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  • 1. Engaging Consumers Where It Matters Most How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s “Social Customer Lifecycle”
  • 2. ContentsIntroduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 2The Traditional Customer Journey ............................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 2The Evolved Social Customer Journey . . ........................................................................................ . . . . . . . . . . . . 2Discover.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Spotlight: H&M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Evaluate.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Spotlight: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. ......................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Buy . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 . Spotlight: So Delicious. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 4Access.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Spotlight: Rokenbok. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 5Use . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Spotlight: Mashable.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Get Support.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Spotlight: Wildfire (That’s Us!) .. . . ...................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Off the Path: Persistent Threats and Opportunities within the Social Customer Lifecycle. . . . . . 7Re-Engage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Leave.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..................................................................................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
  • 3. Whitepaper | Engaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s  “Social Customer Lifecycle”Introduction To reframe the journey and understand consumer touchpoints,According to global study of 28,000 consumers in 56 countries decision-making processes, and interactions that lead to (orconducted by Nielsen, online consumer recommendations away from) a purchase decision, we need to factor in the impactare the second most trusted source of brand advertising, of social media on consumer behavior. In 2012, Forrestersecond only to “recommendations from people I know”.1 This Research introduced an evolved model of the customermeans that consumers are looking to information from their experience journey in the paper “How Does Social Mediapeers and networked connections, offline and online, to assist Contribute to Customer Experience? Let Us Count the Ways.”in evaluating and choosing between options while making The model, consisting of eight distinct phases, introducespurchase decisions. opportunities for brands to invigorate user activity, encourage discovery, and create engaging touchpoints for consumerIn sales and marketing education, we read about the customer’s interaction through a “new” marketing funnel.journey through a funnel of brand interactions that lead to themoment of purchase. Visuals show a sales funnel that is wide The Evolved Social Customer Journeyat top, narrowing as customers evaluate different purchaseoptions, strip away choices, make changes, absorb information,and finally buy.This funnel is outdated with respect to today’s social consumers:those deeply plugged into social networks, absorbinginformation from news feeds full of commentary and opinionsfrom their extended networks. Today’s consumer createsreviews for his social networks, reads critiques created by hispeers, and changes his purchasing decisions based on these Source 1: Framework adapted from : Forrester Research Inc., “How Does Socialconversations. Many times, the brand isn’t involved in any stage Media Contribute to Customer Experience,” January 2012of the decision-making process. How can this be changed?In this report, we explore the evolved social customer lifecycle. The new social customer goes through a distinct six-step journey, spanning pre- and post- purchase decision timelines.By referencing a new social customer journey framework The model also accounts for the potential that a customer coulddeveloped by Forrester Research, Inc., we will: drop-off at any point in the timeline, as well as the opportunity• take a look at key customer interactions with social media at for brands to re-engage consumers at every turn, potentially every step leading to purchase, activating loyal brand advocates.• recommend strategies for brands to capitalize on these Let’s take a deep dive into this new framework. consumer touchpoint opportunities, Discover• and learn from the successful practices of a variety of current brands making the most of social media marketing.The Traditional Customer Journey Source 1The traditional customer journey, or sales funnel, is onedirectional. As prospective customers make their way through In the Discovery stage, the consumer is noticing relevantthe funnel, they pass through stages: Awareness, Interest, content that exists within social media channels from peers, orEvaluation, Commitment, Referral, and (hopefully) Repetition. produced by brands. Consider this phase of the lifecycle a cleanThe framework doesn’t account for any type of outside slate— the consumer may not have ever heard of your brand,influence, like influence resulting from social media interactions. let alone considered buying from you to fulfill a need. Discovery is a very logical piece of the lifecycle journey that is facilitated by social media. For example, photos, commentary, reviews, blog posts, and videos created by friends and members of the consumer’s network, as well as by brands themselves, each create opportunities for consumers to discover new brands.1 Nielsen, “Consumer Trust in Online, Social, and Mobile Advertising Grows,” 20122
