The impact of social media is becoming stronger each day, and crossing borders to affect all areas of business. From how we sell to how we communicate, everything is going on through an extensive digital community. If you aren’t present on social networks, you aren’t really alive.
In a context where there is a lot to learn, adapt, and reform, marketing is one of the disciplines seen as having the most influence through these new channels. Experts such as Joseph Jaffe have stepped up to the challenge that for many companies is just beginning: becoming digital.
Recognized in the areas of innovation, marketing and social networks, Jaffe is an entrepreneur and recognized blogger and podcaster. Through his three books—the most recognized being Flip the Funnel—Jaffe nurtures a conversation between businesses and the consumer. In the following exclusive WOBI interview, Jaffe reveals the advantages of social media for your business, the importance of constructing a connection with the client, and the power of word of mouth.
Interview by Luz Landa, Content Production at WOBI.
Besides reopening the pathway of communication, in your book Join the Conversation what other paradigms are challenged?
The most obvious one is life after the 30-second spot, which has to do with reinventing the business model that is characterized by command and control as well as pushing information, persuasion and reminders. I replace these with participation, playing, caring, sharing, involvement, engagement, as well as catering to our consumers’ needs so we are all a part of the same marketing ecosystem.
You also talk about “flipping the funnel” and the amazing opportunities we have with already existing customers. Could you elaborate?
If you’ve built a relationship with the customer base you’ve probably discovered a couple of very interesting things. First, you must recognize that the majority of revenue comes from existing clients, not new ones. Next you will realize that these clients also have social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. So why not give them incentives to do some word of mouth marketing? We can refer to the 80/20 principal, that 20% of our clients are responsible for 80% of our income. In Flip the Funnel I talk about recognizing these two groups and to combine them; because if clients, aside from just buying our products, have the power to influence other people, we should figure out how we can partner with them and harness the power of word of mouth. How much cheaper is it to acquire a new customer by an existing one? I call this the cost per referral or the cost per acquisition from retention. What I’ve found is that it is 67% cheaper to acquire a new customer through an existing one. The potential of flipping the funnel isn’t incremental, it’s exponential.
What is the online landscape like for brands?
There are three markets or landscapes where every brand has to exist: there is the traditional brick and mortar physical location, the digital world where you again have a store but it is called a website or social hub or social network, and the third is the mobile world. I think for brands to exist and survive they will have to stay competitive and find a balance in all three. Mobile might be for customer service, digital to inform, and the physical for actually buying products.
How do brands stand out online?
I have always believed that what digital does is direct, direct to the consumers. If you think about it, brands of the past rented space through middlemen without an ability to engage their customers or prospective ones. So it’s critical when you create a direct channel or relationship with the other side you do it well. A part of this is having spectacular presence that evolves with time in order to use new tools, platforms and technologies. You need sight, sound, motion and interactivity. Why not embrace an aggressive 4D strategy? Don’t just incorporate vision, sound and movement, but also interactivity. Tell a story through a video that is interactive, participatory and non-linear that is sure to make a strong impact.
Finally, what advice would you give to a company aspiring to solidify their brand in the digital world?
To never forget the principal reason that they are in their business in the first place, for the consumer, and more specifically, the client. You must go fishing where there are fish, and if they are going in a certain direction, you must move with them. The first step is to look to the customer and let them guide you. Secondly, I would suggest personally getting familiar with new technology; that is the only way anyone will be able to understand it is if they do so individually.