Advocate marketing can bring your business a number of benefits—from increased customer engagement to more sales.

A CustomerThink study even found that advocates help companies grow 2.5X faster than their competitors.

However, before you can reap the benefits of an advocate marketing program, you need to get your team on board. Advocate marketing is a new concept for most people, so your team must first understand what it is and how it can help you.

Here are four keys to getting buy-in for your advocate marketing program.

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Prior to joining Influitive’s Customer Success team, I headed up the advocacy program at SMART Technologies. While at SMART, I invited stakeholders from different departments to workshops. I spent the first half of these workshops teaching them about advocacy. We discussed how and why you would engage advocates, as well as the benefits you could achieve. We also reviewed common advocate marketing terms, such as “advocate” and “gamification”. This ensured that everyone was speaking the same language.

During the second half of the workshops, attendees brainstormed ways to turn their departmental goals into “asks” for SMART’s advocates. This helped them see the direct benefits of advocate marketing and got them excited about our program.

In addition to holding workshops, you can share your wins during meetings. Be sure to discuss how advocacy helped an individual or department achieve a goal. This helps others see why advocacy is valuable.

Make it easy for others to get involved.

When I was with SMART Technologies, I posted a form that people could complete if they wanted to engage advocates. The form asked about their goal and took two minutes to complete. I would review the forms and then send my colleagues ideas for advocacy campaigns, asks or challenges.

An “advocacy request” form makes it easy for other departments to get involved. The more others contribute, the more you can update your hub with fresh experiences to keep advocates engaged. You’ll also feel less pressured to come up with all the advocacy ideas on your own.

Find an executive sponsor.

Having an executive champion for your program can help gain internal buy-in from the top-down. They should act as the voice of your advocates, and collaborate with other executives from the sales, support and professional services teams to make your entire organization advocate-centric. The CMO is likely the best person to approach. If you explain that advocate marketing will build positive word of mouth and revenue growth through demand generation, they should get excited.

Be relentless.

Your colleagues likely won’t jump on board and bring you ideas after one conversation. It will take time for them to get the message. You must continually reinforce your message, so your colleagues will see how an advocate marketing program can help them achieve their goals.

You can talk about advocacy in your internal emails, newsletter, and social community. You’ll also want to hold one-on-one meetings with key stakeholders to bring them on board.

Don’t be shy about showing off your early advocate marketing successes and how they have positively impacted your business. This will help you prove advocacy’s value and get buy-in.

Contact Influitive today to learn how to mobilize your advocates to supercharge your sales and marketing results.

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