  • 4. account, discovery is further facilitated for new consumers when US consumers create over 500 billion they see social signals incorporated into their search results. online media impressions about products and services As a result of adding social extensions to their existing search ads, H&M reported a 22% lift in click-thru rates.In fact, according to Forrester Research Inc, US consumers Evaluatecreate over 500 billion online media impressions about productsand services!2 At an even more granular level, 76% of theWorld’s population is connected to not only each other, but also Source 1information sources (like brands and websites) through mobiledevices.3 The opportunity for your brand to be discovered by In the Evaluationa consumer while casually consuming content, across multiple stage, the consumer 36% of US online adultsscreens is huge, and not to be ignored. is interacting with are “Critics,” or users who communities and contribute to ratings, reviews, utilizing user-generated blogs, and other social channels content to inform to voice their opinionSpotlight: H&M decisions. Forums,H&M engages its social communities while simultaneously discussion boards,creating opportunities for driving discovery. In the example groups, and branded pages are all places that a consumerbelow, the fashion brand explores at this stage, observingsupplied a steady stream others’ conversations and jumpingof interactive content in with questions or feedbacktailored specifically to G+. of his own when he requiresEach post was crafted to clarification on a topic.stimulate response posts The opinions and commentaryand re-shares from users. recorded by real product usersThese engagements, while in forums and social mediavaluable for the brand, also channels are both plentiful andserve to create discovery carry significant weight. Accordingopportunities for new to a survey done by the Deloitteconsumers, when they see Consumer Products group, 36%friends and networked of US online adults are “Critics,” orconnections posting about users who contribute to ratings,and reposting H&M’s reviews, blogs, and other socialcontent in their own feeds. channels to voice their opinion.4 While that only accounts for oneAdditionally, because of every three internet users, theH&M turned on social other two are actively absorbingannotations for its search and internalizing these critiques—advertising Adwords when asked if user reviews had ever impacted their purchase decisions, 58% of consumers say “sometimes,” and 25% say “often.” 52 Forrester Research Inc., “Competitive Strategy in the Age of the Customer,” June 20113 Ibid.4 Deloitte Consumer Products Group, “Global Social Media Adoption,” June 20125 AYTM Research, “Product Reviews,” May 2012 3
  • 5. Whitepaper | Engaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s  “Social Customer Lifecycle”Spotlight: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau 17% of users have boughtThe Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is a nonprofit something based on a friend’s postorganization whose purpose is to promote the Hawaiian about it using social mediaislands to travelers throughout North America. The bureauuses its active and sizable social media communities to driveusers through the evaluation stage by running campaigns The three-week “Perfect Hawaii Moment” campaign generatedlike user-generated-content contests. For example, a recent a 25% jump in engaged users on the organization’s Facebookphoto contest encouraged users to share their “Perfect Hawaii page and more than 500 contestants actively opted-in toMoment” for a chance to win a trip to Hawaii. In sharing photos further email contact with the convention bureau outside of theof real user moments (real consumer moments, in this case, social initiative.since visitors to Hawaii are customers of the organization) thesecontests serve as evaluation tools for consumers thinking about Buytaking a (or another) trip to the Hawaiian islands. Source 1 In the Buying stage, consumers are converting with social commerce features built into branded profiles and sites, and can also share promotions with social networks. In the case of big-ticket items or products that require a longer consideration period before purchase, users can convert in other ways, for example by filling out lead-generation forms, and electing to sign-up for communication with a brand. 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, brands, trends, or retailers” Spotlight: So Delicious So Delicious, a dairy-free dessert and milk alternative brand, executed a well integrated marketing plan over 100 days in 2011. The theme was “100 days of change,” promoting healthful lifestyles and nutritional choices, with celebrity fitness guru Jillian Michaels as the spokesperson for the campaign. So6 Forrester Research Inc., “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012,” September 20124
