Today’s business world is moving quickly—especially in terms of changing technology and customer needs.
But how you appear to customers may not keep pace with how fast your business is evolving.
Davin Wilfrid, Customer Marketing Manager for QuickBase, can relate. QuickBase is breaking into the emerging category of Rapid Application Development, which allows people with no coding skills to build their own business apps.
“We had a huge opportunity to capitalize on this emerging market,” says Davin. “However, we needed a strategy to reach the customers who could bring us the most growth—IT professionals.”
IT pros do lots of research before they speak with a salesperson. They won’t consider a product unless their peers have used it and recommend it. This meant that QuickBase needed IT pros to post rave reviews to serve as social proof for their colleagues and peers.
How QuickBase grew their presence on G2 Crowd
QuickBase was listed on the popular tech review site G2 Crowd. However, it only had 8 reviews and all of them were in the Project Management category. This category didn’t reflect QuickBase’s new branding as a platform for building apps—meaning that IT pros who were interested in Rapid Application Development were unlikely to find QuickBase on G2 Crowd. QuickBase also had a low ranking because it couldn’t compete with the big project management players.
Davin had two goals for G2 Crowd:
- Get QuickBase placed in the right category
- Get reviews that would appeal to IT pros
So Davin turned to his advocates—Intuit QuickBase’s power users—to help make this happen.
Davin runs QuickBase Heroes, the product’s advocate marketing program. In this exclusive community for happy QuickBase customers, he posted a challenge that asked advocates to submit a review on G2 Crowd. Soon, QuickBase had 26 new reviews.
Many of these reviews used terms that were central to QuickBase’s new messaging, such as “Rapid Application Development” and “citizen developer”.
“This was completely organic,” says Davin. “We didn’t ask people to use those messages. They just did it on their own.”
The flood of rave reviews gave Davin the proof points he needed to approach G2 Crowd and suggest that QuickBase was part of a new category of products. He showed G2 Crowd the reviews, along with the terms that QuickBase’s customers used to describe the product. Since there was no category that fit, Davin suggested that G2 Crowd create a new Rapid Application Development category. He even listed QuickBase’s competitors in the emerging market.
The result? G2 Crowd created a new Rapid Application Development category, and QuickBase has the #1 spot.
“We used our advocates to generate messaging that helped us convince G2 Crowd to create a new category that we’re now on top of,” says Davin. “We consider this a really big win.”
3 ways to build an army of brand advocates
Here are 3 tips from Davin on how to engage your advocates, so they can help build your brand:
1. Start with your best customers
When QuickBase launched the Heroes community, Davin set a goal to get 150 advocates within 3 months. He sent invites to customers who:
- Were recommended by account reps
- Gave QuickBase ratings of 9 or 10 Net Promoter Score
- Participated in a case study
His invite brought in 220 new advocates—far surpassing his goal. Davin recommends starting by inviting customers who are the most likely to become advocates. From there, you can ask advocates to refer their friends and colleagues to your community.
2. Surround advocates with your messaging
QuickBase wanted advocates to spread the word across review sites and social media. To encourage this, QuickBase used its new messaging throughout its advocate marketing program. Every time an advocate logged in, they saw terms such as, “Rapid Application Development” and “citizen developer”.
Davin believes that advocates used these terms in their reviews because they repeatedly saw them in the program. The advocates formed an affinity with the messaging and used it to describe both themselves and QuickBase in their reviews.
3. Keep your advocates engaged
You may find it challenging to maintain momentum after you get an initial rush of advocates. Davin recommends that you always study your advocates, so you can find out which challenges they like the most. For example, Davin noticed that QuickBase’s advocates like challenges that teach them how to use the software better.
Davin also advises not to spam your advocates every time you create a new challenge. Instead, limit your notifications to the challenges that they like the most.
“Our advocates play a huge role in supporting our new brand strategy,” says Davin. “They have helped us boost our reviews, leads, social engagement and revenue.”