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Advocacy and Loyalty Technology Overview

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Most sales and marketing professionals will acknowledge that some of
the best-qualified leads and easiest sales to close come from word-ofmouth
referrals. There are many studies that confirm how influential and
credible this type of customer or brand advocacy is.
The old school of thinking about brand or customer advocates and
Customer Loyalty was that it occurred organically. A brand would simply
strive to delight customers, which in turn produced loyalty and hopefully
advocacy.
The new understanding is that far more customers are willing to serve
as brand advocates if it is simple enough. Getting customers to serve as
advocates on behalf of a brand no longer has to occur only organically.
There is now a nice collection of vendors with solutions that help brands
create communities to identify, nurture and reward loyal customers,
and to encourage their advocacy on behalf of a brand.
These solutions – or the collections of widgets, objects and tools for
creating custom solutions – are designed to encourage and reward
advocacy and loyalty behaviors.
The content presented in this Vendor Landscape is given to provide
marketers with an overview of Customer Advocacy and Loyalty solutions.
The goal is to enable Modern Marketing Organizations (MMOs) to make
effective investment decisions about the Advocacy and Loyalty platforms
and tools that best fit their broader Customer Engagement strategy.
We are combining our looks at Advocacy and Loyalty solutions because they
are related and often cornerstones of a Customer Engagement strategy. At
present, however, they largely exist as separate solutions in the market.
This Vendor Landscape focuses on both Customer Advocacy and
Customer Loyalty platforms.

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Advocacy and Loyalty Technology Overview

