The Tool Shed Blog

Customer Advocacy Definition: Core Insights for Business Impact

Brand advocacy is an important aspect of building a successful business, and it can be defined as a focus on what's best for customers rather than what's best for the company. This can take many forms, from sending a handwritten note with a purchase to offering weekend hours to accommodate customers who work during the week.

It's important to note that brand advocacy is not just for companies - many associations, singers, actors, and thought leaders also use advocacy strategies to build their personal brands. Without brand advocacy, we may not know Gandhi, Malala, or Michael Jackson as the public figures they are today.

But how do you build brand advocacy? And how can you control it? These are excellent questions, and in this article, we'll go over the best questions to ask yourself in order to start building a brand advocacy strategy. By answering these questions, you can create a plan that will help you retain loyal customers and bring in new ones through word-of-mouth referrals.

First, it's important to understand the difference between a fan and an advocate. While both may love your brand, fans may not stick with you through tough times, whereas advocates will defend you and your business no matter what. To build brand advocacy, you need to focus on creating a positive customer experience that keeps your customers coming back for more.

You should also consider how you can make it easy for customers to share their positive experiences with others. This could involve providing incentives for customers to refer their friends and family to your business, or simply making it easy for them to leave positive reviews and ratings on social media and review sites.

Ultimately, building brand advocacy takes time and effort, but it's well worth it. By creating a loyal base of advocates, you can improve customer retention, attract new customers, and ultimately drive growth for your business.

Let's start off with our journey to brand advocacy!

When embarking on a new project, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the tasks and responsibilities that come with it. That's why it's important to break the project down into small, manageable pieces and set small milestones to help you stay on track. This can help you to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the project.

But building a successful project is about more than just breaking it down into smaller pieces. It's also about making sure that every aspect of your project - from your website and social media channels to the level of customer service you provide - is aligned with your goals and supports your overall vision.

To ensure that your project is on the right track, it's helpful to ask yourself some key questions. What are your goals for the project? What steps do you need to take to reach those goals? And how can you ensure that every aspect of your project is aligned with your vision?

By answering these questions, you can create a roadmap for your project that will help you stay focused and on track. And by constantly revisiting your goals and strategies, you can make sure that your project stays on the right path and continues to move forward.

How do I generate brand advocates?

A customer usually falls in love with your brand because you're doing something different than the rest of the brands offering the same thing out there. To be completely effective in this, it is crucial to know what is working and then figure out ways to magnify what works in a way that will have even the most loyal of our customers craving for more!

A great example of this is at the supermarket.

Anywhere you live, you probably have 4 or 5 choices of supermarkets, if not more. However, you probably visit the same one almost every time it's time to get the groceries. Have you ever asked yourself why? Is it because they post regularly on social media about their offers? Is it because they keep their space sparkling clean? Is it because of the product choice? Or maybe because of small and simple details such as their late closing time on week-days! Brand advocacy is not about changing your brand from head to toe, it is about identifying how can you make the buyer's journey a smooth and enjoyable one.

Where does my marketing strategy stop?

By experience, I've seen most companies, most marketers and most marketing strategies focus solely on customer conversion, it's like they're throwing all these ads, all these social media posts, all these offers out to the world for a customer to make a decision, but once someone has paid and become a customer, what happens?

Typically, nothing happens.

One common mistake that many companies and marketers make is focusing solely on customer conversion, without considering what happens after a customer makes a purchase. This can lead to a lack of customer engagement and loyalty, which can be damaging to your business in the long run.

To avoid this, it's important to include a customer advocacy program in your marketing strategy. This means not only converting customers, but also nurturing and delighting them so that they become lifelong advocates for your brand. This can help to prevent "buyer's remorse" and build a loyal customer base that will continue to support your business.

But how do you create a successful customer advocacy program? The first step is to identify your buyer persona and understand what they value most about your brand. This will help you to create a customer journey that is tailored to their needs and preferences, and will make them more likely to become advocates for your brand.

