Also known as word-of-mouth or WOM marketing, evangelism marketing takes place when individuals feel so confident in their own customer experiences that they share the good news with others. When a colleague swears by a new tablet stylus/pen or a friend tells everyone about her experience with a biodegradable detergent, these individuals are acting as brand evangelists. Earning the evangelism of customers is every marketing team’s best-case-scenario.
The style of marketing is similar to affiliate marketing and influencer marketing, but not the same. In evangelism marketing, a business does not compensate individuals for sharing their experiences. Brand evangelists are true believers in a brand or product, and happy to share their insights and experiences with others in person and online.
Brand/product evangelism activities may include:
- Leaving a glowing review or testimonial on a site such as Yelp or on a company’s website.
- Sharing personal experiences with a product or brand on a social media profile or a blog.
- Recommending a product or company in casual conversations with friends and colleagues.
- Voluntarily posting a free branded bumper sticker on a vehicle.
- Gifting a product to someone because the gift giver loved it so much.
Brands that enjoy large communities of brand evangelists include Apple, Subaru, Harley-Davidson and Starbucks. They could probably stop all traditional marketing activities tomorrow and continue to enjoy some level of profitability because their core customers market the brands for them. Apple users will only begrudgingly use a PC. Subaru drivers consider their vehicle choice more of a lifestyle, Harley Davidson owners would not be caught riding any other motorcycle and Starbucks customers will go back day-after-day and more than likely bring friends.
Marketing doesn’t get more organic than allowing evangelists to sing the praises of a brand’s quality, customer experience, and product line. Company employees and consumers can both engage in evangelism marketing. Their enthusiasm and conviction carry such sincerity and weight that it’s more powerful than traditional marketing tactics.