  1. 1. ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1 3 2 5 3 8 Executive Summary Advocacy and Loyalty Vendor Landscape Evolution of the Landscape ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY Technology Overview 12 11Analyst Bottom Line Technology Overview Methodology About Demand Metric 13
  3. 3. Executive Summary TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY
  4. 4. 4ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWEXECUTIVE SUMMARY Most sales and marketing professionals will acknowledge that some of the best-qualified leads and easiest sales to close come from word-of- mouth referrals. There are many studies that confirm how influential and credible this type of customer or brand advocacy is. The old school of thinking about brand or customer advocates and Customer Loyalty was that it occurred organically. A brand would simply strive to delight customers, which in turn produced loyalty and hopefully advocacy. The new understanding is that far more customers are willing to serve as brand advocates if it is simple enough. Getting customers to serve as advocates on behalf of a brand no longer has to occur only organically. There is now a nice collection of vendors with solutions that help brands create communities to identify, nurture and reward loyal customers, and to encourage their advocacy on behalf of a brand. These solutions – or the collections of widgets, objects and tools for creating custom solutions – are designed to encourage and reward advocacy and loyalty behaviors. The content presented in this Vendor Landscape is given to provide marketers with an overview of Customer Advocacy and Loyalty solutions. The goal is to enable Modern Marketing Organizations (MMOs) to make effective investment decisions about the Advocacy and Loyalty platforms and tools that best fit their broader Customer Engagement strategy. We are combining our looks at Advocacy and Loyalty solutions because they are related and often cornerstones of a Customer Engagement strategy. At present, however, they largely exist as separate solutions in the market. This Vendor Landscape focuses on both Customer Advocacy and Customer Loyalty platforms. Executive Summary
  5. 5. 5ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY Advocacy and Loyalty Vendor Landscape ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
  6. 6. 6ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY VENDOR LANDSCAPE As previously mentioned, this Vendor Landscape spans Advocacy and Loyalty solutions. Both of these solutions fall within the broader realm of Customer Engagement. They are compatible yet different. The vendors examined in this landscape tend to lean clearly toward either Advocacy or Loyalty. Even when a vendor offers solutions for both, one or the other is typically presented as a core capability or strength. The common thread between these solution types is referrals. Referral activity is the primary aim of Advocacy solutions and a secondary aim of Loyalty solutions. The primary aim of Loyalty solutions is to encourage increased purchases. Advocacy and Loyalty Vendor Landscape Download Demand Metric’s Advocacy and Loyalty Vendors Matrix to review the key vendors for each of these two solutions. This matrix includes target industries, key offerings, unique strengths and current customers for each vendor. V I E W R E S O U R C E
  7. 7. 7ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Evaluate solutions you are considering with Demand Metric’s Advocacy and Loyalty Vendor Evaluation. Loyalty Platforms These platforms allow the creation of online and social communities and infrastructure to enable customer registration in programs, track purchases (and often referrals) and provide mechanisms for earning rewards based on transactions. As with advocacy platforms, there is typically integration with social media, sources of customer data, POS systems and online stores for fulfillment of rewards. The ability to push coupons, special promotions and ads to program members often exists as well. ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY VENDOR LANDSCAPE Advocacy Platforms These platforms facilitate the creation of customer or employee advocacy portals, often creating a gamified community with tools and mechanisms for identifying brand advocates, nurturing and rewarding their advocacy through challenges, rewards and other forms of recognition. Advocacy platforms almost always have integration capabilities with key customer touch points such as websites, blogs, online communities and social media. V I E W R E S O U R C E
  8. 8. 8ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY Evolution of the Landscape TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY
  9. 9. 9ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWEVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE The early days of Advocacy and Loyalty programs were characterized by standalone portals requiring separate sign-on, activity tracking that didn’t occur in real time and monthly or quarterly paper statements summarizing member activity. Participating in such programs required intentional effort on the part of the member, and prospective members went through a sign-up consideration process before deciding if it was worth the effort to gain the benefits of membership in an Advocacy or Loyalty program. Today, Advocacy and Loyalty programs usually have distinct branding for promotional purposes, but they are seamlessly integrated – or should be – into the appropriate touch points. A customer that just had a satisfying online support experience can easily click to tweet or post about it. New customers who are delighted with a company’s products or service can join their rewards program via single or social media sign-on. For many solutions, an analytics engine monitors customer activity and pres- ents personalized challenges, coupons or offers that require only a click to activate or use. Evolution of the Landscape As these solutions continue to evolve, the analytics capability will surge in importance, and in fact, gathering and analyzing metrics may serve as a primary motivator for implementing programs. Advocacy and Loyalty programs have the capability to gather a lot of valuable data about the behaviors, sentiments and preferences of their members. The capabilities and sophistication of these solutions has matured tremen- dously, yet in most cases the Advocacy or Loyalty program is presented to members through a highly customizable, branded interface.
  10. 10. 10ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Few things are more important in marketing than gaining a deep under- standing of a firm’s most important customer segment. As these solutions continue to evolve, expect the analytics capabilities to become both a major differentiator and purchase motivator as companies try to gain new insights about their most important customers. The analytics capabilities should evolve from detailed analysis of existing Advocacy and Loyalty data to predictive analytics that help identify prospective brand advocates and loyalists – even some that are not yet customers. Another evolutionary step for these solutions is the emerging integra- tion of Voice of the Customer (VoC) and Advocacy platforms, if only for data sharing. Clare Price, VP of Research at Demand Metric has stated EVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE “Active VoC connections should do more than gauge satisfaction, they should elicit ideas. Online Community features, such as crowdsourcing and ideation that build the foundation for Advocacy, are valuable here. When tied to Gamification, these activities will enable the Community Manager to identify likely advocates for special focus and reward.” Clare Price VP of Research at Demand Metric
  11. 11. 11ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWANALYST BOTTOM LINE Analyst Bottom Line The technology that drives Advocacy and Loyalty solutions is becoming easier to use and more affordable, extending this functionality beyond the Enterprise into the realm of SMBs. Regardless of whether a solution focuses on Advocacy or Loyalty, both will help users better engage their most profitable and important segment of customers. The current solutions range from cloud-based platforms with drag-and- drop interfaces for quickly implementing a program to collections of objects and widgets for developing highly customized programs. Product and services firms alike are finding that it is increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves through technical innovation, terms and conditions and certainly price. None of these provide a sustainable advantage. What does provide a long-term, competitive advantage is providing an excellent customer experience and engaging customers to the full extent possible. Organizations that are successful doing this need to fully leverage the brand advocates and loyalists that they create. Companies should not be satisfied just letting Advocacy and Loyalty occur organically. An investment in one or both of these programs will provide measurable revenue and almost immediately accelerate brand advocacy and loyalty behavior.
  12. 12. 12ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWTECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW METHODOLOGY Technology Overview Methodology The Modern Marketing landscape is an ever-changing, ever-evolving environment in which new strategies, technologies, vendors and products appear continually. Demand Metric Technology Overviews provide marketers with a focus on a specific technology solution set or focus area so that they are armed with the knowledge, information and tools they need to develop effective strategies for their organizations. Each Technology Overview involves hours of analyst research (mainly publicly available information), is for a specific technology solution, and is usually accompanied by several practical tools. Our Customer Engagement series includes Technology Overviews on Online Event Marketing Online Communities Gamification Our practical tools are designed to provide marketers with the tools and templates they need to plan for an initiative in a given focus area, analyze the vendor landscape and select the best vendor for their organization. We provide a comprehensive overview of Customer Engagement in the companion report Customer Engagement Best Practices Report. V I E W R E S O U R C E
  13. 13. 13ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWABOUT DEMAND METRIC About Demand Metric Demand Metric is a marketing research and advisory firm serving a membership community of over 120,000 marketing profes- sionals and consultants in 75 countries. Offering consulting methodologies, advisory services, and 500+ premium marketing tools and templates, Demand Metric resources and expertise help the marketing community plan more efficiently and effectively, answer the difficult questions about their work with authority and conviction, and complete marketing projects more quickly and with greater confidence, boosting the respect of the marketing team and making it easier to justify resources the team needs to succeed. To learn more about Demand Metric, please visit www.demandmetric.com
  14. 14. 14ADVOCACY AND LOYALTY: TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEWADVOCACY AND LOYALTY © Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. www.demandmetric.com Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Join Linkedin Group

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