Loren McDonald from the Silverpop Blog recently posted an informative article about changes marketers must be aware of. I found this point most interesting:

2. Customers Become Your Marketing Department
Social media has changed marketing’s job description. Your ability to grow your business and acquire new customers begins with your ability not just to satisfy your current customers but also to “wow” them.

Marketing is more about actions that ensure a great customer experience and encourage your most highly engaged customers—your fans and fanatics—to share their loyalty with non-customers.

While marketing will continue to create and deliver push and pull marketing programs, its most critical role will be identifying your fanatics and influencers and enabling and encouraging them to, in essence, do your marketing for you.

I could not agree more.

For many companies, customers and social media represent the largest way to spread the word about a particular product or service. A great example of this is the social site Yelp, which allows users to post reviews of various local restaurants and services. I personally use Yelp to find information on services such as carpet cleaning, window washers, etc.

Your customers can be the voice of your brand – make it a point to ensure you integrate social media into your marketing automation strategy.