CUSPERA

Advocacy Marketing Software 2020: A Complete Guide

What is Advocacy Marketing?

Advocacy marketing is the process of leveraging the customer-speak to power your new customer acquisition. Advocacy marketing requires first that you have happy customers, then they help you gain market share.

Advocacy Marketing is about getting your most enthusiastic existing customers to talk about and evangelize your company and its products. Referral marketing is about positive peer to peer influence that can be brought about by your current customers on potential new customers. Thus, Advocacy marketing works at a group level – and meant to scale for the brand, referral marketing works at a personal level. As you can see, these two types of marketing go hand in hand and can’t be cleanly separated.

One of the best examples of Advocacy marketing is how Apple used the photos shot on the iPhone by its customers on billboards, public transit as a way to evangelize the iPhone camera capabilities.

“Eighty-three percent of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family,” according to the Nielsen Global Trust (2015). This statistic is about referral marketing. Apple handpicking 70 odd photos out of thousands submitted from 24 countries for their advertisement campaign is Advocacy marketing.

Traditionally, advocacy marketing focused on case studies and testimonials. In the new world, order, vlogs, videos, blogs all come into play.

How does one recruit an advocate? Of course, one would have to ask – ask a satisfied customer. It will significantly help if it is fun to advocate your brand, not a tedious affair.

Along with gaining advocates who are ready to champion your cause, you should also ensure that you can make the advocacy visible where it makes sense – on your product, a website, your social media page, so on.

Finally, it is essential to acknowledge and recognize your advocates.

Advocacy marketing works because one gets to hear the message from different sources. The more people advocate you, the newer potential customers likely to trust the recommendation.

Another reason for advocacy marketing to work is the fact that when one is not a subject matter expert can’t make a choice based on their own knowledge, one tends to seek out opinions.

Here are some great examples that you would want to look up to gain more understanding:

  • #tweetacoffee campaign by Starbucks
  • KBC’s campaign on using WhatsApp to interact with the bank
  • Tesla’s referral program
  • “Shot on iPhone” campaign by Apple

An IDC report, How To Achieve Customer Advocacy Program Success in 2017, has found that customer advocacy programs have grown 570 percent year over year among B2B vendors.

That has shifted a lot with social media and with the idea of applying gamification to allow companies to thank, reward, and recognize customers for doing things for them

L R

Laura Ramos

Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester

Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy is a type of Advocacy Marketing. Employees know the business and products. In other words, they have inside knowledge. Customers seeking insights perceive this inside knowledge as valuable.

The bulk of employee advocacy happens on social media, and there are now efforts to organize and channel the same.

As in the case of a customer advocacy program, this type of advocacy requires guidelines, support, rewards, so on.

“Content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels” per Social Media Today

“Leads developed through employee social marketing convert 7x more frequently than other leads.” per Marketing Advisory Network

Finally, we can say that ad clutter and the emergence of influential social media have led to the strengthening of the advocacy marketing position. Advocacy marketing avoids ad clutter and able to reach the target audience. The pervasive use of social media led to an entirely new focus for advocacy – Social Media Advocacy.

Social Media Advocacy

Advocacy marketing used to be about testimonials, so on. Now, with the all-pervasive social media, “Social Media Advocacy” has gained a significant edge. Social Media Advocacy is simply about leveraging customers, that are delighted with your product, on social media. With Social Media Advocacy, you would add a qualifying criterion of social media presence while selecting the advocates. In social media advocacy, you not only need to be good at advocacy marketing but have a nuanced understanding of working the social media. However, having a strong social media presence for the brand is a prerequisite for social media advocacy.

You would need to assess which regulations, if any, apply to Social Media Advocacy. As an example, healthcare has one of the most complex regulations in place. HIPAA has stringent rules on how health-based companies should operate in the digital world.

Other regulatory bodies that we recommend you consider are:

  • FTC (the Federal Trade Commission) - Make all reasonable efforts to know what endorsed partners and advocates are saying about your brand
  • FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)
  • The Office for Civil Rights (HIPAA)
  • SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission) - Maintain all social communication records

Benefits of Advocacy Marketing

What is the objective of the advocacy program?

