- Their “solutions” are applied superficially, only superficially.
- Customers of both find them easy to slather on.
- Both are packaged in a variety of pre-packaged contemporary colors and designs.
- Both are sold off the shelf with a limited choice of pre-selected options.
- Both are more successful promoting themselves than the health of their customers.
- Spending more, buying stronger versions of their product, ultimately damages their customers' health.
These are the agencies whose campaigns put their clients front and center. They generate client-centered WOM, word-of-mouth.
There are two forms of WOM, word-of-mouth, campaigns. There's client-centered and agency-centered.
CLIENT-CENTERED WOM: Client-centered WOM campaigns are where the client’s products, services, customers, employees, their experiences, how their lives are made better...are pushed/pulled/celebrated, front and center, with the campaign. And social media resources are used to accelerate the spread of this message.
If...an agency is hired, they are hired as the last step. That last step is after all the steps have been taken, by the client, to create something worth celebrating. Something their customers want to celebrate with their community. Something that enhances the customer's reputation with their community. Something unique, a solution for their needs, the customer's needs.
The metrics that count in this campaign are client-centered metrics:
- increase in revenues
- increase in cash-flows
- decrease in advertising costs
- increase in referrals (client measures all sources of prospects, not just online sources)
- increase in sales conversion
- decrease in customer churn
- increase in upsells and cross-sells to existing customers
The agency gladly obliges. A funny ad, cartoon, site, whew look they added forward to a friend in their spam, a catchy-jingle that rings in your head but never in the client’s cash-register.
And it generates conversation. Everyone talks about the campaign.
The campaign is discussed, but never the brand, nor its products or services or customers or employees or why what they do matters in the least. Because in this campaign, it’s the campaign that matters, not the client, nor the client's products.
The client is told that the metrics that count in this campaign are agency-centered metrics:
- email forwards
These metrics are the important metrics to the agency. They can tout them to their prospects, in stories about their campaign, in articles and tweets.
And at the end of the campaign, the agency touts the numbers, declares the campaign a success. The client is left puzzled.
Yes. A success, says the client. But, um, where are the revenues?
Oh, the agency says, that's not what word-of-mouth campaigns are about. WOM campaigns are about...conversations (whispering: about our campaigns, not your products.)
WOM is the most powerful, cost-effective, marketing strategy for business of any size. That starts with your purpose, your leadership, your employees, your investment in them, your commitment to your customers, your shared passion, why and how and when you give them a reason to celebrate with or without you. Make sure the WOM, the word-of-mouth, your business can generate is word-of-mouth for:
- your brand,
- your customers,
- your inspiring employees,
- your collective purpose,
- your community.
And if an agency can do that or accelerate the spread of those conversation, well you can give your personal Word-of-mouth for them in a testimonial.