This summer, Influitive brought some of the brightest minds in customer engagement on the road to Atlanta and New York for our B2B Customer Engagement Leadership Series.

Below, we’re sharing insights from a presentation by Joseph Jaffe, marketing thought leader, CEO and Co-Founder of Evol8tion, and author of Z.E.R.O. Zero Paid Media As The New Marketing Mode. Watch his presentation to learn how marketers can help their business grow by investing more in the customer experience and advocacy programs.

Most marketers spend the majority of their budget on getting the attention of their prospects.

However, in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, it can be tough the best ways to spend those dollars.

After all, buyers are no longer looking at traditional advertising and media outlets to help them make a decision. Instead, they visit review websites for product comparisons, ask peers for recommendations on social media and do online research.

Joseph says brands that shift funds away from acquisition initiatives and invest in engaging current customers may enjoy more growth in the long run. “We are so obsessed with acquisitions. But we are nothing without customers,” he says.

By improving the customer experience, companies will enjoy more organic customer advocacy that will drive word of mouth and draw in new prospective customers.

Below are four customer experience areas Joseph believes B2B marketing teams should focus on if they want to foster more customer advocacy—and, increase loyalty and revenue in the process.

1. Do something special for your zealots

Zealots are your advocates. They’re the customers that love you, scream for you and would even draw blood for you.

If you don’t think it’s possible for a brand to inspire that much loyalty, just think about all the people getting company logos tattooed on their body. “That’s the love and lust we should be focused on,” said Joseph. “Nobody wants to be middle of road or mediocre.”

Companies, however, must invest in programs that will foster this level of fandom. “Do you have a plan in place for those [zealots] that make up your customer base?” Joseph asked. “Do you have a plan for the 1% of those that talk about you?” Find a way to delight and reward these special folks—before you lose them to a competitor.

2. Think like a start-up

Technology can up-end an industry within moments. That’s why it’s important for established businesses to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.

How? For starters, they can look for partnerships with new companies. Just imagine, if Kodak had bought Instagram, or if Blockbuster had bought Netflix, muses Joseph. Smart companies do this all the time. For example, Intuit bought, and Avis bought Zipcar.

Companies need to use technology to solve their customer’s current problems—and fast. If large organizations mimic agile startups, they can wow their advocates with top-tier solutions.

3. Use membership to drive retention

According to Joseph, most organizations spend around 90% of marketing dollars on gaining new customers.

But where does most of your revenue come from? Existing ones. For instance, at Coca Cola, 12% of customers account for 80% of sales.

That’s why Joseph says brands must stop focusing so much on “courting strangers” who may or may not turn into brand advocates.

Instead, they can boost loyalty and retention by creating reliable loops of consumption through special membership models (like Costco’s) and customer engagement programs. This will turn customers into raving fans who will help promote your product and spur its growth organically.

4. Give customers unfettered access to your best assets

In order to draw-in these advocates, companies must leverage their best assets differently.

For instance, great content is an asset. Apple understands that their employees are an asset. Even company culture—like Zappos’—can be an asset.

Giving customers easy access to these valuable resources will turn brands into something worth advocating for.

By shifting marketing dollars to improving these four areas, companies will be in a better position to drive intense customer loyalty and brand love.

“If I’m wrong, you’re still diversified,” says Joseph. “But if I’m right, then you are so far ahead.”


Related: Advocacy Marketing Dictionary – Customer Experience CX