Social Media has disrupted the traditional sales funnel creating an unknown that most marketers have difficulty replacing. But don’t shy away from your advocates as you explain yourself.
Your organization already has an established audience of potential advocates; for an association it may be your membership list, for universities it may be alumni, for a non-profit it may be a donors list. The challenge for advocacy managers is growing this audience and engaging them to convert bystanders into advocates.
Customer power is growing, and customers now have the power that enables them to avoid the pushy messages of marketers, make their own decisions, and determine what to buy.
A company advocates for its customers and earns their trust. It may not be a strategy for everyone, but innovative companies are following this path. The marketing paradigm is shifting from traditional push-based marketing to trust-based advocacy marketing.
Ten Tactics of Advocacy
These key elements and means are effective for firms in a variety of industries and categories. Advocacy marketing is associated not only with customer marketing but also with overall corporate strategy.
- Create awareness – Share it with employees; sharing is caring
- Think and act loyalty – Silver, Gold, Platinum; like memberships
- Think program – Advocates are important; make them feel special
- Request reviews – Satisfied clients will share their love
- Ask feedback – On products, service, stores and preferred channels
- Focus on the right fans and followers – Quality over quantity; engaged likes
- Reward smart – Offer insights; don’t pay/bribe bloggers
- Let them join – Facilitate; don’t advertise
- Add meaningfulness – How can you fuel their passion or needs?
- Clear term and conditions – Be open and transparent about what you do