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02/08/2012 by

10 Inspiring Ways To Smart Advocacy Marketing

Free media is not always the same as earned attention. Bought fans are not always brand advocates. In this article you will find 10 inspiring ways to advocacy marketing that can help to pull fans through your funnel towards preference, loyalty and advocacy.

New business strategies and marketing tactics might lead you the way. So here is our story, that includes 10 tangible tactics to smart advocacy marketing.

Sure RTV, Print and Outdoor are powerful media to CMOs. And indeed Online, Search, Social and Mobile complete the strive for ROI on POE Media.

But after 20 years of marketing (10 years as CMO and 10 years as marketing agency founder) I do believe in a golden marketing formula that will fuel earning: attention, media, respect, reputation, fans, buzz and new customers.

And since we have entered the era of consumer reviews, recommendations and social CRM, how to achieve the above earned benefits?

Not by making promises, but by keeping them. And that could be achieved with just a slight shift of your marketing budget.

Most CMOs spend 80% (or more) of their marketing budget on media to acquire new customers, and 20% on creativity, retention and loyalty. Brands that have changed this mix (i.e. 70-30% or 60-40%), might be the winning ones.

It might sound scary, but a better balanced mix will fuel earned attention, respect and organic growth of new customers.

Why? Simply because your existing client base will recommend your brand, products and great service to like-minded peers.

Call it customer care, call it CRM or Social CRM or old skool word-of-mouth marketing: call it whatever you like to call it.

If you invest a bit more in your existing client base and in building great experiences, your clients will pull their peers through your funnel for you!

Now this is not measured by the number of your (bought) Facebook likes, although I understand that size does matter. Even in the new era of social media, you could start this journey benchmarking your old skool NPS or social NPS score.

Improving your NPS will clearly show a lift in your peer2peer customer acquisition. With the extra benefit that Promoters will stay being your customers, whereas Detractors will probably switch to one of your competitors any given Sunday.

And once you are in that cycle of increased advocacy, organic growth should be your reward. Now how to get this story across, at your other brand stakeholders?

You could tell them about the meta trend in marketing. That most businesses are striving to become more predictable and profitable.

And tell them that the following is on your mind and plate:

• How many customers and relationships do we have?
• What is the economic value of one relationship for our company?
• How can we create predictive markets and use adaptive modeling?
• How can we increase our ROI, revenues, profitability and shareholder value?

Your future marketing strategy might be more and more about: customer persona, social CRM, engagement and advocacy. And if you as CMO lead by being ‘the man with a plan’, others brand stakeholders will certainly follow.

Now I might understand this will take some discussions at C-level, the right company DNA and top-down support to make this new strategic marketing roadmap really happen.

But if you do it with a clearly communicated vision and in a very obsessed way, I’m convinced that you will succeed.

To be able to get all needed other brand stakeholders and departments on board as well, here are 10 tangible tactics that could help:

1. Create NPS awareness – Share it with employees; sharing is caring
2. Think and act loyalty – Silver, Gold, Platinum; like memberships
3. Think program – Advocates are important; make them feel special
4. Request reviews – Satisfied clients will share their love
5. Ask feedback – On products, service, stores and preferred channels
6. Focus on the right fans and followers – Quality over quantity; engaged likes
7. Reward smart – Offer insights; don’t pay / bribe bloggers
8. Let them join – Facilitate; don’t advertise
9. Add meaningfulness – How can you fuel their passion or needs?
10. Clear T&C’s – Be open and transparent about what you do

Some inspiring examples?
My Starbucks Idea, is a very consumer driven innovation platform by a very open brand.

Use our site search to find more articles about Starbucks.

The Nike+ platform for passionate runners is a powerful owned social media channel on which Nike is building its next innovation for non-runners: Fuelband.

Just imagine how many Nike+ advocates will recommend Nike Fuelband to their non-running family members and peers? Imagine how Nike will be extending to its reach and relations with this new technology.

Now that is earning attention and new customers through advocacy. Running could have been claimed by core running brands like Asics, Reebok and Adidas.

But it is Nike that keeps them on the bench in the domain running.

Some inspiring books on above topics?
Flip the Funnel – How to use existing customers to gain new ones by Joseph Jaffe. Or Firebrands – Building Brand Loyalty in the Internet Age is an old but great book, written by Michael J. Moon.

What About You?

We’d love to hear your thoughts: Are brands investing enough in influencers and advocacy?

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More about breaking with the status quo? Browse our category Trends & Innovations, follow Igor Beuker on Twitter, grab our RSS Feed, join our Facebook movement or subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter.

About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.


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