What separates the good advocate marketers from the GREAT advocate marketers? A BAMMIE Award—a Best Advocate Marketing Award, which recognizes B2B companies who focus on harnessing the power of their top fans and customers to grow their business.
So, what does it take to win a BAMMIE Award?
We asked Liz Richardson, our 2014 Advocate Marketer of the Year, to tell us how she led Bomgar’s customer advocacy program, the Bomgar Insider, to success.
(Full disclosure: Liz is so good at advocate marketing we decided to hire her as our first Customer Marketing and Advocacy Consultant!).
Tip 1. Dream big.
“Don’t discount your program if it’s new and small, or assume other people are doing more than you,” says Liz. Within two months of starting her advocate marketing program using Influitive’s AdvocateHub, she had amassed 500 active advocates, thanks to her her enthusiasm for the program and ability to rally others in her organization around the idea of advocate marketing.
After her BAMMIES win, Liz went on to take home a Forrester Groundswell Award in the Social Reach Marketing (B2B) for Bomgar Insider. “It was a huge, early win,” says Richardson, adding that the awards garnered a lot more buy in from upper management. “It definitely put me and the program in a positive spotlight.”
Most importantly though, she says Bomgar’s customers loved the program. “We won an award powered through our customers. It was clear to us that advocate marketing worked.”
Tip 2. Focus on everyday interactions.
Liz says focusing on simple, personalized, daily interactions can make all the difference in how well-connected your customers feel to your program. “Don’t just put up a challenge that’s fun, but never read or respond to your customer’s answers. Take the time to add a personal message of your own. It means something to them when you respond, and it creates some common ground between you and your advocates.”
Tip 3. Don’t be afraid to get personal.
Liz says that being the face of your advocate marketing program often creates a special comfort level between you and your customers. “Customers would start contacting me with all kinds of requests and questions. “It created a fun, personal relationship between Bomgar and its customers.”
To take it one step further, Liz also followed customers on her personal social media channels. “I like to be visible outside of work. I think it makes it more personal. When it’s two people relating to each other, it creates more of a feeling of trust and obligation.” This way, if you need to ask for a reference call, you’re asking a friend, not just a client. “Someone is more likely to do it because of the relationship you have together,” says Liz.
Tip 4. Get inspired by other marketers.
By attending the BAMMIES ceremony and connecting with other like-minded CMOs, Liz felt motivated to get even more creative with her hub for the next year. “We really learned from each other and shared ideas. They showed me other ways to use the program, and how I could push the envelope even further.”
“If you have a good feeling about your program, you should absolutely enter the BAMMIES. You may be surprised about how innovative you’re being without actually knowing it,” says Liz.