I was reading a blog about “Informing or Evangelizing: Turn Down the Volume”, that can be read in its entirety here: http://lgbusinesssolutions.typepad.com/solutions_to_grow_your_bu/2008/04/informing-or-ev.htmlÂ
The idea discussed in the article was that evangelizing has many positive connotations from the standpoint of new media and social media but can have a negative connotation from the standpoint of evangelizing leading to skepticism. Lewis Green states that “Evangelists are blinded to reality by their beliefs.”
To me, it’s just semantics, whether you call them evangelists, ambassadors, junkies, or enthusiasts. No one seems to have difficulty with the term “fans.” How is that any different? “Fans” come from the term “fanatic,” which certainly connotes someone a little “over the edge.” Go talk to a Chicago Cubs “fan” if you want to talk to someone “blinded to reality by their beliefs.”
Regardless of what you call them, they are all people who are advocates for your brands–people who believe in what you have to provide and so will tell the rest of the world. Any marketer worth his salt should want to provide this. If you are in business, you should be providing such a service that everyone thinks you’re fabulous.
Exceed their expectations, and you will build loyalty beyond belief. People should be delighted with your product or service experience. This is the pinnacle of marketing of any business. Creating passion for your product or service is the most cost effective way to go to market because:
- You don’t have to pay for someone else to talk about how great you brand is.
- It is authentic. People will believe someone else telling them how great a product or service is, much more so than you telling some one great your product or service is.
In the article, he talked about “Turning Down the Volume” and using the older phrase “word of mouth marketing.” The problem I have with that phrase is that it doesn’t connote the passion that “evangelism” evokes. Now nobody wants to hear from someone who is “blinded” to anything. I understand the negatives associated with the word, but it is used precisely because it connotes such strong feelings. Everyone should be looking for a way to provide a product or brand experience that delights the consumer such that they would tell someone else how fantastic it is.
Rather than worry about the semantics, worry about what you are creating. Does anyone talk about your brand? Great! If not, get to work! There is tremendous opportunity to do this in today’s media market. If you can find a way to get people talking about your brand, you’ve done something right. Â
Delight your customers and you will create evangelists/fanatics/ambassadors/advocate/enthusiast/junkies. Most importantly, you will have created revenue. And THAT smells very sweet!