who believe in what they believe in. And that’s you.
They understand that if they are simply trying to sell something for the sake of selling, solely for the sake of making a profit, that they will not convince people for very long.
Many launches in the internet marketing space focus on affiliate marketing. This is fine – it is often the best strategy for mega product launches*. For evergreen products though, and physical products, it can be best to put at least 50% of your efforts towards advocates.
People know when people are just shilling for the sake of potential income. Some will buy. More will buy from the person who looks out for their readers and gives them all they need to rave about you.
But affiliate marketing is the norm. How do I turn my readers into ‘one percenters?’
First: find them
“One of the biggest things . . . is the discovery process. And making sure that [the] audience feels like they have ownership in it.” His advice on growing your One Percenters: “It’s about not skipping a step, [but instead] doubling down on whatever audience that has found you.”
Web content creators. Do you have any people who have created content only about your brand?
Here is where we, as marketers and bloggers, suck. We have a community and will engage with them, but will leave the conversation there. We need strategies to turn these fans into owners of the brand.
One of the best strategies is the VIP list. Most people create these around book launches, but we should start creating them around our brand. Talk about the list on your various customer touchpoints. Reach out to your one percenters and personally invite them. These guys:
- could be the ones that provide unsolicited feedback.
- Those that frequently comment or engage with you on twitter.
Create a custom page on your blog. Let them know that this will evolve. Create a secret facebook group.
Give them a name
What’s in a name? Creating a name for your One Percenters assigns them an identity, and with that identity comes a set of recognizable behavioral or personal characteristics that everyone with that name shares. As a result people will self-identify as part of the group, or recognize that they are outside the group. In essence, a name gives your fans something to join, to be part of. The simple act of referring to themselves by the name gives customers a sense of belonging.
Naming customers gives them an identity that is connected to you. It gives them a way to refer to one another as being in a sort of club or inner circle.
Find the name in the wild. Customers may already be referring to themselves with a name. Use online search or listening tools to find out how customers may be talking about themselves. The name they are using might be terrific!
Have customers create the name with you. If you are open to including customers in the process, find some of your One Percenters and ask their opinion. Use an online survey or have an in-person facilitated meeting. Have your customers brainstorm alongside your own employees and jointly develop the name. Customers will love being part of the process and will feel ownership.
One of the reasons Fizzle is doing so well is that they have created a community for those one percenter. Corbett Barr and his team have created advocates within the paid program. They have been able to leverage this in their marketing.
Listen first. Listen to conversations elsewhere. Listen on twitter, and in blog comments. Listen to your peers who comment about your community.
You can give your tribe/generally community a name. This isn’t so much for your advocates – it’s so that people feel comfortable enough to become advocates.
You can give your VIP/advocate community a separate name. You can let this happen organically. You can work with your tribe on the creation of this community.
Create customer touchpoints
- Perform a customer touchpoint analysis to look at all places where your business interacts with customers. Touchpoints should include all human and physical interactions with customers, including your Web site, customer service contacts, physical stores, employees, receipts, invoices, social-media channels, telemarketing, proposals, e-mail signatures, brochures, and more. Look at each touchpoint and ask yourself if it is word-of-mouth-worthy. Is the interaction with a customer so remarkable that customers would make a comment about it to a friend, family member, or colleague?
- Customer service touchpoints (1-800 number, Web forms, etc.). Research shows that for every one customer who complains to a company, there are twenty-five who don’t.
- Incoming customer comments. Do you have customers who just contact you to give unsolicited feedback on making your business better? These folks feel such a connection to you that they want you to be better. Keep track of these concerned customers for further engagement.
There are so many customer touchpoints. There is the about page and your content form. Here are some others:
- Any surveys you set up
- Twitter landing page
- Guest post landing page
- The bottom of each blog post
- Your sidebar
- Your email newsletter
Are you giving your tribe opportunities to give feedback as much as possible?
Treat them brilliantly
- Feature your current evangelistic customers in your marketing communications efforts. Solicit testimonials and sprinkle them liberally throughout your Web site, brochures, and advertising. Showcase to customers other customers who they will feel are just like them.
- Invite select customers to special VIP events that give them access to something special, for example, a performance by a musician or group.
Finally: Always look at how you can improve your organic word of mouth
- Understand your current customer recommendability and word of mouth. A terrific way to do this is to use the Net Promoter Score methodology developed by Fred Reichheld and Bain & Company. The methodology involves asking two questions to your current customer base: 1) “How likely is it that you would refer our company to a friend or colleague?” on a 0–10 scale with 10 being the highest and 2) an open-ended question asking customers to explain the score. In this second question, the Promoters (those respondents who answered 9 or 10) will tell you why they recommend you. This qualitative data is helpful in understanding the current word of mouth about you in your customer base. Use the word-of-mouth comments you learned about in question two of your Net Promoter study in your marketing communications efforts. Using similar phrasing in how customers already talk about you in
So. How does this fit in with other word of mouth models?
- Mark Schaefer said that he believes that there are three social media influencer pipelines. Monster Loyalty doesn’t discount the other pipelines. I believe that they are necessary for awareness.
- Based on this, I think The Tipping Point is now becoming irrelevant when it comes to social media marketing Read: Is the Tipping Point Toast?. I think that we, as bloggers, need to rethink how much importance we place on influencer marketing. How will awareness lead to sales?
- The talkers referenced in Word of Mouth Marketing, the book by Andy Sernovitz, would be considered to be advocates. Highly recommend the book if you want to brainstorm ideas to generate conversation amongst advocates.
- The advocates are the ones that will help you lead a movement – something that is discussed in Brains on Fire. However, you can still leverage other pipelines to get awareness.
Should I get the book?
Monster Loyalty is incredibly accessible. Jackie Huba was smart in using Gaga as an example. Most people can relate to the case studies, even if they aren’t a fan. I read a lot about word of mouth marketing and it can be rather dry at times.
If you read a lot about marketing, this may be a bit simple. It’s a quick read though and may be useful for your readers.