I had a conversation recently that brought up this interesting question. Since I can’t stop thinking about it, here we go.
Brands continue to take the plunge into the ocean of transparency and consumer advocacy. Turning over the keys and employing user or consumer generated content into a marketing strategy is risky, but, if done correctly, the ROI is huge. This is not news. We already know this, and the reason is simple. Your customers know you. In fact, they know you better than you know yourself. Remember, perception is reality.
Not only do your customers know you, the ones that know you inside and out, have the most influence. Advocate influence directly affects your bottom line–for better or for worse. Advocates make up a critical, but very small segment of your customer base. Size doesn’t matter, because it is their personal experiences with your brand that counts.
Do you have the right set of tools to find your advocates? Ask yourself a couple of questions. Do you know how to identify the right advocate behaviors and traits in the first place? Can you put together a profile that goes beyond database marketing?
Or, are you so focused on the importance of the right demographic and transactional data, that 20-somethings and moms with active lifestyles fit your ideal? Can you apply a loyalty multiplier to understand the dollar value beyond the purchase?
Advocate identification is both an art and a science. Implement a strong methodology behind your customer profiling. Tap into the smallest percentage of your customer base that has the largest reach. Advocates are hard-wired to talk about you. Take a step further and engage with them. Those conversations will be positive and effective.
Empowering your advocates that know you best and letting them speak for you is a smart strategy, but you have to know who they are first.
Jenny is a digital content strategist, who leads customer-centric engagements that focus on understanding B2B buying behaviors and developing custom roadmaps.
Her expertise is creating buyer personas and mapping digital content journeys to assess the multi-channel user experience. She helps clients operationalize plans across workstreams and identifies processes to create efficiencies in marketing operations. Jenny also has extensive time under her belt developing and managing customer advocacy programs and community building.
She has helped a diverse group of organizations including Cisco, VMware, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, BMO Harris, Capital One and many others become more customer-centric.