Engaging Consumers Where It Matters Most

How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle”

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. . .... . . ..... ..... ........ ........ . . .. ........ ... . ... . . ......... ........ ..... . . 7 Off the Path: Persistent Threats and Opportunities within the Social Customer Lifecycle. .... ... ...... .. ........ . .. ..... . . ..... ... ... ...... . .. .... .. .. .... ........ .... ... . .. . ... . . .. ... .... .. ......... ... . .. .. . ... .. .. .... .... ....... .. .... . ... .. . .. ... . ...... .. .... ... . . .. ....... ..... ... .... ....... .. . ... ... . . .. .. ...... .. .. ....... .. ... .... .... ..... .. . ..... ... .... 4 Access. . ... .. .. .. .. . ..... . ... .......... . ... . .. ........ . ... ...... .. .... ... . .. ........ 7 Spotlight: Wildfire (That’s Us!) . . .... . .... .. . .. . . .. .. .. ... .. . . .... ......... ... . . ... .... 4 Spotlight: So Delicious... .... . .... ...... . . . . .. ..... . . . .... ........ .... . . .. . ... ........... .. .... . 6 Spotlight: Mashable.... ... . . . ..... .... .... . .. .. ... .......... . .... ......... . ......... .. ....... . ... .. .... . . .. ........ ... ... . . .... ...... . 2 Discover........ . .. . 7 Re-Engage... .. .... ...... .... ...... .. ... .. ... . ... ... .... . .......... ......... .. .. .... .... ....... 8 Conclusion. ... .. ..... .... . . ... . . ........ ............ . .. . 8 . . .......... . ...... .... ... .. 6 Get Support.. ... ... ... . .. ..... .. ........... . . 4 Buy ........... . ..... .... . . .... .. .. ... ...... ... .......... . ... ... .... .. . .. ... . . ...... .......... ...... .. .. ..... . .. .... .. .. .... .. ... .. . . . .. . ..... .. ... .. ... . .. ..... . . .. .. .......... . .. . . 5 Use ....... .. ... .. ... ...... ...... ..... ...... . ........ .. ... ... .... . . ...... ..... .. . . . ..... . . .. .Contents Introduction... ..... ...... ...... ... ........... ... .. ... ..... . ...... .. .... . . ... . ...... ... .. . ...... . .. ..... . .. . .................... ........ .. .......... ........... .... .. ...... . . ... .... ... . ... .. ..... ...... ..... .. .... . . ..... ... . 3 Evaluate........ ..... . . ... ..... ....... ......... ....... .......... .. . .. ... ..... ...... .......... ..... . ... .... ... .. .. . .. 3 Spotlight: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau... ..... ... . ............... ..... .... ....... .. ....... .. .. ........ . ... ... . . 2 Spotlight: H&M.... . .. .. .. .. .......... .. ... . .. . . .... .. . .... .................. . .. .. ...... ..... .. ... . . ........ ... .. . . ..... .... .... .. ...... ... .. . .. .... 2 The Evolved Social Customer Journey .... .. . .............. ........ .. ... . ... ... .. . . ... ... . ....... ..... ... . . .. .. . .. . ... ...... ... .... .. ... . ... ....... ..... ... .. ......... .. ............ . . . ..... . .. .. . ... . . ........ .. . . . 2 The Traditional Customer Journey . .... ....... .. ......... ...... .. .. . . . ... .. ............ . . ..... .... .. ... . ...... . . ........ . . .... ..... .... .... ...... .... .. .... ........ .. . ........ . ..... . . ... . ... .. . . ... . 8 Leave............ .. . .. .. .. .. .. .. ... ... ...... . ....... ... . . ...... .... . ........... ... ... . . .. . ..... . ... . ... ... .... ....... ........... ..... .. . . . ........ . . .. . ...... ..... ........ ...... . ..... .... .. .. ........... .. ......... . ...... ... . .. ......... ..... . . .... .. 5 Spotlight: Rokenbok.. .... .... .. . .... . ... .......... .... .. ..... .. ............ .... .. . . ..... ........ .............. ... .. .... .. . .. .. ..... ... ......... ........... .. .. ......... ... ... .. .. .. ... ... . .. ... ....... .... .. .... . ........ ...... .. ... . .... ... ... .... .. .... ....... ... . .. .... ....... . .... .... . ..... .. .... . . ........ ..

