If you’re anything like me, you have to set explicit goals for yourself before you can get anything really important done. Not only do goals help us prioritize our actions in order to achieve the desired results, they also let us know if all that time, effort and money we’re putting into something is paying off.
Goal setting was just one of the topics ReadyTalk’s Bo Bandy and I touched on during a recent American Marketing Association Webinar about how to get your customers talking about you with advocate marketing.
Bo shared that the goals she and her colleagues set for the ReadyTalk Summit Club advocate marketing program included:increasing lead generation
• building a customer community
• boosting product feedback
• accelerating the sales cycle
• supporting other marketing tactics, such as guest blog posts, case studies and social media posts
“Our big challenge was that we wanted all of these things from every customer, but we were afraid to ask, so formalizing an advocacy program could give us a mechanism for making these asks and making them more frequently and in an important format,” Bo explained.
During the Q&A period at the end of the webinar, many of you who attended asked some fantastic questions that we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to address. Some of the most popular were around goal setting and results:
What types of goals are realistic for organizations just getting started with an advocate marketing program and how often should those goals be reassessed?
Instead of answering this question myself (yawn!), I decided to field it to Influitive’s own advocates – marketers like Bo who are currently running advocate marketing programs at their organizations.
First, decide who is your target audience. Prospects? Customers? Employees? Whatever that total number is, I recommend taking 1% of that number and have them join your advocate marketing program. Every month, try to double that number.
An advocate marketing program, if executed well, should without a doubt grow and nourish the relationship between you and your customers. As for hard and fast numbers, based on our experience, you can expect:
• About 10% to 15% of the people you invite to join your program – more if you send to an exclusive list that you already have a relationship with or who have advocated for you in the past.
• To increase the number of case studies acquired by at least 30% (in our case it was 50% initially).
• To have a fountain of content available for social material and customer references that you never had before!
Track the number of new advocates that join weekly, the types of challenges/ rewards that are most popular, and how many of your customers are willing to be references. These references can bring a huge dollar amount ROI based on deal size. It’s important to re-evaluate week-to-week and month-to-month as you start out. You can get lost in the microscope and you may have to take a step back and ask yourself, “What kind of impact has the advocacy program had on the organization this month/quarter?” You WILL see results!
Social stats (new followers, posts), revenue (new leads generated and status), new reviews, new customer references and advocate engagement. I have a dashboard in Influitive’s AdvocateHub that I watch daily to ensure we are tracking against our goals accurately. From there, I run monthly reports.
Here’s an unconventional goal that could benefit smaller companies or ones who are new to advocate marketing programs: Measure the number of people you can now engage who were not the principal buyers of your product. Here at Allocadia, our sales conversations usually involve a small team of stakeholders, but the number of end users is much higher — often in the hundreds. Our advocate program has really brought Allocadia users and fans “out of the woodwork”. Five of our top ten advocates were not involved in the buying process of our software. In fact, our #1 provider of referral leads was someone we were introduced to for the first time via the program!
To learn more about goal-setting and best practices for your advocate marketing program, get your copy of The Advocate Marketing Playbook. It’s a detailed how-to guide that provides marketers with a blueprint from which to build and manage a successful advocate marketing program.
Jim Williams is the VP of Marketing at Influitive, the advocate marketing experts. He is a veteran marketer for early- and growth-stage tech companies who loves bringing new-concept products to market. Before joining Influitive, Jim held marketing leadership roles at Eloqua, Unveil Solutions, Lernout & Hauspie, and several PR agencies. Even though he loves marketing, most of Jim’s energy is directed towards ensuring that his two kids have fantastic and memorable childhoods.