Not so long ago, a brand’s marketing strategy revolved around pushing products through expensive advertising campaigns and rich print and online collaterals. Now, pre- and post-purchase delivery of service and information to consumers is redefining the way we perceive brands.
In an epic David and Goliath match-up between service-dominant and product-dominant logic, social media has served as the slingshot to allow service-dominant businesses and organizations to stand just as tall as the spare-no-expense, product-marketing-heavy Goliaths. The service-dominant logic encourages organizations to market with their customers instead of to them, by providing beneficial information, responding to questions and feedback, and interacting on a more personalized level for the reward of brand loyalty and a word-of-mouth reputation that draws in a consistent following of new customers.
A recent Edelman study notes that 70% of millennials stated that once they find a company or product they like, they will keep coming back, and 86% will share their brand experience online. In addition:
- Brand preference is the #1 personal identifier millennials are willing to share online.
- Almost 60% say they are willing to share more personal information with the brands they trust.
- 47% write about their positive experience online, and their happiness increases with each person they tell their story to.
Personalized service and interaction from brands are now becoming a desire rather than a fear. So how can businesses and organizations deliver more service-dominant marketing? Here are 5 key tips:
1. Deliver online marketing content following the 80-20 rule: 80% of content that provides beneficial information, or content as a service, to the customer – and only 20% that is overtly promotional.
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2. Make the content social and search engine friendly. A recent study from Fleishman-Hillard found that 89% of consumers go directly to business websites or turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses before any human to human interaction takes place (if it ever does). Make the content they find count.
3. Provide the same or a greater level of personalized customer service and brand responsiveness on social media as your organization provides on other channels. Social media’s public visibility, accessibility and sharability can affect a brand’s reputation and perception like no other channel.
4. Make use of existing customer data to create a more personalized customer experience. Most businesses and organizations have a wealth of information about their customers to create a better customer experience; using it is key.
5. Use customer feedback and customer interaction to improve your brand, your products, your customer service, and the customer experience, and don’t keep it a secret. Let consumers know that you’re listening and that their ideas are making a positive impact.
“We’re trying to impact human behavior and the only way we know how to do that in the long term is by behaving differently as a company.” – Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola