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The Unbreakable Link Between Marketing and Company Reputation

marketing and company reputation

Marketing is like a 1,000 piece puzzle. There is a lot more to it than just ads and social media posts. Marketing is the whole package. Everything from your messaging to how your business is perceived in the community is marketing. There is an unbreakable link between marketing and company reputation. If you want to use it to your advantage, you first have to understand how reputation marketing works.  

Why Company Reputation Matters

As Seth Godin says in this article, “Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do. Early assumptions about you are sticky and difficult to change.”

And as the old adage goes, “actions speak louder than words”.

What people say about your company, and the experiences they have with your business, hold even more weight than your marketing materials.

Sure, we can help any business create a beautiful website filled with crystal clear messaging and pristine images. Unfortunately, it won’t do them much good if the business is known for doing shoddy work and ripping people off.

Your business reputation matters. We can help a good company grow with solid marketing techniques but no amount of marketing will make a bad business model a long-term success.

Start by doing work you’re proud of. Market your company through the quality of work you do. Once you’ve built a positive reputation, THEN you can leverage external marketing strategies, like ads and campaigns, to help your company grow even more.

4 Ways To Build a Strong Reputation

Reputation marketing differs slightly, depending on your industry. However, these four methods will help any company build a positive reputation and gain customer trust. 

Be Excellent In All You Do

You want to deliver services so outstanding that your competitors are weeping into their morning coffee trying to figure out how you did it. When your company becomes the gold standard, the go-to organization for the problem you solve, you’ve achieved your goal.

The difference between excellent companies and mediocre companies is that excellent businesses learn from their mistakes and make changes to avoid repeating those mistakes. Mediocre businesses make excuses.

To help your business build a positive reputation enterprise-wide:

  1. Ask For and Accept Feedback – Regularly ask customers, and employees, for feedback through surveys, comment cards, and even social media posts. Then, make tangible changes with the feedback.
  2. Right The Wrongs– When you get negative feedback, accept it and make changes. Taking responsibility for your mistakes tells just as much about your integrity as the positive reviews do.
  3. Tell Every Employee How to Be Excellent– Excellence is going to look different in each role within your company. Make sure every employee knows what they need to do to excel.

Here’s the bottom line: Do work you are proud of, every time. If you aren’t proud, you aren’t done.

Stand Out By Intentionally Putting Customers First

As a business, you are not the hero of the story, your client is. Your company is their guide. A guide listens to their customers’ problems and then paves the way toward the solution.

If you enter into interactions with potential customers as their guide, instead of as a marketing director focused solely on making a sale, you’ll provide great customer service automatically. A guide always wants what is best for the hero, not the other way around.

Simple Ways to Put Customers First

  1. Send Personalized Responses to Inquiries – Whether it’s a simple email, a phone call, or a direct message on social media, responding to a customer’s inquiry with a personalized message shows that their concerns are important enough to be acknowledged by an actual human.
  2. Do After-Sales Follow-Up – Checking in with customers after they make a purchase shows that you care about them, not just their money. This is also a great opportunity to ask for customer feedback and get customer testimonials.
  3. Give More Than You Take – Go above and beyond for your clients, whether that is at the time of service or in-between. The more you are able to give to clients, the more likely they are to do business with you again.

Find creative ways to surprise and delight your clients. That could happen through helpful content that shows customers how to get even more value from your product or service. Or you could offer discounts or special packages for repeat customers. These bonus surprises inspire customer loyalty while boosting your brand’s reputation.

Build Trust With Consistent Branding and Messaging

Remember, each interaction, ad campaign, sales email or Facebook post is a piece of the marketing puzzle. They all contribute to the overarching image of your company’s brand. Although not all the pieces will look alike, at the very least, they need to look and sound like they go together.

Branding isn’t just about using the same colors and fonts in your marketing materials. It is also about how you talk about your business and how you interact with customers, both in person and online. You need everyone in your company to be on the same page about:

  • The company goals
  • What you do and why it matters
  • The tone they should use when talking to clients

When everything your company produces has the same look, it builds trust. When everyone talks about your company in the same way, that also builds trust. Trust reinforces your good reputation and helps solidify consumers’ positive perception of your company.

Ask for (and Respond to) Online Reviews

Consumers trust online reviews. If you really want to boost your brand’s online reputation, encourage satisfied customers to leave positive feedback on review sites.

When customers leave positive reviews, first and foremost, thank them for taking the time to leave the feedback. If clients see that you actually notice and respond to online reviews, you’ll likely get even more positive reviews.

Glowing online reviews help portray a positive brand image. They also are a free form of positive word-of-mouth referrals. You can use those same positive reviews in your marketing, on social media platforms, and anywhere else you want to boast about your positive reputation (with the client’s permission, of course).

Although it is better to prevent negative feedback from making it to online review sites, sometimes things slip through the cracks. If you do get a negative review on online forums, it is time to put your crisis management plan into action.

Follow these three steps to save your online reputation when things go south on third party review sites:

  1. Thank the customer for their feedback.
  2. Offer to make it up to them in some way.
  3. Outline the changes you are making to ensure the situation doesn’t happen again.

In your response, you are proving that customer satisfaction is a high priority. It is a simple way to use bad reviews to highlight your brand values and integrity. 

Tip: With all the different places consumers can leave online reviews, it can be hard to keep up and effectively manage your brand’s online presence. If you don’t have time to check all of your business listings and social media comments, there are reputation marketing softwares that can help you manage your online reputation without it becoming your full time job. You can also set up Google alerts so that you’ll receive a notification anytime someone mentions your business online.

Reputation Marketing Matters

The relationship between marketing and company reputation is a circle, not a line. What you put out in your marketing is intrinsically tied to what people think of your company, and vice versa. The story you tell about your company is as powerful as the reality you create through your actions.

Understanding this synergy, and leveraging it effectively, is the difference between being “just another (your industry) company” and being “THE (your industry) Company”. What do you want to be known as?

If your company already has a great brand reputation but you need help amplifying positive brand content, it’s time to call in the reinforcements. Schedule a call with Guide MKTG today.

You’ll get a proven marketing plan that outlines which marketing techniques will get you the biggest ROI. We will help you create an active and positive presence in your community and online so that your brand’s reputation, and your company revenue, can be something you’re proud of.

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