  • 6. Delicious deployed the integrated campaign in a consistentmanner across traditional, digital, and social marketing. The 33% of users want to follow a brandcompany appealed to the social consumer by collaborating with on social media channels becauseSterling-Rice Group to design its “100 Days of Change” Wildfire they’re current customersgiveaway on Facebook. So Delicious wanted to encourage usersto embrace and celebrate positive personal change, create newbrand advocates, and expand its Accessfan base. Source 1 In the Access stage, users are interacting within support communities, branded social profiles, and forums. They’re consuming content created by the brand for its customers in an effort to become better informed. Consumers accessing information in forums and support communities are ripe for brands to impress. Because the consumer has already purchased the brand’s product, the “Access” stage is a chance for the brand to reinforce the customer’s decision, and to reassure the customer that he made the right purchase choice. If brands do not execute access- oriented strategies correctly, they may inadvertently trigger buyer’s remorse, causing the consumer to feel regret for having purchased items from the brand. For example, 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.7 LL Bean immediately launched an investigation and found that a manufacturing contractor had added wrinkle-resistance treatment to theThe 100 Days of Change giveaway was an incredible success. sheets by mistake, which was causing the cotton fabric toOver the three-month promotion period, So Delicious saw a unravel. LL Bean promptly pulled the sheets from its website,significant return on its investment: it experienced two of its offered new sheets to the affected customers, and destroyedmost successful sales days ever, and ultimately increased its the rest of the ruined batch. According to an interview by thecategory share by 60% and sales units by 74%. So Delicious also Wall Street Journal with Steve Fuller, L.L. Bean’s chief marketingenjoyed a sizable growth in its Facebook fan base which grew officer, “before [social media], it would have taken us monthsby more than 1,000%. In total, 100 Days of Change received and months to figure out if something was wrong with the322,664 entries, averaging 3,226 entries per day. product through returns, if we ever would have known at all.”7 Wall Street Journal, “Firms Take Online Reviews to Heart,” 2012 5
  • 7. Whitepaper | Engaging 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 Useget access to information (and give it, like the LL Bean customers).According to a 2012 study conducted by Get Satisfaction:• 33% of users want to follow a brand on social media channels Source 1 because they’re current customers In the Use phase, consumers are participating in social• 18% follow a brand for interesting or entertaining content offerings that are baked into the product-related experience.• 5% want to follow a brand for service, support, or product news While this sounds like a mouthful, examples of socially- powered brand experiences pervade the internet. For example, you can read stories on popular news sites such as Mashable and the Huffington Post while logged in to your social networkSpotlight: Rokenbok accounts. This feature not only makes for a simpler loginRokenbok is a San Diego-based high-end robotic and process that saves the user from having to remember anotherconstruction toy company that wanted to find a new platform set of credentials, but also serves as a way for the publisherand hub for children and families to engage with its brand, brands to access the publicly available information providedlearn about products, watch product demos, and drive online by users in their social accounts for better targeting (bysales. Rokenbok determined that video is the most effective demographic or psychographic interests).way to demonstrate products and create access points for children and their families, so the company created a “Mr. Having social features like this baked into the productRokenbok” YouTube channel to host and target product- experience can be uplifting for user interaction. In fact,related videos. The brand shoots and edits all videos in- according to Facebook, 22% more pages are seen (and for 8house, and content ranges from education to product demos. minutes longer) by Huffington Post users that log into the siteRokenbok used YouTube in-search, in-display, and in-stream using their Facebook credentials.8ads. These ad capabilities allow Including a socialRokenbok to refine ad campaigns to experience, such astarget the right customers with social annotations ineach video. your digital advertising,As a result of Rokenbok’s successful also increases click-video strategy, YouTube is quickly through rates. Socialbecoming the company’s most annotations are basicallyimportant advertising vehicle. text notations that letRokenbok estimates that half of its you know if someonecustomers come from YouTube. in your social circle also endorses the web content you’re looking at. If you’re signed out of Google+, or there are people who aren’t in your circle who’ve endorsed the content, you’ll see less detailed annotations. Adding social annotations to Google search ads can lead to increases in click-thru rates by 5-10%.98 Search Engine Land, “By The Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites,” 20119 Google Inc, 2012s 6