” The model. Discover The Traditional Customer Journey The traditional customer journey. As prospective customers make their way through the funnel. consisting of eight distinct phases. The model also accounts for the potential that a customer could drop-off at any point in the timeline. potentially activating loyal brand advocates. This funnel is outdated with respect to today’s social consumers: those deeply plugged into social networks. In 2012. Many times. decision-making processes. By referencing a new social customer journey framework developed by Forrester Research. and (hopefully) Repetition. we read about the customer’s journey through a funnel of brand interactions that lead to the moment of purchase.” 2012 2 . The Evolved Social Customer Journey Source 1: Framework adapted from : Forrester Research Inc. Inc. or sales funnel. offline and online. blog posts. Commitment. to assist in evaluating and choosing between options while making purchase decisions..purchase decision timelines. 1 Nielsen. • recommend strategies for brands to capitalize on these consumer touchpoint opportunities. “How Does Social Media Contribute to Customer Experience.and post. reads critiques created by his peers.1 This means that consumers are looking to information from their peers and networked connections. How can this be changed? In this report. narrowing as customers evaluate different purchase options. we explore the evolved social customer lifecycle. reviews. absorbing information from news feeds full of commentary and opinions from their extended networks. Evaluation. Today’s consumer creates reviews for his social networks. For example. The framework doesn’t account for any type of outside influence. introduces opportunities for brands to invigorate user activity. online consumer recommendations are the second most trusted source of brand advertising. second only to “recommendations from people I know”.” January 2012 The new social customer goes through a distinct six-step journey. “Consumer Trust in Online. Source 1 In the Discovery stage. spanning pre. and videos created by friends and members of the consumer’s network. as well as the opportunity for brands to re-engage consumers at every turn. Social. each create opportunities for consumers to discover new brands. we will: • take a look at key customer interactions with social media at every step leading to purchase. Let’s take a deep dive into this new framework. In sales and marketing education. and finally buy. Interest. and create engaging touchpoints for consumer interaction through a “new” marketing funnel. they pass through stages: Awareness. as well as by brands themselves. and interactions that lead to (or away from) a purchase decision. and Mobile Advertising Grows.000 consumers in 56 countries conducted by Nielsen. we need to factor in the impact of social media on consumer behavior. encourage discovery. the consumer is noticing relevant content that exists within social media channels from peers. let alone considered buying from you to fulfill a need. Consider this phase of the lifecycle a clean slate— the consumer may not have ever heard of your brand. Discovery is a very logical piece of the lifecycle journey that is facilitated by social media. Referral. • and learn from the successful practices of a variety of current brands making the most of social media marketing. the brand isn’t involved in any stage of the decision-making process. photos. or produced by brands. is one directional. and changes his purchasing decisions based on these conversations. make changes. absorb information. Forrester Research introduced an evolved model of the customer experience journey in the paper “How Does Social Media Contribute to Customer Experience? Let Us Count the Ways. Visuals show a sales funnel that is wide at top. like influence resulting from social media interactions.Whitepaper | E  ngaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle” Introduction According to global study of 28.. strip away choices. To reframe the journey and understand consumer touchpoints. commentary.

