Advocate Marketing: An Overview: Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit September 19, 2013


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Did you know that 75% of the B2B buying process is complete before the buyer ever interacts with a company? In today's world, buyers rely on knowledgeable peers with experience with your products and service first and your marketing/sales collateral last.

Chad Horenfeldt, Director, Customer Operations @Influitive and Fred Bals, Customer Program Advocacy Manager @Ektron discuss why customer advocacy is the best way to market your company and how you can build a customer advocacy program harnessing the energies of your best customers

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  • In today’s connected world, the last person your buyer is going to talk to is your sales rep.
  • Let’s visualize this. This person talks to that person etc..In today’s connected world, the last person your buyer is going to talk to is your sales rep. They’re going to talk to your customers – so it seems kinda crazy to leave those conversations to chance! Advocate Marketing is a discipline that puts your best customers at the center of your marketing and sales efforts – where they can sell on your behalf. It involves tools and best practices that are proven to accelerate revenue growth and offer a better buyer experience. What are the benefits of advocate marketing?People trust their peers more than salespeople. Tapping into trust can benefit your business in so many ways:Faster sales cyclesBetter buy experienceBetter brand recognition & reputationMore high quality referral leadsHigher customer lifetime valueBigger deal sizes Lower lead generation & sales costsSimpler management & mobilization of customer referencesHigher customer satisfaction
  • Source: Google Study, “The evolving path of today’s tech B2B customer” Sept. 2012 Getting customers to talk about their positive experiences with your product isn't a nice to have - it's a key component of any demand gen plan. For b2b marketers, every day brings new opportunities to get customers talking about products in forums where they will be heard. We track a list of more than 2 dozen such sites right now – but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Every marketer on this webinar should know who their target audience is, and where they ‘hang out’ on the web to learn about your products and services. And then you need to drive your advocates there. Because it works.
  • Source: SatMetrix. B2B marketers focused on capturing high quality leads continue to leave a huge hole in their demand plans by ignoring the power of advocate marketing to drive referral business. In company after company we talk to, referrals are a forgotten tactic or a poorly used one at best. Yes everyone agrees that referred deals are higher quality, move faster through the buying process and make better customers. So why aren't there more (and better) referral programs.
  • Source:Optify study “B2B Content Marketing Trends – 2012 Survey Results”This really shouldn’t be that surprising. In 2011, Google introduced a term the “Zero Moment of Truth.” Coined by Google in their 2011 eBook “ZMOT”, the term refers to the moment in the purchase cycle between the stimulus (what alerts you of a product, like an ad) and first moment of truth (a term used by Proctor & Gamble to refer to the decision to purchase). The zero moment of truth (ZMOT) refers to the point in the buying cycle when the consumer researches a product, often before the seller even knows that they exist. The number of consumers researching a product online prior to purchase has been on the rise in recent years as the internet and mobile continue to advance. In 2011, the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information before making a purchase decision, compared to half as many sources in 2010 (ZMOT, 2011).While Google primarily used B2C references, the ZMOT has enormous implications for B2B. Lead nurturing exists primarily because B2B buyers haven’t reached the SMOT just yet. And when they do, they are going to want authentic customer opinions and reviews of products and services. And so, case studies driving the effectiveness of lead nurturing.
  • Ektron overview
  • So, I hope that all of you are convinced that you should be considering an advocate program, and that it’s completely acceptable to bring this up with your executive team.
  • Advocate Marketing: An Overview: Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit September 19, 2013

