How To Turn Your Users Into Your Marketers?

Before going ahead with anything, I would like you marketers to do a very simple activity. If you use Instagram(which I am sure you do, unless you were living under a rock for the past 5 years), Go to the search tab and search for #Starbucks.

You see that number of posts figure?

As of now, I can see the number to be 28,269,039.

Yes, my friend. More than 28 Million posts talking just about a brand.

And I am not even counting all the related hashtags like #Starbuckslove, #Starbucks❤ etc.


Now, put your brand in the same place and try to imagine what a world would that be?

Seems an ideal world for you, isn’t it? :P

Seems tough also? It is. Not impossible though.

If you take a look at all the B2C companies that have exploded in the last 10 years, you will find one thing common in all of them. And that is, their Users are their unpaid marketers.

Take any successful company out there. Truecaller, Uber, AirBnb, Snapchat, they relish the fact that their users are talking about their product. In fact, their users talking about the product is the reason these companies have been on a growth trajectory since the beginning.

But how can you do the same for your very own brand out there? The answer is simple: Get into the head of your user.

You will need to answer some basic questions first:-

What is the value you are trying to give to your user?
What is the value your users are deriving out of your product?
Is the answer to the above two questions same?

If yes, then all good.

If No, then you may be required to work out your communication channels, tweak a few things here and there to sort this thing out. The best thing to do in this case is to become a Consumer Insights guy, the person in the company who understands what an end user’s expectations are.

After this, Go ahead and talk to a few of your consumers and just ask some normal questions about how your product impacts their life, how are their daily schedules like. Basically, try to make a mental picture of your average consumer.

Try to understand their Motivations, Abilities and Triggers.

And those 3 words are the crux of any Word Of Mouth campaign.

Your expectation from your user is for them to talk about your product, i.e for them to recommend your product to their friends, colleagues, family. This can be set as the ideal behavior that you are expecting from your user.

Then, according to B.J.Hogg Behavior Model for your user to do any behavior, you need to introduce at least three elements which are Motivation, Ability and Trigger.

Mathematically, this can be expressed as:-


Where B stands for Behavior, M stands for Motivation, A for Ability, and T for Trigger.

Now, we explain each of them in detail:-


The question here is why. Why should a user talk about/promote your product with his fellows? What is the extra value that he gets for doing so?

This is where you can do something like putting in a reward system for referrals, some user centered activity to make them talk about your product etc. This kind of things will act as a motivation for your user to talk about the product with his fellow people in person or on social media.

When Starbucks launched it’s White Cup Contest, they rewarded each participant with a $300 reward coupon which somewhat acted as a motivation for the users to come and participate. But that’s not what sealed the deal for them, the real deal clincher from their side was that “The winner’s design was to be produced on a limited edition cup to go out in fall of 2014.”

But Really? Do you think that end reward really motivated these people?

Absolutely Not!

Let’s put these people into buckets by making some fictional friends named Joey, Chandler, and Ross. Joey goes to Starbucks (for a change) and sees that no one is there yet. But what happens is that he sees the competition board while ordering an extra sandwich and decides to participate in it to waste some time. Chandler, bored of inputting numbers for the whole day arrives later and see Joey is making a really dirty design. He also decides to participate then and ends up making a better design than Joey. After this, Ross arrives and for a change decides to participate in the competition instead of talking about Rachel and dinosaurs.

And this is how Starbucks got its normal users like you and me to really participate in the competition.


This is where you really need to understand your consumer. By ability, I mean that a user should be having enough knowledge about the product and resources to be able to talk about it.

Taking the Starbucks example forward, when they asked their consumers to talk about the brand they focused on a very simple aspect of its product and the type of environment it induces, “Creativity”.

And it was the very simple thing on which they focused. We know that each and every person out there can be creative in one form or the other. And they asked their users to do just that.

“Take a Pen and express yourself on our cup”

How difficult is that?

That is something any human being out there can do. Simple!

And that’s why Joey ended up doing a making something really dirty on that cup, Chandler something really funny and Ross showed his love for the dinosaurs. :P


In our story, what really was the trigger for these people to leave everything and participate in a Promotion activity by a brand. For Joey, it was when he saw the card next to billing counter while ordering that sandwich. While for Chandler, it was when he saw Joey doing it and they both indulged in a fun competition. While for Ross, it was the Peer effect that indulged him into it.

So, all in all this turned out to be a very fun activity for a group like theirs.

Now, put this story on a large scale across all Starbucks in the world and the memories people are creating with the brand.

So, next time they sit down in Monica’s apartment reminiscing about something special. Starbucks maybe something they will end up talking about once.

And that’s how some brands become a part of memories and have an everlasting impression on customers. How do you think Uber achieved its viral growth?

It was when people started telling their friends, colleagues about how they reached the office that day in just under 5 Bucks?

Making your users your marketers is the easiest and toughest thing to make your growth go Viral.

And, You just need to be MAAD enough to try it.