August 31, 2023
You've probably heard about the power of community marketing - communities that typically reside on Facebook, Instagram or some 3rd party social platform. Have you really thought about how you can leverage this valuable data when you don’t own it?
Enter Brand-Owned Customer networks. Built on first-party data brands give their customers a place to engage with other customers and the brand while building meaningful relationships with personalized experiences through out the customer lifecycle. Brands can then leverage authentic user-generated content and zero-party data to improve customer experience and drive retention and organic growth. The best part is that all of this takes place within a platform owned by the brand itself, rather than relying on a third-party or static database.
A brand-owned customer network is one of the most valuable tools you can build. By encouraging your customers to join your network, leave reviews and share their experiences, you'll gain insight that helps strengthen loyalty and build trust.
Marketers measure transactional loyalty regularly, but outside of the customer experience team, they haven’t traditionally tracked customers’ emotions toward their brands as a component of their loyalty metrics. Emotional loyalty is an outcome that’s critical to building brand energy — the first step toward stimulating behaviors that matter.
UGC offers customers a distinctive chance to actively engage in the growth of a brand rather than simply observing from the sidelines. This significantly impacts brand loyalty and affinity as individuals are motivated by the desire to be part of something larger than themselves. By creating UGC, customers are able to become valuable members of a brand's community and drive organic growth through referrals.
On average customers who have been referred have a 16% to 25% higher customer value than those acquired through traditional brand acquisition efforts. Studies have show 16% to 25% higher than those who weren’t.
A brand-owned customer network, when utilized fully, gives you unparalleled insight into your customers' experiences, perceptions and desires. With this information, you can build loyalty, strengthen trust, and deliver the kinds of experiences that keep your customers coming back again and again. Isn't that the ultimate goal?
A customer network is one of the most valuable tools for improving your products and services. By connecting with real customers on an ongoing basis, you gain actionable insight into their needs, desires and pain points.
You can conduct surveys, interviews and focus groups with members of your network to better understand their experiences with your brand. Ask open-ended questions to uncover opportunities for improvement and innovation. Build rapport and trust over time so customers feel comfortable providing honest, thoughtful feedback.
Monitor social conversations within your network as well. Look for common questions, frustrations or suggestions and make improvements to address them. Your most engaged customers will likely participate in these conversations, giving you a direct line of communication to your brand advocates.
Analyze data from your customer network to identify trends. See how needs and preferences change over time or differ across locations, ages or other attributes. Use these insights to enhance your product roadmap and ensure you’re building features that match customer priorities.
A customer network also allows you to test new products, services or business models with a core group of customers before a broad rollout. Their input can help shape the offering to maximize appeal and avoid missteps. And because these customers feel personally invested in your brand, they’re more likely to become early adopters and influencers.
In today’s experience economy, the customer experience is everything. A brand-owned customer network is the key to gaining actionable insight and using that information to consistently deliver remarkable experiences. Make the investment in building your network and stay engaged with members, and you’ll have a direct line to feedback that fuels true innovation and growth.
So there you have it - the key benefits of building direct customer connections. By creating a platform for customers to connect and engage with your brand and each other, you gain access to a goldmine of insights to fuel your business decisions. The conversations happening in your network are authentic, unfiltered, and honest - providing a level of depth and accuracy you just can't get anywhere else. And when you show up, listen and engage, you build trust and loyalty by demonstrating you care about what customers want and need. If you're not leveraging the power of customer networks yet, you're missing out on a huge opportunity. Build it and they will come - and so will the insights, connections and growth your business needs. What are you waiting for? Start connecting with your customers today.