“Product Reviews.” June 2012 5 AYTM Research.” or users who contribute to ratings.” June 2011 3 Ibid.” May 2012 3 .US consumers create over 500 billion online media impressions about products and services account. when they see friends and networked connections posting about and reposting H&M’s content in their own feeds. the fashion brand supplied a steady stream of interactive content tailored specifically to G+. As a result of adding social extensions to their existing search ads.. Additionally. According to a survey done by the Deloitte Consumer Products group. US consumers create over 500 billion online media impressions about products and services!2 At an even more granular level.4 While that only accounts for one of every three internet users. blogs. In the example below. Each post was crafted to stimulate response posts and re-shares from users. while valuable for the brand. In fact. but also information sources (like brands and websites) through mobile devices. also serve to create discovery opportunities for new consumers. 4 Deloitte Consumer Products Group. discussion boards. and branded pages are all places that a consumer explores at this stage. the other two are actively absorbing and internalizing these critiques— when asked if user reviews had ever impacted their purchase decisions. and not to be ignored.” and 25% say “often. These engagements. reviews. because H&M turned on social annotations for its search advertising Adwords In the Evaluation 36% of US online adults stage. The opinions and commentary recorded by real product users in forums and social media channels are both plentiful and carry significant weight. H&M reported a 22% lift in click-thru rates. groups. Forums.” 5 2 Forrester Research Inc. utilizing user-generated blogs. and other social channels content to inform to voice their opinion decisions.3 The opportunity for your brand to be discovered by a consumer while casually consuming content. reviews. the consumer is interacting with are “Critics. observing others’ conversations and jumping in with questions or feedback of his own when he requires clarification on a topic. discovery is further facilitated for new consumers when they see social signals incorporated into their search results. “Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer. according to Forrester Research Inc. and other social channels to voice their opinion. across multiple screens is huge. “Global Social Media Adoption. 36% of US online adults are “Critics. 76% of the World’s population is connected to not only each other. Evaluate Source 1 Spotlight: H&M H&M engages its social communities while simultaneously creating opportunities for driving discovery.” or users who communities and contribute to ratings. 58% of consumers say “sometimes.

brands. trends. in this case. In the case of big-ticket items or products that require a longer consideration period before purchase. executed a well integrated marketing plan over 100 days in 2011. Buy Source 1 In the Buying stage. and can also share promotions with social networks. a dairy-free dessert and milk alternative brand. since visitors to Hawaii are customers of the organization) these contests serve as evaluation tools for consumers thinking about taking a (or another) trip to the Hawaiian islands. The theme was “100 days of change. consumers are converting with social commerce features built into branded profiles and sites. For example. So 6 Forrester Research Inc. and electing to sign-up for communication with a brand. “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012. users can convert in other ways. or retailers” Spotlight: So Delicious So Delicious..Whitepaper | E  ngaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle” Spotlight: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote the Hawaiian islands to travelers throughout North America.” promoting healthful lifestyles and nutritional choices. In sharing photos of real user moments (real consumer moments. for example by filling out lead-generation forms. with celebrity fitness guru Jillian Michaels as the spokesperson for the campaign. 17% of users have bought something based on a friend’s post about it using social media The three-week “Perfect Hawaii Moment” campaign generated a 25% jump in engaged users on the organization’s Facebook page and more than 500 contestants actively opted-in to further email contact with the convention bureau outside of the social initiative.” September 2012 4 . A recent study by Forrester cites a selection of statistics supporting the influence of social media on user buying decisions:6 • 17% of users have bought something based on a friend’s post about it using social media • 40% of online buyers think that social content created by friends about brands is “a great way to discover sales and promotions” • 48% of consumers think that posts created by others in their networks are “a great way to discover new products. The bureau uses its active and sizable social media communities to drive users through the evaluation stage by running campaigns like user-generated-content contests. a recent photo contest encouraged users to share their “Perfect Hawaii Moment” for a chance to win a trip to Hawaii.

