Wondering how other companies are performing when it comes to advocate marketing?

The first benchmark study on advocate marketing, “Measuring Success With Advocacy: Advocate Marketing Benchmark Study” has just been released by Waypoint Group and Influitive. In it, nearly 600 marketers, customer success professionals and executives who impact advocate marketing investments were asked a series of questions determining:

  • How their organizations plan to allocate their advocate marketing spend
  • What the most successful advocate marketers are doing differently
  • Which programs are most challenging when it comes to proving ROI

92% of those surveyed have already invested in at least one type of advocate marketing activity, such as:

  • Customer marketing
  • Reviews
  • Referrals
  • References
  • Customer-generated content
  • Social amplification

The key findings were that companies who proactively engage their advocates in referral and review programs see the highest ROI.

Measuring Success with Advocacy: Advocate Marketing Benchmark Study
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The secrets of advocate marketing Achievers

The report found that those who have identified and activated their advocates are better able to realize ROI from their advocate marketing strategy.

32% of survey respondents are “Achievers”—designated as those who see ROI of 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10—are more likely to:

  • Invest in referral and review programs
  • Consider their advocate marketing strategy to be “robust”
  • Have confidence in their ability to track ROI
  • Already have a strong customer marketing program in place
  • Use an advocate marketing software platform to manage their programs and track advocate engagement

“We’ve seen a huge growth in ROI from referrals and references by tracking each deal that is linked to a current customer,” says Michael Beahm, Senior Marketing Manager at Blackbaud, who is classified as an Achiever. “We’ve also made the program more robust by building in benefits for our customers whenever we can. We highlight them as thought leaders, recognize them for their time, or help them grow professionally with certification courses at a reduced cost.”

He and other Achievers identify and activate their advocates in the specific advocate marketing activities listed above in order to generate the most value, compared to “Strivers,” who are performing some advocate marketing activities, but are currently reporting only ROI of 7 or below.

Aside from robust programs, the key to realizing ROI requires the ability to track revenue from specific advocates’ actions and having a reporting system to communicate that value across the organization.

How to calculate the ROI of advocate marketing
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Future investments in advocacy

Most organizations have some kind of advocate marketing strategy in place, and intend to increase spending across all programs.

For each program type named in the survey, up to 70% say they “do some of this” and will increase their activity in each area. In addition, those who use advocate marketing software to manage these activities  are 73% more likely to be Achievers.

Most companies also plan to increase their investment in advocate marketing. Fewer than 12% of those who already do some advocate marketing activities say they don’t plan to increase their investment, and only 8% note they have no plans to engage in advocate marketing activities.

To learn more about how to increase the ROI of your advocate marketing program and get in-depth information about other companies’ programs, download the report now.