Talkable made their inaugural appearance at HubSpot INBOUND when Marketing Operations Manager, Sara Cook, attended INBOUND 2022 in Boston.
This year’s INBOUND in Boston felt bustling and lively as never before, with more industry professionals coming back to network, becoming enthralled by speakers in person, and reflecting on challenging (yet exciting!) industry transformations.
All keynote speakers touched on the topic of building community and connections, supporting the event’s main focus - “Age of the Connected Customer”. The main insights were around the ways to make consumers - whether it will be the end customers or B2B clients - feel heard, connected, and taken care of.
Brands are struggling with:
- Disconnected Systems - making sure they have a single source of truth for data and a solid strategy of how to use that data.
- Disconnected Teams - creating opportunities for employees to feel connected with their brand, its mission, and their teams.
- Disconnected from the Customer - brands have never been more disconnected from their customers than they are now.
60% of data is wasted. The disconnection happens through the lack of focus. Rather than remember an actual human being who is adding to the cart and buying the product, companies are concerned with buzzwords and data metrics. Brands that will thrive in this ever-evolving environment will be able to provide resources, solutions, and products that align with how consumers are FEELING. “HOW ARE YOU” - is what brands should ask their consumers. This is where we should focus.
Connected data is an essential basis for any brand, and the efficient way to approach it is to put the customer at the center of it. Gather zero-party data with email capture forms and surveys. Use referral and advocates’ data to inform your ICP, influencer marketing strategies, and promotional strategy.
Practical takeaways that really resonated with us:
- While the top-of-your-funnel content strategy should be data-driven, your bottom-of-the-funnel content strategy must be human-driven
- Tiktok and authentic user-generated content are becoming stickier by the scroll. Investing here seems to be a common thread between startups and marketing trailblazers
- Bite-sized and short-form video content is not the future. It is right now! Think about how you can turn your existing content into bite-sized videos to humanize your brand.
We also see how referral programs help eCommerce brands to build community in a natural way, by activating the most loyal customers and turning them into brand ambassadors. First, it removes the initial barrier between the first-time customer and an unknown brand. Second, referrals help to acquire high-value customers, who are usually more engaged than customers coming from other channels. Third, it helps to scale the existing word-of-mouth activity.
Peloton’s fascinating 92% retention rate shows how building a loyal customer community is crucial for a brand’s sustainable growth. The company added gamification techniques to keep customers engaged longer, as well as built a “cult” following of devoted fans through Facebook groups and other platforms. Another smart step was to launch a referral program that offered a generous discount on new equipment or apparel, thus increasing customers’ repeat engagement with the brand.
One more inspiring example is from our client Super73, a brand with a large and active fan base. Their community is called Super Squad and has thousands of electric bike owners who share tips and product recommendations. Naturally, their referral program is a powerful marketing channel that taps into the brand’s community and allows loyal customers to invite their friends to the club.
If you want to learn more about building community through referrals, check out our eBook on Referral Marketing.