We’ve already looked at the two mistakes that kill customer advocacy programs. Now let’s look at the solution. We’ve got five pieces of advice that can help you make a real success from your customer references.
Surveys show that customer references are the most influential marketing tool around. Your customers can advocate for your business with a level of credibility that you simply can’t achieve on your own. Yet most marketing people will say that capturing customer advocacy through a reference programme is one of the hardest activities they manage.
When you're a small business it's tempting to try and grow as quickly as you can. If you're selling physical products, especially products that people still tend to buy in stores (instead of online), you'll be feeling doubly pressured to grow your distribution channels by taking on any new retail partners you can. Is that the right approach?
I've been promising myself that I wouldn't write a post about Wikileaks. But I couldn't resist drawing a simple lesson from it that marketers — or indeed anyone who works for a company, because we're all in the business of marketing — can learn.
I'm an Amex corporate cardholder. I opted out of receiving marketing communications from Amex when I joined (I know, a little hypocritical from a marketeer, but hey). Despite this, I got this gem from them recently.
In the battle of big companies versus small, scale is often the decider. Big companies have vast resources to draw on. They also have vast inertia that stops them changing direction like their smaller, more agile competitors. The usual analogy is a supertanker versus a speedboat.
I've been thinking about a simple test for company taglines. I call it the "van test". The principle is simple: If you're out driving and a company employee is ahead of you in a van, could you work out what the company does, and why you'd give it business, just from the tagline on the van?
I passed a 96-sheet billboard the other day that got me thinking about brands. It was for the new Volvo S60 and showed a glorious picture of the curvy red sports saloon with a simple tagline, something along the lines of "meet the new boxy". The tagline makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to Volvo's square styling of yore, and in my opinion it's a sublime bit of brand-aware advertising that teaches us three great lessons.
When you are defining the security requirements for your site or online tool don't implement military-grade security on user accounts just because you can — it's not big and it's not clever. Focus your efforts where they will really make a difference.
Search engine optimisation is nonsense. Perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration, but not much. It's certainly true to say that the SEO tricks peddled by most of the self-proclaimed experts out there are at best useless, and at worst damaging.
Montblanc make some beautiful products and charge accordingly. Imagining how much the pay the agencies that look after their brand makes me feel feint. Despite all the money that they spend, they can fall foul of the same problems as everybody else.