  • If it is a short-term objective (as an example, a new product launch) of quickly creating awareness, then solutions such as a Celebrity Endorsement work well.
  • If the objective has a longer-term horizon such as sustained customer acquisition, then an advocacy program best fits the bill, but it does take more effort to build.
Benefits of Advocacy Marketing

Your best advocates are those who genuinely love your offering. While you should have rewards and recognition for your advocates, their advocacy shouldn’t be paid endorsements.

Advocacy marketing helps validate the brand, building trust that the brand delivers to its promises. Advocacy marketing thus effectively helps create trusted channels for your potential customers.

UGC (user-generated content) can help drive more brand engagement. Advocacy marketing will then automatically help increase brand engagement as it relies on UGC by the advocates.

Advocacy marketing has been benchmarked to reduce customer acquisition costs.

There is a less well-known benefit of advocacy marketing increases brand loyalty among your most ardent customers – perhaps because of their increased engagement with the brand.

Advocacy marketing has a role in improving the customer experience as it involves active engagement with the customers and their profiles. Different teams in the company can use this data.

In a B2B context, advocates share best practices and thereby help create a customer community. With the pervasive use of social media for customer support, this sharing practice is highly beneficial to your customer base.

MVP customer program has more than 180 advocates contributing roughly 80 percent of community content and answering more than 35 percent of online forum questions.

S

Salesforce.com

Salesforce.com

Advocacy marketing can’t help a bad product gain market share. However, when the product has a differentiated value proposition or a new introduction, advocacy marketing can give that product a good marketing boost.

What is Advocacy Marketing Software?

Advocacy marketing software can help you find an advocate from among your loyal customer base, and engage with them. It can also segment them so you can personalize your approach to the advocates.

The software will also serve as a repository of all the social and online proof that is now available for your organizational use.

Companies are struggling to actually measure brand advocacy in the market and to demonstrate its impact. For that reason, the Boston Consulting Group created a tool called the Brand Advocacy Index (BAI), which measures brand advocacy with precision, displays a strong correlation with top-line growth, and helps companies identify actionable steps to take to improve brand advocacy.

L B

Leah Bury

The product will also be a way to increase customer engagement with your brand. This engagement, for instance, can make your product more customer-centric.

It will also help manage and drive community-driven discussions. (A right solution will have support for many different advocacy channels from Facebook to blog posts).

It will also help with campaign management - creation, promotion, dissemination, and tracking.

Some of the advanced software has gamification built in to make the advocacy a fun engagement. Rewards fulfillment is also part of such software solutions.

The software solutions typically focus either on customer-led advocacy or employee-led advocacy.

Which are the industries and users that benefit Advocacy Marketing Software?

Marketing or advocacy teams in a wide range of industries use an Advocacy marketing software.

Advocacy as a medium is widely used in influencing government policies, as well as in charitable fund-raising.

Buyers Guide - Guide to choosing an Advocacy Marketing Software

While searching for the Advocacy Marketing Software, you need to upfront factor in

  • Ability to customize workflows, access control, recruitment and registration of advocates
  • Information sharing portal
  • Need for simultaneous campaigns with different goals/segments, so on.
  • Reward management
  • Types of Advocates (Employees, Customers, Partners)
  • Advocacy channels supported

One critical dimension, often ignored, is the volume and velocity side of advocacy marketing. How many messages? How frequently does the messaging happen? How many advocates? How regularly does the list of advocates change? You need to factor how these will change over time, as it will determine the scale that needs to be handled by the product.

Please consider the social media advocacy dimensions discussed earlier in the document

Integrations with your existing software stack in another vital consideration – reward fulfillment platforms, marketing automation, content management system, so on.

It is essential to evaluate whether the particular advocacy marketing software has any vertical, geo, or another kind of a focus that makes it more suitable for your needs. Advocates typically have a narrow vertical, geo, market (mid-market vs. enterprise vs. small) profile. Your chosen solution should be able to help you select these advocates based on this dimension.

There is also the distinction on whether the software will be on the cloud or on-premises.

Finally, evaluate whether the benefits of AI in the selected software provide excellent ROI.

