How people are buying products has significantly changed over the last few decades.
You used to greet the door-to-door salesman, showing up in person at your house, charming his or her way into your heart and wallet, selling items you didn’t know you needed. Then, there was the the telemarketer, calling you — probably during dinner — and pitching their product over the phone. The telemarketer began to dissolve and billboards started popping up. Desirable images placed in strategic locations, ensured that even on your commute to work, you couldn’t escape advertising. Billboards became digital ads, popping up in your inbox, lining the edges of your browser with products targeted to you based on recent web searches. So, what’s next? The future of marketing doesn’t belong to digital ads or machine learning…
The future of marketing is between customers.
Every day, we are inundated with advertising; billboards, newspapers, magazines, browser ads, emails…brand names are everywhere! In such a saturated market, who can the consumer trust? Who can the consumer turn to and hear the truth about a product? The answer: other consumers. Customers are now using each other as their number one source of information. Who would you trust more? Don Draper or your best friend?
You want to see a movie, how do you decide which movie to see? You check Rotten Tomatoes to see the ratings. Where will you eat this evening? Check out Yelp and read some reviews. Which vacuum should you buy? Go to Amazon and see how many stars each model has. Customers are turning to each other now more than ever to determine value. The success of a product or service is at the mercy of a customer’s experience. Current customers share information, relay tales of their own experiences, and basically market services and products to potential customers. That’s customer to customer.
Now, what is customer to customer marketing? Customer to customer (C2C) is about harnessing the incredible, make-you-or-break-you power of Word of Mouth. It is about listening to your customer’s voice, and about building a community in which that voice is heard. It is about encouraging engagement between current customers and prospective customers, and about letting your product join the conversation and speak for itself.
Think of it as a Ripple Effect. When a customer enjoys a product, they will tell their network about it, and give honest and positive reviews. When a customer loves the product, they want to shout about it from the rooftops! If the experience is consistent, the people in the network will become customers as well, giving positive reviews, and shouting from the rooftops their love for the product. But, if a customer has an unfavourable experience, one bad review has the power to negatively affect the entire ecosystem, and it can come crashing down. So, instead of worrying about what to say to customers, C2C brands are worrying about what customers say to each other.
So, how do you harness the power of the undeniably powerful Word of Mouth? Bevy is the thought leader in customer to customer marketing. Stay tuned to the Bevy blog to keep up to date on the latest and greatest practices, current events, and everything C2C.
To find out how Bevy is putting C2C into action, check out Bevy C2C Connects!