  • 8. Get Support Social customers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience, Source 1 and 53 people about a bad customer experience! When consumers are in the Get Support phase, they are starting conversations and directing feedback/complaints through social media channels. The proliferation of social media use has also led to an evolution in the social customer mindset. Today’sSpotlight: Mashable social consumer is empowered, and often feels entitled. In fact, 50% of all Facebook users and 80% of Twitter users expect aMashable, the largest independent news site, likes to keep its response to a customer support inquiry in 24 hours or less.10finger on the pulse of how people connect online. In addition to The days of writing a letter about product dissatisfaction, orhosting a slew of engaging hangouts and posting fresh content attaching a paper receipt via snail mail are starting to feel likedaily, Mashable encourages its consumers to use social from ancient history.within the site’s pages. It is critical for brands to respond to users’ support requests. Not providing satisfactory customer service can come with a steep price. According to a Global Customer Service Barometer conducted by American Express in 2012, social customers will tell an average of 42 people about a good customer experience, and 53 people about a bad customer experience! Dissatisfied customers who stay that way have stronger voices and further reach, two factors that can quickly unwind all your hard won brand successes.Mashable experienced a huge surge in community growth afterit installed the Google+ badge on its homepage, increasing itsGoogle+ page audience by 38%. Mashable also uses the +1button on articles and across the site to empower user sharingto Google+.10 Oracle, “Consumer Views of Live Help Online,” 2012 7
  • 9. Whitepaper | Engaging Consumers Where It Matters Most: How to Win Fans and Influence People In Today’s  “Social Customer Lifecycle”Spotlight: Wildfire (That’s Us!) the purchase decision or dismissing your brand from among a list of options. This is a persistent threat not only because of theHere at Wildfire, we sell social media marketing software to loss of business, but because of the potential of lost consumersbrands of all sizes, across industries and geographies. We know to negatively influence others in their social networks, bythat customer inquiries can come in through any of our social creating negative earned media.channel brand pages, and make it a practice to respond to everyrequest in a timely manner, no matter where it’s coming from. 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. In fact, successfully re- engaging fans throughout their journey with a brand can lead to increased awareness and affinity, turning out loyal brand advocates. These types of users are of incredibly high value to a brand. Wildfire did a study to attempt to quantify this value in 2012— the Brand Advocate study was conducted to understand the impact on engagement thatOff the Path: Persistent Threats and brands with significantly higherOpportunities within the Social Customer advocate populations saw as compared to brands with averageLifecycle advocate populations. The study found that over one year,While the path of the consumer as he travels through Discovery, brands with high advocate populations got 264% more earnedEvaluation, Buying, Access, Use, and Getting Support is usually media impressions than average brands.11linear, there are also two persistent phases that a consumercan fall into at any point in time. Re-Engagement builds up loyalbrand advocates ready to spread the (positive) word about thebrand. Consumers can also leave at any point, disengaging from11 Wildfire, “The Brand Advocate Factor: How Best in Class Brands Breed Communities of Brand Advocates that Supercharge Social Media Campaigns.” 20128
  • 10. Leave Conclusion Social media has made the traditional customer lifecycle model obsolete. 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. Marketers need to look at new ways to engage with consumers that take into account all the new sources of information consumers access. We presented a new framework, adapted from a model createdSource 1 by Forrester Research Inc, that illustrates the eight phases of the social customer journey, with examples for your brand toBrands are in danger of users leaving the customer journey emulate in each phase.while publicly voicing grievances with the brand using social In order to stay current and enable consumers to makemedia channels, thereby disconnecting from the community successful purchase decisions, your social brands needs to adaptand customer base. Naturally, not every customer who marketing plans to account for the new social customer journey.begins her path on the social customer journey will stay untilpurchase, however, it is important for brands to focus effortson minimizing the impact of a customer dropping off thejourney, especially in those instances that he is leaving due toa negative experience. 80% of consumers said that they changed their mind about buying a product after reading a negative review they found onlineMitigating the impact of a negative user experience can have ahuge impact, as 80% of consumers said that they changed theirmind about buying a product after reading a negative reviewthey found online.1212 Cone Inc. 9
  • 11. Mountain View Wildfire is a powerful, easy-to-use social marketing platform that enables brands Chicago London to grow, engage, and monetize their audience across social networks. Los Angeles Munich New York City Paris Singapore Learn how we can help you today! 888.274.0929 ext. 2 www.wildfireapp.comWildfire, a division of Google | 323 Fairchild Drive, Mountain View, CA 94043 | 888.274.0929 | www.wildfireapp.com | wildfire@google.com 11/12