Leveraging your promoters can be a game-changer for commercial waste haulers, municipalities, and brands committed to sustainability. I’m of the opinion that we sometimes try to hard to create the perfect ad, the most engaging post, the best graphics, etc. when the very best promotion you could ever use is the voice of your current happy customers. We’re working harder instead of working smarter. Nothing I can say as a marketer will have the same power and impact as the things your customers have to say about your brand.
Here’s a quick guide on how to harness the power of your advocates to strengthen your brand and attract new customers.
Before We Dive In
If you know me, you know I have a pretty intense thirst for knowledge and I’m a collector: I collect facts and tidbits that will serve me later. This often comes in the form of books and tools that fill my library shelves. I was recently stuck in an airport between legs of a journey and found myself browsing the bookstore. That’s where I saw a deck of cards called “Marketing Mess to Brand Success,” by Scott Jeffrey Miller. Each card is meant to serve as a marketing challenge to change the way you think about marketing for your organization. I’ll be honest: I don’t love all of them, but some of them are worth conversation. So that’s what we’re going to do: talk about my favorite challenges. Over the next few months, I’ll post those favorites and we’ll explore what it means for waste, recycling, and sustainability organizations.
Building Trust Through Advocacy
Engage Your Current Customers
- Foster a community by engaging with your current customers through newsletters, social media platforms, and events. Create a space where they feel valued and heard.
- Encourage feedback and actively listen to their suggestions. This not only enhances their experience but also shows potential customers your commitment to improvement.
Empower Advocates as Brand Ambassadors
- Identify and nurture your most enthusiastic customers. They are your brand’s biggest advocates and promoters. Offer them incentives or exclusive benefits for spreading the word about your services or products.
- Provide them with shareable content, such as success stories or informative articles, to easily advocate for your brand. People love to be the one who discovers something good. Use it to your advantage.
Leverage Positive Review and Testimonials
- Showcase positive reviews and testimonials prominently on your website, social media, and marketing materials. They serve as powerful social proof and can significantly influence potential customers. Get your customer service team involved. Make sure they know to ask for a good review and also make it easy for them to send a link to capture that review. There are services out there that allow you to send a quick link via text or email whenever it is relevant. Say “yes” to technology!
Create Advocacy Programs
- Develop loyalty or referral programs that reward customers for promoting your brand. This could be through discounts, exclusive access, or other perks, encouraging them to actively advocate for you. This may not be as applicable for those serving municipal contracts, but you can always reward customers who opt into additional services or adhere to recycling guidelines with surprise perks, like a branded gift. You could even create something like The Perfect Cart Placement program where you surprise people who always have their cart aligned perfectly on the curb with a small gift to reinforce good behavior.
Collaborate for Greater Impact
- Partner with local businesses, municipalities, or sustainability-focused organizations to amplify your message. Collaborative efforts can broaden your reach and enhance your credibility within the community. Collaboration can maximize your brand’s reach – and associate you with something good. Brands that align with yours can also become promoters.
Provide Exceptional Customer Service
- Consistently deliver outstanding service to all customers. Happy customers are more likely to become advocates and share their positive experiences. Make sure you tell your customer service representatives and operations team that this is crucial to your organization’s success. This is also a good time for them to tell you about the problems they’re experiencing so that you aren’t blindsided thinking that things are great when reality is…quite different. There’s nothing quite like tone-deaf marketing messaging and it serves to isolate the different departments in your organization and put those employees at risk for undermining your progress. Marketing should always involve customer service and operations.
Measure and Adjust Strategies
- Track the success of your advocacy programs. Monitor customer engagement, referral rates, and the impact of positive reviews. Use this data to refine and optimize your strategies. This information should be reported back to the customer service and operations departments so they’re aware of their successes, too. Be sure to celebrate the wins – and share those with the public! Let the people know that you’re setting goals for excellent service and that you’re meeting (or exceeding) them. In turn, your promoters will share that the brand they’ve come to rely upon will continue to meet their expectations.
Leveraging your promoters involves cultivating relationships with your current customers, empowering them to advocate for your brand, and strategically amplifying their positive experiences. By nurturing these advocates and utilizing their support, commercial waste haulers, municipalities, and sustainability-focused brands can significantly enhance their reputation and attract new customers who are drawn to the authenticity and trustworthiness conveyed by satisfied customers.
We’ll cover more Marketing Mess topics, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies in upcoming blog posts, so be sure to stay tuned. If you’re interested in see how Circle Three Branding applies these to your marketing strategy, contact us.