As Quorum’s Online Marketing Manager, Kevin Lau can relate.
Kevin has a lofty goal of onboarding at least 70% of Quorum’s customers into the company’s advocate marketing program, The Quorum Academy, so they can help raise awareness about the company online, generate referrals and collect references.
Quorum provides the only PCI-compliant, instant disaster recovery solution for the mid-market. Their customers? Mostly IT professionals.
Naturally, one of Kevin’s first steps in raising awareness about Quorum’s solutions was asking customers advocates to boost the number of customer reviews on Spiceworks, a professional network and review site used by more than five million IT professionals and over 3,000 technology brands.
However, after a few weeks, the number of Spiceworks reviews and amount engagement from customers was low. Kevin took a step back to think about why this might be. Then, he had an “ah-ha” moment that changed everything:
“I realized that an advocate marketing program isn’t just about asking advocates to do stuff for us,” says Kevin. “We were being one-sided and needed to focus on giving instead of just taking.”
Kevin saw that those initial challenges weren’t compelling or diverse enough to capture the attention of Quorum’s customers. He was primarily asking advocates to leave reviews on Spiceworks, but wasn’t doing anything to motivate them to do so.
Then he shifted gears and created challenges that would help him get to know his community of customers. In one challenge, he simply asked Quorum’s customers if they preferred Star Wars or Star Trek. After learning that he had a community of die-hard Star Wars fans, he played off the theme and got a much greater response.
He discovered that Quorum’s advocates responded to the following types of challenges:
- Surveys (such as feedback and product development)
- Fun challenges (including the Star Trek vs. Star Wars challenge)
- Knowledge sharing
“When I focused on what my advocates wanted – as opposed to what I had wanted – I achieved my original goal of getting more Spiceworks reviews,” Kevin explains.
After putting the focus on Quorum’s advocates, Kevin:
- Engaged 72% of his advocates and got them to return to The Quorum Academy on a regular basis
- Received more than 70 Spiceworks reviews and testimonials
- Identified five “Super Advocates” (customers who are highly motivated to help Quorum at a moment’s notice)
- Got references from 16 customers
- Increased employee participation
“We are currently onboarding our second round of advocates and testing our challenges to ensure that they will engage our community,” says Kevin. “Knowing what we know now, we are confident that we will continue to improve our results.”