L. offered new sheets to the affected customers. The company appealed to the social consumer by collaborating with Sterling-Rice Group to design its “100 Days of Change” Wildfire giveaway on Facebook. and destroyed the rest of the ruined batch.Delicious deployed the integrated campaign in a consistent manner across traditional. if we ever would have known at all. For example. So Delicious also enjoyed a sizable growth in its Facebook fan base which grew by more than 1. LL Bean promptly pulled the sheets from its website.000%. and to reassure the customer that he made the right purchase choice. According to an interview by the Wall Street Journal with Steve Fuller.” The 100 Days of Change giveaway was an incredible success. They’re consuming content created by the brand for its customers in an effort to become better informed. averaging 3. digital.226 entries per day. 100 Days of Change received 322. create new brand advocates. branded social profiles. and forums. the “Access” stage is a chance for the brand to reinforce the customer’s decision. and ultimately increased its category share by 60% and sales units by 74%. If brands do not execute accessoriented strategies correctly. users are interacting within support communities.664 entries. Over the three-month promotion period. “Firms Take Online Reviews to Heart.” 2012 5 . Because the consumer has already purchased the brand’s product. causing the consumer to feel regret for having purchased items from the brand. L. In total. So Delicious saw a significant return on its investment: it experienced two of its most successful sales days ever. it would have taken us months and months to figure out if something was wrong with the product through returns. Bean’s chief marketing officer. 7 Wall Street Journal. Consumers accessing information in forums and support communities are ripe for brands to impress.7 LL Bean immediately launched an investigation and found that a manufacturing contractor had added wrinkle-resistance treatment to the sheets by mistake. which was causing the cotton fabric to unravel. LL Bean recently found itself in a social media situation wherein a large set of customers that had bought a specific sheet set had taken to social media channels to complain that the sheets were unraveling. and social marketing. they may inadvertently trigger buyer’s remorse. “before [social media]. So Delicious wanted to encourage users to embrace and celebrate positive personal change. 33% of users want to follow a brand on social media channels because they’re current customers Access Source 1 In the Access stage. and expand its fan base.

but also serves as a way for the publisher brands to access the publicly available information provided by users in their social accounts for better targeting (by demographic or psychographic interests). YouTube is quickly becoming the company’s most important advertising vehicle. The brand shoots and edits all videos inhouse. This feature not only makes for a simpler login process that saves the user from having to remember another set of credentials.9 8 9 Search Engine Land. Rokenbok used YouTube in-search. For example. learn about products. 22% more pages are seen (and for 8 minutes longer) by Huffington Post users that log into the site using their Facebook credentials. As a result of Rokenbok’s successful video strategy. Adding social annotations to Google search ads can lead to increases in click-thru rates by 5-10%. or there are people who aren’t in your circle who’ve endorsed the content. and content ranges from education to product demos. in-display. support. so the company created a “Mr. Rokenbok” YouTube channel to host and target productrelated videos. In the Use phase.8 Including a social experience. or product news Use Source 1 Spotlight: Rokenbok Rokenbok is a San Diego-based high-end robotic and construction toy company that wanted to find a new platform and hub for children and families to engage with its brand.Whitepaper | E  ngaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle” A key reason users follow brands on social media channels is to get access to information (and give it. watch product demos. you’ll see less detailed annotations. according to Facebook. These ad capabilities allow Rokenbok to refine ad campaigns to target the right customers with each video. also increases clickthrough rates. “By The Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites. examples of sociallypowered brand experiences pervade the internet. you can read stories on popular news sites such as Mashable and the Huffington Post while logged in to your social network accounts.” 2011 Google Inc. 2012s 6 . If you’re signed out of Google+. Rokenbok determined that video is the most effective way to demonstrate products and create access points for children and their families. In fact. and drive online sales. such as social annotations in your digital advertising. and in-stream ads. While this sounds like a mouthful. Rokenbok estimates that half of its customers come from YouTube. According to a 2012 study conducted by Get Satisfaction: • 33% of users want to follow a brand on social media channels because they’re current customers • 18% follow a brand for interesting or entertaining content • 5% want to follow a brand for service. consumers are participating in social offerings that are baked into the product-related experience. like the LL Bean customers). Social annotations are basically text notations that let you know if someone in your social circle also endorses the web content you’re looking at. Having social features like this baked into the product experience can be uplifting for user interaction.

