It is impossible for you to be online and not have someone in your network ranting about how bad vaccines are or sharing articles and blog posts outlining all the dangers they pose to your kids. It has reached such a proportion that late night comedy shows are doing sketches on it, a bill is going to congress and the Surgeon General is doing PSA’s with Elmo.
Please Note – for the sake of this post, I don’t care about where you stand on this issue. The reason I use this specific topic is that it is a great example of the way marketing works today. If you want to share your thoughts on vaccines – I am sure your Facebook friends would love to see another post about it.
Power to the People
Underlying much of the power of the anti-vaccine movement is the right of choice. People have galvanized around the idea that they have been forced into doing something that has exposed them to undue risk or danger and in the immortal words of Rage Against the Machine they are going to “take the power back”.
The power of emotional conviction is really amazing and can have incredible impact. If you examine the facts of the anti-vaccine movement it is based almost entirely on conjecture and opinions from non-experts in the field. But it doesn’t matter people jumped on to the band wagon by the thousands. If you Google “Anti Vaccine Movement” there are 3.3M hits! This was all started by a fraudulent study (now retracted by the publisher) by Andrew Wakefield a UK doctor who claimed the MMR vaccine causes autism. Former doctor Wakefield has since been stripped of his license for ethical violations and financial interest conflicts.
Lets walk through the sequence of events because it highlights my point here:
- A former doctor published a fraudulent report claiming vaccines are the cause for the rise in autism
- Parents everywhere jumped on the message and then share wildly
- The faulty research leads to a “movement”
- Parent chose to not vaccinate their children from life threatening diseases
- Outbreaks of Measles and other diseases previously almost entirely wiped out start popping up around the world
What does this have to do with your marketing?
This is amazing when you look at the power that social sharing and opinions have on people’s decision making. According to a study by Dimensional Research,
90% of consumers say online reviews influence their buying decisions
Maybe even more importantly, a study by Bright Local found that,
88% of consumers trust Online Review as much as a personal recommendation.
The point here is that consumers wield an incredible power through social networks, reputation sites and online forums. A power which can either help or hurt you in ways completely beyond your direct capability. Look at the impact this had on people making very serious health decision for their kids – don’t you think this has the same impact on a decision for which vendor to use for this or that?
Some Key Take Aways
- Customer Success is not a service buzzword it is now a growth strategy
- Engage your subscribers/customer/prospects to understand your story and not your pitch. Showcase the impact your solution has to help and empower them to evangelize for you.
- Monitor all the review sites, social pages and digital assets to ensure you are quickly responding to customers to keep them satisfied and call out the people who are spreading garbage and fear mongering. If this example shows one thing is that gone unchecked false information has an incredible power to influence.
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