    1. 1. Advocate Marketing: An Overview Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit Baltimore, MD September 19, 2013 Chad Horenfeldt @chadhorenfeldt Director, Customer Operations @Influitive Fred Bals @fredatektron Manager, Media & Customer Relationship Programs @Ektron
    2. 2. 2 @chadhorenfeldt SELECT CUSTOMERS: About Influitive 2013 Cool Vendor in Social Marketing Influitive helps B2B marketers recruit, mobilize and recognize an army of advocates that outsell their best sales reps. WHO WE ARE: • Founded in 2010 • Toronto, Bay Area and Boston • >$11M raised from top tier investors
    3. 3. 3 @chadhorenfeldt Marketers are no longer in control of the buying process 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 2006 2010 2014F Dependence on knowledgeable peers in the buying process (B2B software buyers) Initiates process Initiates contact Purchase complete 75% of buying process complete before B2B buying interacts with company! 75% 25%
    4. 4. Advocate reviews ATTRACT buyers Fact: 60% of tech B2B customers search for peer testimonials/reviews of a product
    5. 5. 6 Advocate reviews attract buyers Xactly‟s FOX program drove 262 LinkedIn reviews, follows, and shares, making it one of the most visited profiles in 2012.
    6. 6. Advocates refer the best leads Fact: Your biggest fans spend 13% more than the average customer and refer business equal to 45% of the money they spend
    7. 7. Advocates help you capture the best leads 200+ referrals $180,000 pipeline 5% conversion rate “The biggest untapped resource is your existing customer base.” Jeff Linton, Act-ON $80,000 (Closed) In 6 months, Act-On’s referral program drove $180K in pipeline
    8. 8. Nothing nurtures better than customer success stories Fact: B2B marketers cite case studies (78%), followed by white papers (73%), and in-person events (72%) as the most effective content for lead nurturing.
    9. 9. 11 @chadhorenfeldt Referrals Product reviewsBlog comments “Hey can you help me with …?” ReferencesRetweets, like s, shares Discover Consider Purchase Retain Inspire Media interviews User groups Product surveys Customer Advisory Boards Analyst interviews
    10. 10. 12 @chadhorenfeldt
    11. 11. 13 @chadhorenfeldt Experience is poor for advocates today What advocates seek: Status Recognition Career value Connections Part of the team Reputation Perks Feedback What advocates get: Neglect + Abuse = Annoyed Leads to Advocate disengagement
    12. 12. Fred Bals: Customer Advocacy Manager at  Enterprise Content Management  Digital Experience Software
    13. 13. • Founded in 1998 • Headquarters in Greater Boston area - Offices in Australia and the United Kingdom • 200+ Employees • Over 3,800 customers and 12,000 sites MISSION: Empower marketers through best-in-class solutions for WCM and DXM WEB CONTENT MANAGEMENT Create, deploy, and manage enterprise- scale, global, dynamic websites. DIGITAL EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT Personalize, analyze, and optimize content delivery to digital channels – web, mobile, and social. About Ektron
    14. 14. • A community for Ektron fans and followers • Influence Ektron through participation in betas, surveys and questions • Recognition from Ektron through perks and special programs Ektron Inner Circle Program
    15. 15. "Our first job in marketing is to help empower our fans to bring others on-board. That's what makes us grow.“ ~ Ken Gullicksen, Evernote COO OUR GOALS • Nurture our advocates • Grow our relationships with them • Learn from them • Broadcast their advocacy of Ektron to our markets Who are Ektron’s advocates? Customers – Developers, Designers, Content Authors, Administrators, Marketing and other roles Partners – Developers, Sales, Marketing and other roles Employees – Everyone at Ektron
    16. 16. Invite customers, part ners, employee s Mobilize them to complete „challenges‟ Recognize their achievements Customer Advocacy in Action: The Inner Circle helps Ektron recruit, manage, and acknowledge its advocates “I could not do my job without the Inner Circle”
    17. 17. THE OBJECTIVE: Ektron‟s annual SYNERGY Customer Conference: We needed to make it more Customer-Centric
    18. 18. CHALLENGE: VIDEOS Crowd-source the “I am Ektron” customer videos to be shown at the opening keynote. No Recruiting! Videos collected on the spot. 40 “I am Ektron” Videos Collected.
    19. 19. CHALLENGE: FUN Mobilize attendees to build “one great song” for keynote breaks. “…One of the most popular challenges we‟ve ever done.”
    20. 20. CHALLENGE: AWARDS Generate huge increase in customer submissions for “Site of the Year” award.
    21. 21. CHALLENGE: CASE STUDIES Video case study interviews. Hours of footage Dozens of interviews
    22. 22. • Over 200 reference contacts coordinated through EIC • 50+ nominations for 2012 Site of the Year • 73 sign-ups to participate in Beta Programs • Feedback on Aloha Editor, eSync, Ektron Support • 247 Tweets, 25 LinkedIn recommendations, Dozens of survey responses, testimonials, quotes, etc. EIC in Action
    23. 23. Download the Advocate Marketing Playbook Questions? Need more information? @chadhorenfeldt @FredatEktron