“Tell me and I will forget.
Show me and I may not remember.
Involve me and I will understand.”
- American proverb
Proverbs have a beautiful way of putting life’s biggest truths with a striking simplicity. Like all the famous proverbs, this native American proverb puts the kind of insight in front of us that eludes even the biggest of market research about human behavior.
Yes, because your customers are human, not a bunch of numbers always being thrown around in the reports. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves of this simple truth, more so for someone who makes a career in marketing.
The wisdom of Advocacy Marketing starts with the simple act of involving your customer.
We, at Promoto, are working to help marketers on their quest of “finding”…err “creating” their brand promoters to fuel the engine of Advocacy Marketing for them.
Let’s begin from understanding what exactly does “Advocacy Marketing” mean and what is the philosophy behind it.
Defining Advocacy Marketing
“Advocate Marketing is the art of identifying your highest-potential customers, nurturing their potential, and motivating and empowering this “Golden 5%” to preach positive about your company. In this two-part series, you’ll learn how to capitalize on their work.”
Source : Marketing Watchdog Journal
“Advocacy Marketing is a form of marketing that emphasizes getting existing customers to talk about the company and its products.”
Source : Big Commerce
To put it simply, Advocacy Marketing is basically activating a select set out of existing customers, and engage with them in such a way to get them advocate your brand within their circle of influence.
This particular customer is ideally an engaged brand enthusiast with a strong network and influence on it. You could call this customer the “Golden 5%” as mentioned above in definition 1 or brand evangelist or simply a brand advocate.
We call this customer, the Promoter.
At Promoto, we guide ourselves with the help of “complete sales funnel”, to understand and define Advocacy Marketing, as shown in the following image :
Advocacy Marketing Philosophy
At Promoto, we’re guided by a set of principles to deal with our customers. These principles form the core of our philosophy of Advocacy Marketing:
Recruit your army of Brand Advocates. Yes, you can!
Building an army of brand advocates is neither a fluke nor a miracle. Brand advocates are not a different looking species hiding among human beings, waiting to be miraculously found by the brands. It’s not a talent rather its a skill.
Brand advocates are not found, they’re “created”.
Won a customer? Congratulations! and buckle up, a new relationship has just started
Traditionally, a relationship is branded as ‘closed’ as soon as the customer comes on board and completes transacting. Doesn’t that sound wrong at so many levels? Instead of looking at it as a ‘closed’, consider the relationship as ‘just started’ and approach it that way. This simple change of attitude will go a long way in building and winning advocates for your brand.
Don’t burn your bridges! There truly is wisdom in that saying
A customer interacts with different departments and executives at different stages of his/her lifetime with the brand. That doesn’t mean that the customer should be treated as a temporary companion and nobody really takes the ownership of this relationship. It is everybody’s business to take care of the customer no matter what the stage s/he is at.
Customer relationships are not fleeting flirts, but long-haul commitments.
Meaningless gifts are well “meaningless”. Relationships go beyond superficial gifting
It’s worth the effort to understand what exactly matter or doesn’t to your customers, more so in the B2B space. World around us is full of superficial realities and social media has provided legitimacy to this phenomenon. Your customers will appreciate if you actually care for them and engage them meaningfully instead of just pretending to do so. It’s actually a brand’s golden chance to be genuine with their customers and stand apart from the crowd to pretenders.
Have you tried Advocacy Marketing for your business?
If yes, how your experience has been?
Share in comments, what are your learnings. Someone might benefit from what you have learnt.