amp-talksWe no longer live in the simple Mad Men days of advertising. Today’s marketing world is driven by metrics, where technologies like QR codes and personalized URLs let marketers track exactly what influences buyers. But how do you measure return on investment (ROI) from an advocate marketing program? Watch me share the four “commandments” of tracking the ROI of your customer advocacy efforts in my Advocamp presentation.


1. Track the value of your leads

Tracking the number of leads and conversion rate is important. But it’s beneficial to also dig deeper and look at cohorts of referral leads to determine their value over time. Studies show that referred leads have a 16% higher customer lifetime value. Consider factors like if they spend more, if their sales pipeline is faster, and if they refer new customers. Showing the revenue that you influenced can help demonstrate value.

For example, non-profit software solutions provider Blackbaud reached its yearly target number of referral leads in just three months through its advocate marketing program, along with a 37% conversion rate. That’s extremely efficient marketing.

2. Take online reviews into account

Upwards of 84% of customers look at online reviews before even talking to a sales rep.

This means getting reviews should be a priority for brands who want to be more accessible online. Reviews can also help accelerate your pipeline.

For instance, business analytics company InsightSquared went from having no reviews to being at the top of the list of three major 3rd party websites with the help of their advocates. So far, one new customer said that discovering InsightSquared had the highest ratings in customer satisfaction was what prompted him to reach out.

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3. Spread the word about great content

You might have great content, and advocates who will share that content within their networks, but it’s also important to follow the content trail and give yourself the proper attribution in the pipeline. Conferencing company ReadyTalk was able to discover that more than 750 leads were generated through their content, which has prompted them to make content a higher priority in the coming year.

One way to accomplish this is by creating customized links and URLs to the content. This way, you can determine when leads come in that are driven by specific content.

4. Measure the long-term metrics

Don’t forget to track the long-term value of your advocates when calculating ROI.

Data backup and records management company Iron Mountain has developed a dashboard that can track the revenue of every single customer they influence as part of their marketing programs (including their advocate marketing efforts). It shows the amount of revenue they have contributed on a daily basis, through upselling and cross-selling, and net new revenue.

Look at the difference of where you were before and where you are growing to today. Then look at cohorts of customers and their churn rates to get proof that your programs are really working.

Bottom line

With today’s technology, marketers are able to monitor exactly where their dollars are going, and what that means for their bottom line. And there’s no reason the same can’t be done with advocate marketing programs.

All of these methods may not work for every business—but chances are, there’s at least one that you can start tracking immediately.

2015 is the year of the customer. The first step to putting your customers first is to create an advocate marketing program that’s engaging and rewarding. By measuring its results, you’ll be able to see how it can also be beneficial to your company’s growth.

I’m always happy to talk about how to get measurable value from your advocate marketing efforts. Please reach out to me at [email protected].

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