Mashable experienced a huge surge in community growth after it installed the Google+ badge on its homepage.10 The days of writing a letter about product dissatisfaction. “Consumer Views of Live Help Online. or attaching a paper receipt via snail mail are starting to feel like ancient history. they are starting conversations and directing feedback/complaints through social media channels. increasing its Google+ page audience by 38%. 50% of all Facebook users and 80% of Twitter users expect a response to a customer support inquiry in 24 hours or less. and often feels entitled. Mashable encourages its consumers to use social from within the site’s pages. the largest independent news site. When consumers are in the Get Support phase. 10 Oracle. The proliferation of social media use has also led to an evolution in the social customer mindset. social customers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience. Mashable also uses the +1 button on articles and across the site to empower user sharing to Google+. and 53 people about a bad customer experience! Dissatisfied customers who stay that way have stronger voices and further reach. It is critical for brands to respond to users’ support requests.Social customers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience. In fact. and 53 people about a bad customer experience! Get Support Source 1 Spotlight: Mashable Mashable. In addition to hosting a slew of engaging hangouts and posting fresh content daily. two factors that can quickly unwind all your hard won brand successes. likes to keep its finger on the pulse of how people connect online. According to a Global Customer Service Barometer conducted by American Express in 2012. Today’s social consumer is empowered. Not providing satisfactory customer service can come with a steep price.” 2012 7 .

Whitepaper | E  ngaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle” Spotlight: Wildfire (That’s Us!) Here at Wildfire.” 2012 8 . the purchase decision or dismissing your brand from among a list of options. “The Brand Advocate Factor: How Best in Class Brands Breed Communities of Brand Advocates that Supercharge Social Media Campaigns. Evaluation. we sell social media marketing software to brands of all sizes. Re-Engagement builds up loyal brand advocates ready to spread the (positive) word about the brand. Re-Engage Source 1 To call re-engagement a phase is a bit of a misnomer. Brands have the opportunity to re-engage fans throughout the duration of the customer lifecycle. successfully reengaging fans throughout their journey with a brand can lead to increased awareness and affinity. by creating negative earned media. Buying. brands with high advocate populations got 264% more earned media impressions than average brands. turning out loyal brand advocates. but because of the potential of lost consumers to negatively influence others in their social networks. there are also two persistent phases that a consumer can fall into at any point in time. no matter where it’s coming from.11 Off the Path: Persistent Threats and Opportunities within the Social Customer Lifecycle While the path of the consumer as he travels through Discovery. In fact. and make it a practice to respond to every request in a timely manner. These types of users are of incredibly high value to a brand. We know that customer inquiries can come in through any of our social channel brand pages. The study found that over one year. Access. Consumers can also leave at any point. This is a persistent threat not only because of the loss of business. Wildfire did a study to attempt to quantify this value in 2012— the Brand Advocate study was conducted to understand the impact on engagement that brands with significantly higher advocate populations saw as compared to brands with average advocate populations. and Getting Support is usually linear. Use. across industries and geographies. disengaging from 11 Wildfire.

with examples for your brand to emulate in each phase.Leave Conclusion Social media has made the traditional customer lifecycle model obsolete. it is important for brands to focus efforts on minimizing the impact of a customer dropping off the journey. We presented a new framework. thereby disconnecting from the community and customer base. Naturally. The classic sales funnel— moving prospects from awareness to purchase— no longer applies in a marketplace where earned media referrals and consumer evangelism have serious impact on purchase decisions. 9 . especially in those instances that he is leaving due to a negative experience.12 12 Cone Inc. Source 1 Brands are in danger of users leaving the customer journey while publicly voicing grievances with the brand using social media channels. as 80% of consumers said that they changed their mind about buying a product after reading a negative review they found online. 80% of consumers said that they changed their mind about buying a product after reading a negative review they found online Mitigating the impact of a negative user experience can have a huge impact. Marketers need to look at new ways to engage with consumers that take into account all the new sources of information consumers access. however. not every customer who begins her path on the social customer journey will stay until purchase. your social brands needs to adapt marketing plans to account for the new social customer journey. adapted from a model created by Forrester Research Inc. In order to stay current and enable consumers to make successful purchase decisions. that illustrates the eight phases of the social customer journey.

wildfireapp. CA 94043 | 888. and monetize their audience across social networks. Learn how we can help you today! 888.0929 | www.wildfireapp.com 11/12 . a division of Google | 323 Fairchild Drive. 2 www.274. easy-to-use social marketing platform that enables brands to grow.Mountain View Chicago London Los Angeles Munich New York City Paris Singapore Wildfire is a powerful.com | wildfire@google.274. Mountain View.com Wildfire. engage.0929 ext.

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