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  • Malorie Leonetti, Marketing Coordinator at NMI

You have customers, but do you have fans?

The clock hit 12:00, the ball dropped, the calendar switched over but 2021 hasn’t felt much different so far. It’s starting to sink in that what we have been living in for the past ten months, will continue to be our normal for a while longer.

If you’re a business owner, this might be terrifying. Coronavirus has changed the way we work, how our customers access to us, and how we conduct business. The business motto of 2020 became “just survive” and for some reason, no matter how much of a realist you are, there was a glimmer of “2021 will be different”. And it very well might be. We’re still in the first month but when it comes to business, many don’t time to waste on “just survive”.

If you’re an NMI follower, you’ve seen us pose the question “you have customers, but do you have fans?” This year, we believe this question is more important than ever. Most businesses have had to adapt and shift with these unprecedented times, customers are important, but fans will keep your business alive.

The truth is the best marketing in the world is word of mouth. You want your customers to become fans because if they like you, they will recommend you. Some of these fans will cross that threshold into advocacy, where they believe in you so much that they will sell you into their network of people without hesitation or incentive. This is what we call the fan spectrum (customers | fans | advocates). As marketers we all want to move customers along that funnel towards advocacy, but the reality is you will always have people of value in every category so it’s important to satisfy each stage appropriately. Customers will move back and forth along that spectrum because well, life happens. There is a myriad of reasons why this takes place but what you are hoping is that regardless of where that person may be on your fan spectrum at any given time, they will always find a reason to like you.

Soul Marketing sounds like a simple enough concept but it takes a special blend of science, artistry and magic to get it right. One cocktail doesn’t taste the same to everyone, but the best bartenders know how to mix it to the preferred taste of their regulars. That’s what keeps them coming back and why they bring their friends along from time to time – even during a global pandemic.

If we’ve sparked your interested, you can access more resources regarding Soul Marketing and the Customer > Fan > Advocate scale at

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