Comparing Advocate Marketing Software


Textbox Section

Advocate Marketing Tools Comparison Matrix


Advocate Marketing is a new field of marketing (only 20% of companies have an advocate marketing program) and prospective customers often find it difficult to evaluate which technology is right for them: few customers in the market have a deep understanding of the features and functions that advocate marketing solutions employ.

The criteria list and comparison matrix below were produced by a CustomerAdvocacy.com customer as part of their technology evaluation process. It focuses on the main feature areas that they used to evaluate four short-listed advocate marketing solutions. They showed us this matrix and we asked if we could publish it as a framework to help other prospects. They agreed, but didn’t want to be named as they felt that it might publicly expose too much information about their objectives.

Their evaluation process began with a larger number of advocate marketing vendors which was reduced to four for an in-depth analysis against their pre-determined requirements (Influitive vs CustomerAdvocacy.com vs Social Chorus vs NextBee). They used weightings against each area to help them quantify the importance of each functional area to their own organization (critical/priority/valuable). We have omitted these weightings as each organization has different requirement priorities.

This is a snapshot of the key features and functions of advocate marketing tools that was taken at the time the customer was evaluating the market. In this instance, the customer’s requirements were a perfect match with CustomerAdvocacy.com. Your organization’s requirements will inevitably take a different shape, with different features and priorities, but we hope this matrix will help you on your evaluation journey. You can also download the advocate marketing tools evaluation template document to help get you started.

Evaluation Criteria


Textbox Section

B2B or B2C?

 

Designed to support B2B marketing?

 

Ease of Use

 

Can we manage the system on our own? Minimal upfront training for users and administrator. No ongoing requirement for external services.

 

Segmentation

 

Easy segmentation of the advocate audience to target tailored challenges based on rich profile criteria.

 

Basic Leaderboards

 

Out-of-the-box advocate leaderboard.

 

Configurable Leaderboards

 

Configure leaderboards and see weekly, monthly, all time, by department, group and other custom criteria.

 

Basic Gamification

 

Basic game mechanics (points, badges, levels, leaderboards and rewards) to drive advocate engagement.

 

Advanced Gamification

 

Ability to define new game elements (without the need for technical skills) to create the challenges and rewards that work best for different customer segments.

 

Basic Activity Feed

 

See what other advocates are doing in the system.

 

Actionable Activity Feed

 

Comment/like/share content from other advocates directly from the feed.

 

Peer Community

 

Supports interaction/discussion amongst the customer/advocate community.

 

Social Sharing

 

Easy sharing of content and messages directly to customers’ social accounts.

 

Digest Emails

 

Configurable digest emails to drive engagement and draw user back into the advocacy system. The look and feel should be configurable to align with our brand guidelines. Advocates should be able to adjust their own digest settings.

 

Basic Notifications

 

Can we send update messages to target customer/advocate segments?

 

Custom Notifications

 

Edit all outbound messages going to advocates to align with our brand.

 

Basic Reference Management

 

Ask an advocate to provide a customer reference.

 

Advanced Reference Management

 

Allow salespeople to query the advocate database, kick-off a reference request from within the CRM tool, and track progress.

 

Graphical Workflows

 

Build automated program flows, allowing us to create advocacy “tracks” for specific community segments.

 

Basic CRM Integration

 

Integrates with our CRM for basic lead forwarding?

 

Deep CRM Integration

 

Integrates with our CRM tool to mirror/synchronize advocate history, reference history and referrals, and let CRM users perform key system tasks natively?

 

Basic Reporting

 

Reporting on engagement levels and individual challenges.

 

Advanced Analytics

 

Full audit trail of advocate history. Analysis of advocates’ favourite challenges and individual strengths/weaknesses. Deeper analysis to identify new strategies and guide continual improvement.

 

Role-based Privileges

 

Set up different marketing users with appropriate access levels.

 

Advocate Privacy

 

Advocates choose their visibility/anonymity and interaction preferences?

 

Employee Engagement

 

Is it flexible enough to support internal employee engagement (HR & Training Processes, Feedback Collection, Social Sharing and Idea Generation) with each community securely partitioned?

 

Implementation Services

 

Vendors must be able to support implementation within our planned timescale.

 

Vendor Viability

 

Is the vendor sufficiently mature to deliver the implementation, regular updates and support?

 

Advocate Marketing Tools Evaluation Matrix


Textbox Section

"NextBee", "Influitive" and "SocialChorus" are registered trademarks of Next Bee Corporation, Influitive Corporation and SocialChorus, Inc. respectively.

The Customer's Evaluation Journey


The customer was facing a number of key challenges that triggered investigation into advocate marketing solutions. The sales team were losing deals because they weren't able to get customer references fast enough, and the usual customer references were burning out under pressure. The sales and marketing guys knew they needed to extend their pool of reference customers and establish a slicker process to get the references they needed - on time, every time. Reference Management was some common ground on which the sales and marketing people were 100% agreed.

The marketing guys were fighting a number of battles. They needed to leverage their content more effectively to squeeze more leads out of their content investments. They needed to increase the quality of content by weaving in more authentic user stories. And they wanted to amplify customer word-of-mouth recommendations to drive sales.

They researched a number of advocate marketing solutions and went through an iterative process of defining their requirements based on what they needed to do, and the current state of the art. During this process, the opportunities for future growth of their advocate marketing program emerged and they wanted to future-proof their solution choice by including employee advocacy requirements. The platform would need to be flexible enough to segment different community groups. As a B2B organization, they favored tools with a B2B pedegree, but also considered B2C tools that might be flexible enough to support their needs. The solution would have to integrate with the CRM tool to give salespeople visibility of what was going on. They didn't want yet another system to deal with. They had to have the data and reference management functions within their own environment. So easy CRM integration was a high priority.

With a clear view of what they needed, their long-list was easily whittled down to a short-list of four: NextBee vs Influitive vs Social Chorus vs CustomerAdvocacy.com. Using their evalution matrix, it became obvious that CustomerAdvocacy.com was the best fit for their requirements.


Download the evaluation template

DOWNLOAD

WHITEPAPER: 7 steps to choosing the right advocate marketing software

The right advocate marketing software will help you drive word-of-mouth recommendations, extend your marketing reach, establish a winning reference management program, and deliver customer-oriented product innovation.

READ THE WHITEPAPER

G2Crowd:
"High Performer"

CustomerAdvocacy.com named a High Performer in G2 Crowd's Brand Advocacy Software Grid, Spring 2016

See the grid