So you’ve decided you want to build or boost your advocate marketing program? By now, you’ve probably worked out that you can do advocate marketing manually, but if you really want to scale things up and get the best results, you’re going to need supporting technology.
For the next 7 weeks, we’ll be looking at how you can choose the right advocate marketing software for your organization. Successful technology selection projects always start with people. When you fast-forward to looking at the latest shiny technology – before the consideration of what your business actually needs – you leave success to chance.
The value that a brand advocacy program delivers goes way beyond the marketing department:
- Marketers…want to expand reach, create more customer-oriented content and drive word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Sales people…want customers to refer new customers and talk with prospects about the benefits they’ve realized.
- R&D leaders…want to collaborate with customers to find out what they want (and need) next.
Advocate marketing programs serve the needs of multiple departments, not just the marketing department, so you’ll need to involve representatives from each of these groups. You can only choose the right technology when you know what the technology needs to support…and the only way you can do that is to speak to the right people across your business. Brand advocacy programs may find their home in the marketing department, but success is founded on widespread collaboration across the organization.
In Chip and Dan Heath’s book Switch: How to change things when change is hard, they state “What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity”. Few people outside of the marketing department will know much about brand advocacy, so the process begins with education – well before any discussions around technology. If you are clear about what you’re trying to do and how it will help them succeed, you’ll get people on board. If they don’t get what it’s going to do for them, there’s no reason for them to commit their time and resources.
Collaboration is the key
Successful (and sustainable) brand advocacy programs are built on a network of mutually beneficial relationships. To create groundswell, it’s critical for all the groups involved to understand each others’ needs – and the best way to do this is to get people together in a room to talk through what’s possible and where brand advocacy can support business objectives.
If you want to fast-forward and find out the other steps to choosing the right advocate marketing software, download the full whitepaper below…