The world is changing.
We all know this.
Think about it: What do we do before we try a product or a service? We go and find reviews and information from others who have had experiences with those apps, companies, or restaurants.
I recently interviewed Mark Organ, co-founder and CEO of Influitive. A serial category creator, he knows that advocate marketing is one powerful tool and, if used correctly, can explode a company’s growth.
Think about watching six Hollywood movies. One thing they all have in common: emotions.
All movies send you through an array of them and they do this through the power of storytelling. Telling a good story takes work. It’s something that many companies just haven’t seemed to grasp or know how to do well. We are all human, and in business, customers can relate to stories that are authentic. Authenticity builds momentum, naturally causing people to talk about your product or your company.
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This is Advocate Marketing.
Finding Your Advocates
As a CEO, Mark believes that personally sending out LinkedIn connections requests is key. No longer should you be relying on your sales team to do this. Think connecting with just the C-suite is the way to go? Think again. Mark recommends connecting with the actual users of your products as well. Sending a message saying who you are and how you can help them, should not entail your typical sales pitch. At Influitive, they go above and beyond, making sure that they are providing strategic value to customers.
And their tactic is working. People are repeatedly reaching out saying that they can’t believe the CEO connected with them!
This simple action has created a snowball effect. People begin telling others how in tune the company is with their business needs. This continues to build and ultimately, drives them closer to higher quality leads and accounts.
Mark explained, “The best leads that we have is when our successful customers move on to other companies. I now get notifications that they have moved on and as a result, I get new leads.”
This is not your typical sales pitch.
It’s not a bait and switch.
These are genuine connections made around your own company, built on how you have helped them and provided value.
“More trust on a bigger scale. That’s what’s going to happen in the next 10 years.” – Mark Organ
The Messenger is the Message
This is the idea behind Mark’s new book, The Messenger is the Message. The future of successful organizations lies in the ones that can harness the power of advocate marketing. To be able to market through trusted associates, advocates or affiliates tells the market that we don’t have to tell you our product is great; our users will do it for us. It’s genuine and they systematically do it every single time.
Big companies are taking notice. For instance, take Lego and Tesla. These are companies that have built a culture around customer advocacy. This is their primary strategy.
Adopting advocate marketing will not only change a company’s marketing strategy, but it will directly impact their bottom line.
“Your customer acquisition is lower and lifetime value is higher because every customer you win is part of your advocate army. This is customer culture; the culture of the movement.” – Mark Organ
Advocates are building companies and they are getting built outside the walls of the c-suite.
If your product works, advocates or customers, are going to make it their mission to tell others.
[Tweet “”If your product works, advocates or customers, are going to make it their mission to tell others” #FlipMyFunnel”]
Who are these people? These are people that believe in a cause. They’re people you want to mobilize to help build the category you’re in.
It comes down to this:
- Tell your story and along the way authentically provide value.
- Connect with your customers genuinely. Don’t bait and switch them. They’ll see through that.
- Only then will you have your customers, AKA advocates, talking about you.
This post is based on an interview with Mark Organ with Influitive.
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