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Understanding Evangelism Marketing

Nov 8, 2007
Some customers or clients approve so strongly of a service or a product that they agree to not only endorse it, but also to actively recommend it to others. This is word-of-mouth marketing, since the customers or clients do it voluntarily, but in a way it also is much more advanced than that and has been termed as evangelism marketing.

This happens to be different from affiliate marketing, as those who are engaged in promotion, in this case, are not doing it for any personal gains. Those engaged in affiliate marketing receive incentives like gifts or monetary rewards. The evangelist marketers aim only at helping others.

They have greater credibility and are more likely to be trusted by prospective clients or customers, as they do not stand to gain materially from their actions. Therefore, they are able to exert greater influence than other marketers.

In this manner, a company can increase the number of their sales and marketing team-members, without having to actually employ more people or to allocate more money for the sales budget. The goal, obviously, is to inspire all those who come into contact with the company, to promote its service or products to those who are known to them. They are likely to recommend or endorse the company's offerings in such a way, if their experience while interacting with it or while availing of its services or using its products has been highly positive.

The impact created in such a manner can be farther reaching than the one that would be created if paid advertisements slots were purchased, using the funds allocated for the entire marketing budget or if the money were to be spent on any other kind of sales promotion. So, evangelism marketing is among the most powerful ways of marketing a product or service.

In order to achieve this, it is important to ensure that the company's services or products are all that these are claimed to be. These should also be good enough to interest all those who come in contact with the company and its products.

The most significant opportunity for a company to convert people into evangelist marketers comes from repeat customers or clients. Since their own reputation is involved while making recommendations and endorsements, they are likely to do so freely only when they sincerely believe that it is the best available alternative. Therefore, to acknowledge their loyalty and to treat them well is the kind of interaction that the company can begin with, in this regard, followed by facilitating them with the referrals that they may wish to make.

One of the chief aims of evangelism marketing, therefore, is to identify those among its clients or customers, who are already committed towards promoting its services or products and are already endorsing or recommending these in web forums or on blogs, etc. They can then be accorded attention on a more personal basis, so that they can be recognized as customer evangelists. They are, sometimes, also known as 'influentials'.

The communication with these individuals, then, has to be on a two-way basis and companies keep in touch with them through meet-ups, web-based chat, private forums, email, telephone, instant messaging and blogging, etc.

Some of these evangelist marketers are also encouraged to share the stories involving their personal experiences with the companies' services or products, with the general public.

Others, who can also act as evangelist marketers, are:

Vendors:

If the company's relationship with its vendors is mutually beneficial and fair, they are likely to provide referrals to business associates, family members, as well as to their friends.

Employees:

If the employees are provided with a good work environment and are highly motivated, they are likely to not only make clients or customers happy, but also to recommend the company's services or products to prospective clients or customers.

Community businesses and local organizations:

Supporting such organizations with their work can often lead to their members acting as evangelist marketers for the company.

Competitors:

Especially in the case of small and midsize companies, evangelist marketers can include competitors, as well. If the companies voluntarily share business with them, it becomes easier for them to reciprocate, when they get more of business than they can accommodate on their own.
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