As a marketer, understanding your customer is always critical, but the rise of digital and social media has made it more important than ever. That’s because your customers can now build or break your brand by using their own social media channels to amplify your positive reputation to condemn your brand, services and products.
Examples of customer activism stack higher everyday, from Bank of America’s debit card fee, to Verizon’s online payment fee, to Netflix’s launch and retraction of Quickster. So exactly what do your customers want and how to do you inspire their loyalty and goodwill to drive your profits?
Three of the most compelling facts from the latest global consumer research from Edelman, Cone< and Havas Media provide the answer.
These facts clearly demonstrate that today’s consumer looks to your company for greater social responsibility, as well as authenticity, transparency and accountability for its behavior.
The onus then falls on your company to define its purpose in a way that makes it meaningful to your customers’ lives. When you do that, and communicate that purpose consistently based on shared values and a common purpose, social media delivers the powerful ROI (return on investment) that your business truly deserves.
It‘s this ability to re-frame your marketing away from being the celebrity of your customer community to being its chief celebrant that will inspire consumers to build your reputation and profits with you. It requires three simple but critical steps that enable you become a scalable social brand:
These three steps are being used by many of the smartest social brands in the world that are framing their marketing around a community-focused message including Coca-Cola’s ‘Open Happiness,’ Starbuck’s ‘Shared Planet,’ and IBM’s ‘Smarter Planet.’ Fortunately a similar strategy is available to companies of all sizes, and when you engage social media on this basis, it will unlock its massive potential to scale consumer loyalty, goodwill, and profits as your customers will build your business with you.
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