The 5 Essential Ingredients For Advocate Marketing Success

love recipeAdvocate marketing involves managing a company’s advocates to achieve business objectives, such as revenue growth or increased demand generation.

It’s a simple but powerful concept: as the power and influence of word of mouth grows in buying processes, B2B companies of all sizes, industries and niches need to proactively develop and manage their most important marketing asset – their happy customers and fans.

As you plan, build and execute on your own advocate marketing program, these elements will be critical to its success:

1. Tying advocate marketing to your business objectives

Advocate marketing can serve a variety of business objectives, so it’s important to tie your program to revenue achievement and specific sales and marketing tactics, such as:

  • Lead generation
  • Pipeline development
  • Sales cycle acceleration

You may also want to consider how your advocate marketing program can support other objectives, including:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Product marketing
  • Product design and development

 

2. Understanding who your advocates are and what motivates them

Customers are often a company’s most important and influential type of advocate. They come in different shapes and sizes, and are seeking different experiences as advocates. It’s essential to segment your advocates to align their interests with the right types of advocate activities.

You also need to understand other types of advocates, such as employees, partners, investors and influencers. These groups can contribute to your marketing and sales efforts by promoting your brand and content, referring new business and sharing their positive experiences with your business.

Recommended reading: The Psychology of Advocacy: 3 Reasons Your Customers Love You

3. Designing an advocate marketing program that scales

Once it’s up and running, a successful advocate marketing program will include hundreds – possibly thousands – of advocates. As you build your own program, you should carefully consider how yours will be managed, and how you can make the process more scalable, predictable and efficient.

These are just some of the reasons marketers have started moving away from managing their advocate programs through email, spreadsheets or CRM applications in favor of all-in-one platforms built specifically to manage B2B advocate marketing programs.

The Advocate Marketing PlaybookFor 4 and 5, download Part 1 of The Advocate Marketing Playbook

The Advocate Marketing Playbook, created by TOPO, provides marketers with a blueprint from which to build and manage a successful advocate marketing program; it’s a detailed “how-to” guide based on proven best practices.

Get it now

This post is part of a series of resources excerpted or adapted from The Advocate Marketing Playbook, created by TOPO. Click here to read the other posts in this series.

 Photo credit: Hey Paul Studios

  • Amber Newman

    These are great tips. Another important thing to keep in mind is that before you can be successful with advocate marketing, you must create customers who love your products, people and brand. This means that advocate marketing is everyone’s job from sales through customer support. Everyone needs to understand the importance of customer advocacy and how the little things they do every day can have a big impact.

    • Excellent point, Amber! This post assumes that this foundation is already in place, but you’re certainly right — without customers who love your products, people and brand, and the support of every functional area in your company, you’re not going to get very far with an advocate marketing program. Thanks for your comment!