Companies which made advocacy marketing work advocacy marketing

Companies which made advocacy marketing work

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Try and recall the last time you were really excited about a purchase. It could be a consumer good, a service or even a movie ticket. It would be natural if you went out of your way to recommend that purchase to your friends or colleagues, some of whom might have taken you up on your recommendation. That’s the power of word of mouth or advocacy marketing – Getting people to inorganically talk about your products or services and drive sales.

Advocacy marketing entails getting customers to share their positive experiences with other people, magnifying your brand’s voice to bring in more business.

And it’s not just one time purchases – customers’ who have been referred by other customers have a retention rate which is 37% higher, making customer advocacy marketing campaigns worth focusing on.

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Brands which get advocacy marketing right

Making advocacy marketing work for you 25

Let’s have a look at a few businesses whose customer loyalty goes beyond recommending a simple purchase. Many of these companies have loyal fans who are willing to argue on their behalf on social media and other platforms.

Apple

There’s few brands which can remove features from their devices and still continue to sell absurdly high volumes. Not just sales, their customers would never trade the Apple ecosystem for an alternative – not without putting up a fight at the very least. 

Let’s take the iPhone 12 – No charger included in the box, yet Apple sold record numbers of the device, in a pandemic stricken year, no less – that’s advocacy marketing at its peak. There have been many campaigns (shotoniPhone) where Apple successfully leveraged word of mouth marketing, and showcased their customers’ as part of their advertising campaigns, making them brand advocates in the process.

Tesla

Tesla’s autopilot mode is legendary. As are its customizable car horn tunes, or the ability to use the central display for video games. These features didn’t become mainstream talk by themselves – it’s Tesla’s brand advocates that made it so. Whether its’ on TikTok or Instagram, you’ll be sure to come across short clips of Teslas driving themselves, or being used for harmless pranks. 

Tesla has managed to go beyond capturing the interest of the traditional car buyer (make no mistake: they love Tesla’s too), but also made their vehicles a part of pop culture. Even those who have little knowledge about cars would be looking at getting a Tesla simply because somebody’s raved about it – in person or on social media.

Uber

Granted, Uber’s “refer a friend” for a free ride scheme isn’t organic advocacy marketing in the traditional sense – but it worked, and the excellent Uber Customer Experience made it far easier 

for customers to recommend them over competing ride-sharing services. 

What makes Uber’s customer advocacy program somewhat unique is that it worked for both traditional cab users, as well as riders. By making it extremely accessible for people to get a cab service up and running, Uber managed to grow both segments using referral schemes in a short time frame.

Southwest

Southwest Airlines is known for its excellent customer service, with their customer base being highly engaged with their brand. They’ve achieved a high level of customer advocacy by focusing on their employees first. Motivated employees are keen for their companies to do well, and serve as effective brand advocates as well. Happy employees treat their customers well, who in turn are pleased with the brand and keep coming back to use their services. This is especially true for customer facing roles.

Chobani

Yogurt company Chobani achieved positive customer advocacy by forming an emotional connection with its target audience. By focusing on inclusivity on their social media platforms, Chobani struck a chord with a wide customer base without alienating anyone.

This emotional connection got a conversation going about Chobani, which helped maximize the ROI of their marketing efforts and turned regular customers into brand advocates.

Nordstrom

Luxury department store chain Nordstrom is another example of an organization which focused on employee experience to drive customer advocacy. Nordstrom employees are given a fair amount of leeway in the manner in which they are allowed to approach their tasks, allowing them to take ownership. 

This sense of ownership helped them improve their customer experience, as it empowered employees to greatly improve customer facing services.

Better Customer Experience translates into Customer Advocacy

Companies which focus on regularly taking stock of their NPS® are those which have a better customer experience. Acknowledging loyal customers via social media, or through promotional campaigns (which can also be widely publicized on social media) can have a ripple effect of positive benefits. It helps improve customer experience, which in turn improves brand image and helps make customers into advocates for your brand

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Employee Experience is crucial for advocacy marketing

In the examples we’ve talked about, you’ll notice a common trend among many companies with high levels of advocacy marketing. That common factor is the brand’s focus on employee experience (EX). By ensuring a positive EX, It ensures that your employees take greater ownership of your brand’s values and work constructively to achieve better outcomes.

Employees can become valuable advocates for your brand, and a positive employee experience shows its benefits in virtually all positions- especially customer facing roles.

How to set up an Advocacy Marketing strategy

Identify promoters

Advocacy marketing has the potential to be extremely profitable and valuable for your business and its brand value and positioning. However, instead of simply delivering good products and services and hoping for the best, it’s far more productive to identify promoters, detractors and passives.

NPS® surveys are an effective tool for identifying your promoters, detractors and passives. They can empower you to conveniently find out which of your customers are likely advocates for your brand and why. NPS® scores can help you profile your customers better and nurture them for word of mouth marketing.

Focus on the why

The “why” in feedback surveys can get you insights into factors that make customers loyal to your brand, and can be a stepping stone for an advocacy marketing strategy.

NPS® surveys allow researchers to append another question to the initial opening question. You can ask your respondents why they scored you as they did. This feedback can play a critical role in helping you improve your products and services, and can often help shine a light into lesser known bumps in your organizational structure or customer journey.

Develop a holistic customer and employee experience

After gleaning insights via NPS® surveys, you must implement this feedback into your employee and customer journeys. After all, both of these entities are capable of organic promotion for your brand and are effective tools for advocacy marketing.

A customer experience program which effectively integrates customer feedback and visibly appreciates them for it is a key attribute of making advocacy marketing work for your business. Take Apple’s “shotoniPhone” exercise: It helped customers feel like they’re a contributor to apple’s success (and even product development) and also worked as a tool to advertise the iPhone’s camera capabilities.

The same rationale works with employees as well. When your employees speak no ill of your organization, and in fact vociferously advocate for your services, It has a significantly positive impact on brand value. 

With Voxco’s omnichannel survey software, you can set up effective customer and employee feedback management programs which incorporate the latest research technologies (NPS® surveys, CSAT, CES, etc.) that can help you develop an effective Advocacy marketing strategy for your brand.

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