What Does An Advocate Marketing Organization Look Like?
Building an organization to support advocate marketing is critical to the program’s success.
It may surprise you to learn that an advocate marketing program does not need a large number of people dedicated to its day-to-day operation.
As a matter of fact, the advocate marketing organization often needs only two people: an executive sponsor (typically the CMO) and a functional owner of advocate marketing (Advocate Marketing Manager).
However, it is extremely important that the advocate marketing owners have support from other members of the organization in order to:
- Understand the company’s advocate personas
- Identify, onboard and nurture new advocates
- Develop communication around key events, product launches and campaigns where advocate marketing can boost results
- Position “asks” so they are compelling and engaging to advocates
- Co-ordinate early or exclusive advocate access to content or events
- Source rewards and recognize advocates in a personalized manner
Company leaders from all functions should encourage their teams to collaborate with the program owner to set objectives and run campaigns that will benefit their functional area. The more they contribute, the more your company’s advocates will contribute to their objectives.
The executive sponsor (CMO)
Building positive word of mouth advocacy is a strategic imperative, not a “nice to have” marketing tactic. Therefore, your advocate marketing program needs an executive sponsor.
While ownership of the customer experience can vary from organization to organization based on a number of factors, the advocate program is in the CMO’s domain.
And unlike other community efforts which have audience building (social communities) or cost reduction and adoption (user communities) as their goal, advocate marketing is aimed squarely at top-line revenue growth through demand generation and pipeline acceleration efforts.
The CMO or other executive sponsor of the advocate marketing program needs to be an executive who can articulate the “voice of the advocate.” They need to collaborate with other executives from the sales, support and professional services organizations to ensure your entire company becomes advocate-centric.
The Advocate Marketing Manager
The Advocate Marketing Manager should be part of the marketing organization and have experience managing campaigns. They will own the entire program from initial design and build-out to ongoing management.
While knowing and being passionate about customers is critical to this role, the Advocate Marketing Manager should be well-connected internally, too, in order to meet the various advocate marketing program objectives related to other departments, such as sales, product management and customer success.
What qualities does the Advocate Marketing Manager at your organization possess? Please share your insight in the comments section below.
In Part 2 of The Advocate Marketing Playbook, there’s a worksheet that will help you map out what the advocate marketing organization will look like at your company, including who will be the functional owner and executive sponsor.