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customer advocacy champions

Five Industry Champions Blazing a Trail for Customer Advocacy

Rhys Williams
By Rhys Williams — May 15, 2024 -

Read time: 5 mins

If missed growth targets, falling CLTV and an over reliance on discounting are keeping you awake at night, you’re certainly not alone. But the good news is that your greatest asset is also the solution to these challenges… your customers. Now, at last, you can harness the power of word of mouth and turn it into a powerful new growth channel.

Advocacy marketing is an exciting new discipline that’s changing how marketers think about their customers. From household names like PUMA to niche businesses like travel company Viator, brands everywhere are developing an advocacy marketing strategy that will turn their customers into fans and fans into avid promoters of their business. 

But who are the leaders in this field? Who are the forward-thinking industry champions shaking things up and shaping a future filled with customer love? 

On The Business of Customer Love Podcast, we caught up with five men and women who are changing the face of brand marketing.

 

Fred Reichheld

fred reichheld customer advocacy

The godfather of customer-centric marketing, Fred Reichheld has an unrivalled track record of opening up previously mysterious aspects of the relationship between customers and brands. 

The Bain Fellow has devoted his career to understanding the psychology behind customer loyalty, what drives enthusiasm for brands, and how brands can methodically build relationships with their customers. 

His pioneering work on Net Promoter Scores means he’s always the first name on the customer advocacy team sheet.

More recently, Fred has turned his attention to Earned Growth: a metric to track the organic growth of a company, if you strip away every penny spent on marketing and simply include the revenue that word of mouth, customer referrals and promotion bring in.

Earned Growth gives you a window into the underlying health of your customer base and the long-term economic viability of your business, a potent weapon in your arsenal. As Mention Me’s is the only platform that offers you a way to track and measure Earned Growth, we share Fred’s passion for the metric!

 

Brittany Hodak

brittany hodak customer advocacy

Brittany is a champion of the customer experience. She is enthusiastic about the power of immaculate CX and deeply focused on helping brands showcase their unique ability to provide solutions to customers. 

When Brittany caught up with Mention Me earlier this year, we discussed a key challenge facing brands today: Apathy. She says brands should be asking themselves “What experience can I create that is so epic it overcomes apathy?”

Asking questions like this has led Brittany to start seeing things through the lens of the experience economy: If you can deliver a truly captivating and, most importantly, beneficial experience, you can inspire your customers to become advocates for your brand. 

If you can elevate your CX to an inspirational level, you will reap the rewards twofold: Not only will your relationships with your customers become stronger, they’ll also feel compelled to go out and tell all their friends how great you are. 

 

Shep Hyken

shep hyken customer advocacy

New York Times and WSJ bestselling author, Shep Hyken has identified loyalty to your brand as a major factor in building customer retention. This might sound obvious to some, but there are plenty of brands out there who mistake brand loyalty with loyalty to convenience, price, or location. If you happen to have a great price point or winning location and then someone comes along and beats you on it, you’re vulnerable to losing customers to your enterprising competitor. 

If, as Shep urges you to, you’ve spent the time you’ve had with customers to forge bonds of trust that are stronger than a price differential, then you’ll be able to withstand the pressure and hold on to much more of your customer base. 

Building those strong bonds of trust takes powerful customer data. Our Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform allows you to see the motivations behind purchasing decisions, giving you insights into your customers’ sentiments and supporting your loyalty initiatives. 

 

Annette Franz

annette franz customer advocacy

To deliver the meaningful customer experience that is the gold standard brands strive for, you need more than just a change in priorities and tactics. Getting CX right takes a radical shake-up of the whole way your teams think about and interact with your customers. No mean feat, but Annettte Franz has dedicated herself to transforming brands into customer-centric organisations. 

To achieve this takes a paradigm shift: Brands need to move away from thinking customer-first, to being customer-centric.  

To Annette, being customer-centric means “no decisions, no discussions, no designs without bringing in that customer voice and asking… what value does it add?” A laudable customer advocacy goal, and one we salute! Annette is constantly advocating for a customer-first approach in all aspects of business strategy.

 

Joseph Michelli

joseph michelli customer advocacy

With the warcry: “your fans are your salesforce”, Joseph Michelli is a passionate and articulate evangelist for the power of customer advocacy. Used in the right way, a customer advocacy marketing strategy can transform the economics of your business, and Joseph is on a mission to show you how.  

Any brand that hopes to grow a profitable business requires a strong and stable customer base. To build that customer base in a sustainable way means harnessing the power of your brand fans. Joseph shows you how to use them to improve your marketing, advocate on your behalf and help your business make an outsize impact on the world.

That’s what our vision of customer advocacy is all about and that’s why we love him, along with our other industry champions, so much. 

 

Become part of the movement

Advocacy marketing is a formidable way to build trust, respect and loyalty with your customers and expand the reach of your brand’s organic marketing. With the help of our Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform, you can turn advocacy into a sustainable growth channel, driving incredible results such as:

  • Increasing CLTV by up to 100%
  • Increasing email engagement rates by 23%
  • Increasing repeat order rates by 25%
  • Increasing newsletter sign ups by 28%
  • Increasing VIP segment retention by 31%
  • Decreasing paid lookalike audience CPA by 30% and increasing ROAS by up to 84%

If you’re inspired by what you’ve seen and heard, and feel the time is right to develop your brand into a business built on customer love, speak to an advocacy expert today to learn more about advocacy marketing. 

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