Once you have identified your buyer persona, you can use a variety of channels to nurture and engage your customers, such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing. These channels can help you to build a strong relationship with your customers and keep them coming back for more.

Ultimately, building a successful customer advocacy program takes time and effort, but it can be a powerful tool for driving growth and success for your business. By delighting and engaging your customers, you can create a loyal and enthusiastic base of advocates who will help to spread the word about your brand and bring in new customers.

The final outcome is, do your research, find out what may work, test it out, and iterate.

How can you know more about what your customer expects?

Ask them! Resources such as hotjar, survey monkey or the service hub from Hubspot may help you gain more insights from your customers experiences with your company through forms or interactive survey content.

If you already have your buyer persona defined, but you can't seem to understand what are they expecting, maybe it is time to change your approach and iterate as you go.

Like everything in marketing, this is not a static process. Things will change, and you must be flexible enough to go with the flow.

If you're not sure about what your customers are expecting, get them involved!

User-generated content is a great way to form meaningful, long-term relationships with your customers as they will feel valued and heard by your brand, and who doesn't like to feel that a company is taking in customers' opinions?

One of my favorite singers ever did this when she released an album a while back.

Marina Diamandis, better known by her stage name MARINA, released her Album LOVE + FEAR back in early 2019. She has a special relationship with her fanbase, making it a priority to interact with them.

In an aim to increase her visibility when releasing the first single of the album, Marina released the first official video of this album, and later on, she opened up a request to her fans to send her fan made videos to recreate a new version of the music video. The original title of the song and video is "Handmade Heaven" which later on changed for the fanmade music video to "Fanmade Heaven" making fans go crazy with happiness and emotion as their favorite singer was engaging with them on such a deep level.

Marina has a substantial fanbase not based specifically on her popularity or number of magazine covers but based on online interaction and user-generated content strategies, which ultimately created a more positive image and authority of her name online.

Other things to consider when thinking about what your customers expect out of your brand are things such as: what times are my customers most active online? If you're preparing this for a physical location, what time is my place the most full? How can I measure if a customer is satisfied with their purchase or not? Do I have enough brand awareness on social media and online overall?

These questions will not always have the most beautiful answers but will surely make you take a step forward in the right direction.

Are my efforts just external, or are they coming from the inside?

This is a weird question to think about, and I always like to refer back to one of my favorite quotes ever for this:

"Take care of your employees, and they'll take care of your business," Says Richard Branson

I am explicitly referring to employee advocacy, and while this concept is a topic for an entirely new article, I couldn't just leave it off this list.

I believe that a happy and enthusiastic employee will always outperform one who is drained and unhappy. This is especially true in the customer service department, where a positive attitude can make a huge difference in the customer experience.

But employee happiness and satisfaction is not just the responsibility of the customer service department. In fact, every department and employee plays a crucial role in creating a positive work environment that leads to better performance and customer satisfaction.

Think of a company like a machine, with every small piece working together to make the whole thing run smoothly. When one part is not functioning properly, it can affect the entire machine. In the same way, when employees are not happy and engaged, it can have a negative impact on the customer experience.

That's why it's so important to focus on building employee advocacy and creating a positive work culture. When employees are happy and engaged, they will be more likely to provide excellent customer service, which in turn can lead to loyal and satisfied customers. And when customers are happy with their experience, they are more likely to return to your business and spread the word to others.

In short, building employee advocacy is crucial for creating a successful customer advocacy program. By prioritizing the happiness and engagement of your employees, you can create a positive chain reaction that leads to better performance, satisfied customers, and long-term success for your business.

To wrap it all up, customer advocacy is no easy thing, but I'm happy I could walk you through a lot of the elements and important questions that you may want to consider when talking about this topic. Every small effort you make will results in huge rewards in the long run, and it may be that not all of them are effective, but with patience, dedication, and the right targeting, your customers will keep coming back every time!

Happy advocacy marketing!

Having issues keeping your customers craving for more? At gardenpatch, we focus on creating assets and strategies that will drive and promote advocacy and loyalty to your brand. Let's talk and figure out a tailored solution for your business!



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