Some of the well-known players in Advocacy marketing are Ambassify, GaggleAMP, Influitive AdvocateHub, Hootsuite, Bambu by Sprout Social, Swagbucks, so on

Challenges in Deploying an Advocacy Marketing Software Solution

  • Keeping the Personal Element intact is a crucial challenge as you grow your advocacy marketing. Building a relationship with each of the advocates, personalizing them can make a big difference to the success of the program.
  • If you are running an employee advocacy program:
  • Getting them to think that they co-own advocacy marketing is a big step and requires change management.
  • Employees also fear of making missteps. A program that provides support to the employees in such a dilemma will help employees participate more readily.
  • Employees are not always aware of the regulatory requirements. You will want to decide if you need some sort of curation of the employee published content.
  • Identifying the right advocates is not easy. Some known approaches to determining the advocates are:
  • Mining the social media data for your brand to see if you can id the ambassadors.
  • Run a marketing campaign to help surface the brand advocates. (Starbucks did this with their #tweetacoffee campaign)

Advances in Advocacy Marketing

Marketing increasingly more about a conversation than broadcasting. Advocacy program falls right in place from that perspective, especially when you listen to the feedback coming from the advocacy channels.

Advocacy Marketing and AI

AI-based tools are emerging to mine and identify possible brand ambassadors from the wealth of online data, including social media. This effort involves identifying the right kind of profiles and what the customers think about the brand, so on. This approach also seems to eliminate fraudulent participants. (In influencer marketing, brand affinity and content analysis are already part of AI-based solutions).

ROI for Advocacy Marketing

Return on Word of Mouth says that the report found that “Word of mouth drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is responsible for an average of 13 percent of sales!

B F

Brad Fay

COO, Keller Fay Group

App Data Room reports that a 12% increase in advocacy generates a 200% increase in revenue growth rate.

Customers referred by other customers, have a 37% higher retention rate. (Source: Deloitte)

“Robust advocacy-marketing programs are achieving significant revenue gains—10 to 20 percent for established products and up to 100 percent for new products”, according to BCG's research

Top 48 Advocacy Marketing Software

OSI Affiliate Software Icon

OSI Affiliate Software

4.72
★★★★★
★★★★★

Affiliate Software Features

Advocatehub Icon

Advocatehub

4.62
★★★★★
★★★★★

Influitive Advocatehub | Turbocharge your Customer Marketing and Advocacy Programs

Sociabble Icon

Sociabble

4.57
★★★★★
★★★★★

Sociabble: The Employee Communications and Advocacy Platform

Bambu by Sprout Social Icon

Bambu by Sprout Social

4.55
★★★★★
★★★★★

The easiest employee advocacy platform

MarketBeam Icon

MarketBeam

4.51
★★★★★
★★★★★

Social Media Marketing & Social Media Management Dashboard - Market Beam

Smarp Icon

Smarp

4.45
★★★★★
★★★★★

Drive Employee Engagement and Advocacy With Smarp

PostBeyond Icon

PostBeyond

4.45
★★★★★
★★★★★

PostBeyond: Employee Advocacy & Social Selling

EveryoneSocial Icon

EveryoneSocial

4.44
★★★★★
★★★★★

EveryoneSocial: The Leading Employee Advocacy & Social Selling ...

Ambassify Icon

Ambassify

4.41
★★★★★
★★★★★

Ambassify: Your Employee Engagement and Advocacy solution

DrumUp Icon

DrumUp

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

DrumUp - Content Marketing & Social Media Management Tool

Ambassador Icon

Ambassador

4.37
★★★★★
★★★★★

Ambassador | All-in-One Relationship Marketing Platform. Run referral, affiliate, influencer and partner, marketing programs on one platform

Socialchorus Icon

Socialchorus

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★

SocialChorus: Top Workforce Communications Platform for the ...

GaggleAMP Icon

GaggleAMP

4.35
★★★★★
★★★★★

GaggleAMP: Employee Advocacy and Engagement Amplification ...

Zuberance Advocate Marketing Icon

Zuberance Advocate Marketing

4.30
★★★★★
★★★★★

Zuberance - Advocate Marketing Experts

Grapevine6 Icon

Grapevine6

4.29
★★★★★
★★★★★

Grapevine6 | Enterprise social and digital sales engagement platform

Dynamic Signal Employee Communication Icon

Dynamic Signal Employee Communication

4.26
★★★★★
★★★★★

Dynamic Signal: Your Employee Communication and Engagement ...

