Can Customer Advocacy Be Systematized?

Advocacy definition

Advocacy can be defined in many ways: to recommend, to provide references, to be an ambassador for a brand.  Plainly put advocacy is: people talking nicely about an organisation and recommending what the organisation has to offer to other people.

There are numerous studies which tell us that we trust real people (this is true both of friends and of any other consumer we read online) more than we trust the “big corporations” talking to us via advertising. With the growing popularity of Social Media sites, the answer to this dilemma has become obvious: Advocacy.

“Individuals broadcasting a brand message to their peers” has proven to be an extremely effective marketing strategy- Samsung TV managed to become the number one TV set sold in the USA without any TV advertising at all. They just invested in bloggers who were tasked to disseminate their messaging to the US consumers a few years back.

Advocacy is better than advertising because of the trustworthiness of the advocate or “ambassador”. It becomes more efficient when the ambassadors are high influencers, opinion leaders, people with gravitas, but it is not limited to these kinds of people. An organisation will be pleased to have anyone talking positively about them, be they high influencers or not. Advocacy can drive sales, it can defend current customer relationships and above all it can build brand equity.

Now imagine if we could reach millions of customers with content shared by our brand ambassadors! That would be a similar reach to that of a TV commercial but with a much more powerful impact. Wouldn’t that be something? Well…this is possible to achieve today!

A step-by step process for content sharing by influencers can be created which is repeatable, expandable and efficient so that we can accelerate and amplify advocacy. You can read more about the Accelerated Customer Advocacy Model in an eBook that you can download from the DigitalMR library.

The benefits of systematised customer advocacy are numerous and mostly self-explanatory. The process and models described in the eBook mentioned earlier are quite unique in the sense that not only they help increase the top-line but they also help in reducing marketing costs thus offering a double positive effect to the bottom line. On top of all, systematised advocacy helps increase brand equity which is not only reflected on the P&L but also on the Balance Sheet under intangible assets (Good Will).

Now is not the time for organisations to be asking themselves whether they should engage in brand ambassador programmes or even ask when. The right questions should be:  who can be the owner of this initiative, do we currently have someone with the right skill-set, is there an integrated platform to make this process efficient and how can we help elevate it to the higher executive levels in order to ensure success.

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