This week, we had to read one hundred-something pages from part two of Groundswell. Out of the six chapters that comprised part two, I enjoyed Chapter Seven: Energizing the Groundswell the most.
Chapter seven talked about the importance for businesses to find enthusiast customers and turn them into word-of-mouth machines. This is basically free advertising and is called energizing, the third level of groundswell thinking. Energizing is more than just talking or listening, energizing is a marketer’s dream. Word-of-mouth can be very powerful and successful because:
o It’s believable
o It’s self-reinforcing
o It’s self-spreading
I would like to note that the opinion of a friend or acquaintance who has used the product or service is the most trustful source of information, according to Forrester’s Media & Marketing Online Survey. I definitely agree with this statement because it’s true for me, too. Whenever my friends buy new shoes, I am always first to ask how comfortable are they or are the shoes worth the price. If they have good feedback, I will trust them and go buy a pair for myself. If my friends try a new dish at a restaurant and they say the food is tasty, I will most likely order that for myself the next time around. Energizing works like that in a way. Because my friends had good experiences with the product, I will like the product and talk about the shoe or the food to other people.
Something that companies can do to connect with consumers who love their brand are use ratings and reviews, create a community to energize customers, and participate in online communities of brand enthusiasts. Constant Contact, an email marketing company experienced success creating a community forum where customers could encourage each other. ConnectUp! now has participation from 13,000 people, with 6,000 posts in 39 forums. I actually worked with Constant Contact at my internship this past summer and was very impressed with their services. I would definitely refer them to other customers. Although I never visited this online forum, ConnectUp! is a way to increase revenue and gain more customers, especially because the forum is highly active.
Energizing – a powerful way to use the groundswell to boost business.