ExpertVoice Icon

ExpertVoice

4.25
★★★★★
★★★★★

The worlds largest advocacy marketing network - ExpertVoice

BrandChamp Icon

BrandChamp

4.17
★★★★★
★★★★★

BrandChamp | Influencer Management Simplified build, manage and scale marketing activities with customers and ambassadors

Bunchball Nitro Icon

Bunchball Nitro

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Bunchball Nitro | Drive engagement with the leading enterprise gamification platform

Flocktory Icon

Flocktory

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Complete marketing platform for the entire customer lifecycle - Flocktory

socxo Icon

socxo

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Collective power of social media influence - SOCXO

SocialToaster Icon

SocialToaster

3.96
★★★★★
★★★★★

SocialToaster | The Leading Global Influencer Advocacy Platform

Swagbucks Icon

Swagbucks

3.81
★★★★★
★★★★★

Swagbucks - Free Gift Cards for Paid Surveys and More

Needle Icon

Needle

3.79
★★★★★
★★★★★

Needle: Ecommerce Live Chat Powered by Brand Advocates

NiceJob Icon

NiceJob

4.80
★★★★★
★★★★★

NiceJob | Get More Reviews. Build a Great Reputation

Tapfiliate Affiliate Tracking Icon

Tapfiliate Affiliate Tracking

4.56
★★★★★
★★★★★

Tapfiliate: Affiliate Tracking Software

Oktopost Icon

Oktopost

4.44
★★★★★
★★★★★

Oktopost: The Social Media Management Platform for B2B Enterprises

Higher Logic Online Community Icon

Higher Logic Online Community

4.43
★★★★★
★★★★★

The ultimate engagement tool - Higher Logic

smile.io Icon

smile.io

4.42
★★★★★
★★★★★

Smile.io | Smile rewards | Build customer loyalty

Yotpo Icon

Yotpo

4.42
★★★★★
★★★★★

Yotpo: Commerce Marketing Cloud

Frontline Selling Icon

Frontline Selling

4.40
★★★★★
★★★★★

FRONTLINE Selling - Sales prospecting experts laser-focused on making team more effective at generating pipeline and closing more deals

Chirpify Icon

Chirpify

4.37
★★★★★
★★★★★

The Engagement Loyalty Platform - Chirpify

Act-On Icon

Act-On

4.35
★★★★★
★★★★★

Act-On: Marketing Automation Software. Generate more leads, better opportunities, and increased revenue in weeks

Gremlin Social Icon

Gremlin Social

4.30
★★★★★
★★★★★

Social Media Management and Compliance Software for Banks | Gremlin Social

Antavo Icon

Antavo

4.29
★★★★★
★★★★★

Antavo | Sophisticated and flexible loyalty system

Perkville Icon

Perkville

4.23
★★★★★
★★★★★

Perkville: Rewards and Loyalty

Hootsuite Icon

Hootsuite

4.23
★★★★★
★★★★★

Hootsuite: Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard

WeLikeIt Icon

WeLikeIt

4.23
★★★★★
★★★★★

welikeitmedia.com - welikeit We help companies go viral.

Annex Cloud Icon

Annex Cloud

4.21
★★★★★
★★★★★

Customer Loyalty Cloud - Annex Cloud

Pay with a Tweet Icon

Pay with a Tweet

4.15
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pay with a Tweet - Referral Marketing Tool

Social HorsePower Icon

Social HorsePower

4.12
★★★★★
★★★★★

SocialHP: Organize Your Team, Get Results

PostSpeaker Icon

PostSpeaker

4.07
★★★★★
★★★★★

Features to get your content shared without the hassle. - PostSpeaker

VEMT Experience & Loyalty Cloud Icon

VEMT Experience & Loyalty Cloud

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

VEMT – The Experience & Loyalty Cloud. CX, Persuasion ...

Fielo Incentive Automation platform Icon

Fielo Incentive Automation platform

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Incentive Automation Platform - Fielo Incentive Automation

TADA Icon

TADA

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

TADA | helps to retain customers longer using memberships, subscriptions, referrals, digital rewards

Nouncy Icon

Nouncy

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Nouncy - Amplify your announcements

innercircle Icon

innercircle

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Innercircle | Identify, engage and reward to get insights and accelerate business growth

XMPie Icon

XMPie

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

XMPie: Multichannel and VDP Marketing Software