The Rise of Customer Advocacy The Rise of Customer Advocacy

The Rise of Customer Advocacy: Strategies for Engaging and Mobilising Your Customers

Why getting your customers to champion your brand could be your next big move.

Customers typically seek advice from multiple advocacy sources before finalising a purchase decision, with over 75% relying on three or more such sources, Gartner research has found.

In this post, we’ll share strategies to help you to mobilise your customer base.

Identifying Your Brand Advocates: Recognising and Leveraging Customer Advocacy

To establish a successful customer advocacy programme, the active participation of willing individuals is essential. Therefore, it is crucial for your marketing department to prioritise the recruitment of those individuals.

One effective approach is to develop an ideal advocate profile, which can serve as a reference point for identifying future customer advocates. Creating this profile involves analysing various aspects of your customer life cycle, running a needs assessment and closely examining elements that include transaction history, demographics and net promoter scores (NPS).

To spot hidden opportunities, you can utilise customer advocacy software such as Mention Me to consistently monitor and track individuals who actively engage with or advocate for your brand online, helping you to overcome rising paid media and acquisition costs along the way.

Advocacy Programmes and Incentives: Motivating and Rewarding Your Advocates

Once you have identified potential advocates, it is time to reach out to them and extend an invitation to join your customer advocacy programme. However, you must clearly communicate the benefits they will receive from their involvement, and this is where incentives play a crucial role.

In exchange for your customers’ time and effort, you can offer enticing perks, such as preferential service, opportunities to speak at events, or exclusive access to, and the ability to influence, product development roadmaps.

On top of that, you need to emphasise the exposure value that comes with becoming an advocate. With their success stories showcased, your customers also stand to gain publicity and recognition for their own achievements within their respective industries.

Customer advocacy arrangements are always mutually beneficial, and your task is to make the customer understand that.

Nurturing Relationships: Building Trust and Long-Term Advocacy

By investing in long-term relationship-building efforts, you can foster sustained customer support, advocacy and brand loyalty.

When Julia Roberts, a renowned Hollywood actress, visited Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium and attended their training sessions over the years, it served as a powerful tool for promoting brand awareness overseas. Her association with the club generated significant attention and interest, reaching a global audience. This increased visibility resulted in a surge in sales of merchandise, heightened demand for TV rights and a boost in ticket sales.

Julia Roberts’ active engagement demonstrated her genuine interest and enthusiasm for the club. This authenticity resonated with fans and supporters, enhancing their trust in both her and the brand she endorsed. By aligning herself with Manchester United, a reputable and iconic football club, Julia Roberts contributed to the building of trust between the club and its international fan base.

Creating Shareable Experiences: Inspiring Advocacy through Memorable Interactions

Crafting once-in-a-lifetime experiences is something that can help you to further strengthen trust. An excellent example of this is Tarte Cosmetics’ collaboration with Sephora Middle East, where they organised an exclusive trip to Dubai for top-notch creators.

To generate buzz and drive advocacy for its new foundation, Tarte curated an extraordinary experience for these creators. The selected influencers were offered premium flights and luxurious private beach villas, providing them with an unforgettable experience in Dubai. By creating such a remarkable and exclusive opportunity, Tarte Cosmetics tapped into the emotional aspect of the creators’ journeys.

The shareability of the experience was a key factor in inspiring advocacy. The creators, excited about the luxurious trip and the new foundation, eagerly documented their journey on social media platforms, sharing photos, videos and enthusiastic reviews. The organic and authentic content created a ripple effect, amplifying the reach of Tarte Cosmetics’ message and increasing brand awareness among the creators’ followers.

Empowering Your Advocates: Strategies for Mobilising Customer Support

Harnessing the power of your customer base and transforming them into a passionate network of advocates can be a game-changer for any business.

Tesla recognised the power of customer loyalty and its potential to influence policy decisions and public perception. To leverage this power, the company launched a dedicated Engagement Platform, allowing customers to engage directly with lawmakers, policymakers and regulators. The platform served as a centralised hub for information, coordinated efforts and encouraged advocacy.

By empowering their customers with a means to voice their opinions and take action, Tesla effectively transformed its fan base into a private lobbying army. This strategy not only gave customers a sense of ownership and influence but also enabled them to actively participate in shaping the future of the company. The result was a community of passionate advocates who were eager to promote the company’s mission and values.

This mobilised force of support played a crucial role in advocating for favourable policies, expanding the electric carmaker’s reach and building a positive brand image.

Harnessing the Power of Social Media: Amplifying Customer Advocacy Online

All-out digitalisation has enabled social media platforms to become powerful tools for amplifying customer advocacy and driving remarkable results.

With a strategic crowdfunding campaign, a U.K. fintech startup Monzo turned to social media to seek support by rallying their advocates. Through targeted and engaging posts on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Monzo encouraged its customers to become investors and actively participate in the company’s growth, successfully raising a whopping £20,000,000 in just two days.

The call to action spread like wildfire across social media, with Monzo’s advocates passionately sharing the campaign with their networks. The power of social media’s viral nature enabled the crowdfunding message to reach a wide audience, extending beyond the immediate customer base. As a result, an astounding 36,006 individuals from various corners of the online community chose to invest in Monzo, contributing to the remarkable fundraising success.

The success of Monzo’s social media-driven campaign highlights the ability of businesses to tap into their advocates’ networks and leverage social media’s exponential reach. Nurturing an engaged and enthusiastic customer base and crafting compelling messages that resonate with audiences will help you to inspire advocates to take action and spread the word.

Measuring the Impact: Evaluating the Success of Your Customer Advocacy Efforts

To effectively evaluate your customer advocacy initiatives, it is crucial to set measurable goals. For instance, you may want to recruit a specific number of new advocates or aim for an advocate to support each marketing campaign you plan to launch. Another goal could be to acquire a certain number of new customers directly from referrals.

Once your advocacy program has been active for a while, you’ll need to assess its progress towards the goals you set. Metrics such as revenue influenced, win rate, sales cycle compression and Net Promoter Score could help, Gartner says.

As for business outcomes, McKinsey believes embracing customer advocacy may contribute to growth in gross profit due to a reduction in promotional activities, while implementing user-generated content as part of the marketing strategy may bring down marketing spend, improving EBITDA margins as well.