Friday, December 16, 2005

Hallelujah! More on customer evangelism.

Micro Persuasion had a nice post about what I would agree is a terrific article from U.S. News & World Report by James Pethokoukis on how to create a force of customer evangelists who will sing the praises of your company (library) and spread their enthusiasm to others.

This is an important trend in marketing we need to keep in mind, or, better yet, act on! Promotion via evangelism is a perfect marketing strategy for librarians in particular because it's all about building authentic, two-way relationships with patrons and communicating your vision and passion to them, which I've found most librarians are eager to do anyway. In fact, many companies now have designated "evangelists" in their ranks (!!). One such evangelist who works for TechSmith (software developer responsible for products like Camtasia), says that her job is all about relationships. As the author says, "What does she do for these people to help them keep and spread the faith? She tries to reply to each and every E-mail, forwards problems or complaints to product specialists, invites the customer evangelists to groups beta-testing new products, and, of course, supplies the occasional tchotchke." This is about more than just touting the benefits of the library. Even though every staff member performs a marketing role, wouldn't it be wonderful if every library who had one person devoted to spreading the word like this?

I bet for many of us, we already have a good sense of who are best customer evangelist candidates are, such as frequent users, members of advisory boards, etc. But do we give them the rhetorical, technological and other tools and support to help them pass on their enthusiasm to others?

If you want to learn more about this significant trend, get more info from those who wrote the book on the subject! Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba also created a discussion guide to supplement the book and their blog has a section of Essential Reading to explore.

No comments: