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customer advocacy platform

Salesforce: Welcome to the Advocacy Era

Roy Robinson
By Roy Robinson — May 30, 2024 -

Read time: 4 minutes

Roy Robinson, Chief Product Officer at Mention Me, leverages over 25 years of industry experience to help brands adopt an advocacy-first mindset and turn referrals into strategic acquisition channels. In September 2023, his team launched the world's first Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform with cutting-edge AI powered tech that identifies, nurtures and activates customer advocates.


In November 2023 Salesforce announced that they had joined the Advocacy era with the launch of their Referral Marketing product. On their loyalty product page they urged visitors to, “Leverage the power of influence, turning brand fans into sales with referral marketing.”

Looking at the change of wording to an advocacy focus in how Salesforce talked about their new referral product along with how they talked to the benefits of harnessing advocacy we could see a lot of similarities with the language and how we have been addressing marketing pain points for many years. Pain points like the rising costs of paid acquisition, the struggle to retain customers acquired through paid acquisition and the proven higher quality of those acquired through referral. 

For a scale up like Mention Me you might think this would have been a worrying development! A company with the resources of Salesforce moving into the customer advocacy space! That could not be further from the truth! We have been expecting and welcome this move by Salesforce as we understand that only by thinking advocacy first can brands really achieve sustainable growth. 

Brands need to understand the truth about how important advocacy is and hear it from as many respected software companies as possible. This will ensure that the customer advocacy era,  this new movement based on understanding the emotional connection between a brand and its customers, really becomes part of the core priorities for marketing teams in the D2C space in 2024 and beyond.

Interestingly when myself and Darren Loveday, our Chief Growth Officer, met with Salesforce over 12 months ago to discuss integrating with their new Loyalty Platform there were no plans in the pipeline for Salesforce to launch their own advocacy offering. We see it as a huge vote of confidence in what we do that they pivoted so quickly and released this product! The more capabilities that exist to empower brands to grow the only sustainable way the better!

At Mention Me we have been on the customer advocacy journey for over 10 years working with over 500 of the world's leading brands running over 45,000 experiments to help them build sustainable growth from their most valuable asset, their customers! By 2020 we had developed the world's leading referral platform which included intuitive experimentation capabilities and the unmatched Nameshare ™ for simpler consumer experience. 

After analysing years of referral data and clearly seeing the value it could bring to brands we decided to evolve our platform into the world's first Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform. This platform, when developed, would allow brands to understand the emotional connection between the brand and consumer as never before. This AI powered platform would enable brands to use the advocacy data and insights to transform how they think about their marketing budgets and deliver better experiences for their customers meaning they spend more, spend more often and stick around longer. Before we talk more about what this platform looks like and what it delivers let's take a few moments to understand what customer advocacy is and why it is critically important for all brands who want to build a sustainable growth engine.  


customer advocacy


What is Customer Advocacy?

We define Customer Advocacy as, “All the actions that your customers take to share positive sentiment about your brand.” Some of these advocacy actions might include leaving a positive review, posting on social media, telling friends and family about the brand in a casual setting or of course by means of tracked referral. 


Referral is the highest form of customer advocacy


Do you care about profitability?

The performance of paid channels is inconsistent at best. It is also proven to attract customers who spend less, have less of an attachment to the brand and churn faster. In practice this means that not only are brands spending more each year to attract these low value customers (Costs have risen 60% in 5 years!) but they are then spending up to 50% more trying to re-engage them over the following months following their first purchase. At scale this destroys the CAC:CLTV ratio and a businesses profitability. 

A Customer Advocacy approach has completely different results! Customers acquired through advocacy are proven to spend more on their first and subsequent orders. They are also more likely to reach a 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th order with a brand (32%, 31%, 33% respectively). They are up to 5x more likely to further refer friends and family creating a virtuous cycle of growth which is missing when you acquire customers through expensive paid channels. We call this Acquiring High Value Customers and it is one of the pillars of what we deliver for brands. 

The benefits of harnessing customer advocacy for a brand does not stop there. Tracking advocacy generates incredibly valuable first party data which makes it possible to further identify, nurture and activate your advocates. This helps your CRM team by enriching lifecycle campaigns with unique advocacy insights to make every touch point smarter. This can bring incredible results such as:

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

The power of customer advocacy is shown to be truly impactful in helping marketing teams hit target KPIs such as reducing CAC, increasing CLTV and overall driving sustainable growth. 

This all sounds great I hear you say but I already have limited resources on my team without taking something else on!

The truth is that with the right platform, the right partner and the right success plan marketing teams of all sizes can start to invest in an advocacy first approach and reap the rewards like those mentioned above by simply integrating customer advocacy insights into their existing lifecycle and nurturing campaigns. 


6 Unique Capabilities to deliver growth

As I mentioned previously Mention Me have developed what is recognised as the world's leading referral and customer advocacy platform. Here are 6 features we feel backs up this claim and makes it easy for marketers to deliver customer led growth that crushes the competition.


Nameshare ™ 

When Andy and Tim, our co-founders first conceived of Mention Me they wanted the customer experience to mimic real life as closely as possible. That is what the nameshare ™ feature does. This unique feature allows your customers to use only their friend or family members name at check out to avail of any referral incentives you offer. Nameshare ™ accounts for over 34% of all  referrals across our over the 500 brands we work with.


A/B Testing

Jeff Bezos famously said of that “its success was a function of how many experiments we do per year, per month, per week, per day.” Any marketer worth their salt will know that any campaign needs an optimisation plan to really deliver results over time. This is no different with referral and customer advocacy. 

At Mention Me we have enabled over 45,000 experiments over the past 10 years and gained huge expertise across all industries at delivering the right message at the right time. We also have the data from those experiments which makes our platform capabilities even smarter.


Propensity to Refer

Einstein said the definition of insanity was, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Not all customers will be ready to advocate for your brand either through tracked referral or by posting on social media or leaving a review. If that is the case why annoy them by continually asking? 

At Mention Me we have used our 10 years of customer advocacy data including referral data to develop an algorithm which can predict a customers propensity to advocate for your brand at a given moment in time. This has never been done before! Having this propensity rating available in real time allows you to ensure that if someone is not ready to refer or advocate you can use that valuable touch point to ask for something else like making a second purchase or signing up to a loyalty program. We have seen an incremental increase in loyalty program sign ups by 15% using propensity to refer and those who are classified to have a high propensity being 6x more likely to advocate. 


Network Insights

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Referral networks such as the one below can help brands to understand their advocacy much better than numbers in a report. Using these diagrams for data exploration our customers have discovered who may be a micro influencer, who is past of an engaged community or group. It has also enabled brands to develop meaningful influencer programs, test new products early and reward the real VIPs in their customer base, driving incremental VIP customer retention by 31%. 

customer advocacy


ECR and Predictive ECR

ECR or extended Customer Revenue is a way to measure a customer's true worth to your brand. ECR combines what a customer spends with the revenue their referred friends also bring to your brand. This metric can fundamentally change how you view your best customers. Our data science team has run an analysis which shows that there is no correlation between your biggest spenders and those who bring the most to your brand through referral. We regularly see customers who were considered low value by spend being in the top 5% by revenue generated through referral and advocacy. 

These accurate value calculations can then be pushed to your CRM to give you much more accurate lifecycle and nurturing marketing campaigns. Some of our customers have seen an incremental increase of 23% in campaigns powered by ECR data against those with traditional RFM only data. 

Our busy data science team have recently released Predictive ECR or predictive extended customer revenue. This predictive data allows brands to forecast accurately what a customer will be worth to the brand in 12 months time. This includes both what they will spend and the revenue they will bring through customer advocacy. 

This allows brands to update their lifecycle and nurturing campaigns even further ensuring they minimise any churn of high value customers. They can also use this data to minimise spend on expensive retargeting campaigns on those predicted to be of low value to the brand. This ensures marketing teams can reinvest in proven growth areas instead of continually spending money and effort on non growth levers.


Lookalike Audiences

For marketing teams who create lookalike audiences in Google or Meta customer advocacy data, in particular referral data, can be used to optimise return on ad spend or ROAS. By targeting audiences built with advocacy data rather than just RFM data brands that work with Mention Me have seen increases in ROAS of up to 84% and decrease in CPA of up to 30%. This optimisation has saved brands 10’s of thousands of pounds over the course of a year. Marketing teams have then been able to redirect budget to hiring more team members. 


Struggling for profitable growth? Customer Advocacy is the answer!

At Mention Me our vision is that all brands think advocacy first. Our mission is to educate the world to how critical this is for brands today in highly competitive markets with tough economic headwinds. When you as a business really focus on growing through your customers the results can be truly striking. (Some of which we stated above)

We welcome Salesforce and anyone else who wants to join us on this journey to enabling brands to measure, grow and harness the advocacy of their customers for profitable growth. We truly believe that working together as marketing technology partners we can transform marketing and how it is viewed within an organisation. We currently partner with SAP, SAP Emarsys, Bloomreach, Klaviyo, Attentive, Ometria and Salesforce to enable marketing teams to leverage the advocacy data and insights our platform creates and to supercharge their customer experience. If you would like to know more about customer advocacy, referral or our platform then please contact us to speak to one of our experts


What our customers say

“The [Mention Me] data proves how valuable our brand advocates are and we know there is more we could be doing to capitalise on that. The integration into Meta has delivered very strong results, particularly our ROAS and CVR which are key metrics for us.” - Hamish MacRae Digital Marketing Executive Moss

“By using Mention Me [advocacy] tactics within our automated campaigns and email marketing in Emarsys,we’re increasing both acquisition and retention. It's such an effective way of delivering personalised messages that resonate and drive action.” - Michelle Hurley Head of Marketing BrandAlley

“Our brand advocates are highly valuable, and the friends they bring along spend 18% more than other customers. Now we are using our first party advocacy data across our marketing stack to reduce CPA, drive retention of our best customers and ensure we identify and keep all our VIPs.” - Rose Wilkes Retention Specialist Symprove

“With a fraction of budget, Mention Me delivers strong revenue and invaluable insights. Its been an absolutely great investment for PUMA.” David Witts Global Head of CRM PUMA

“Thanks to Mention Me we’re now nurturing brand advocacy from new and existing customers, helping us increase new customer revenue by 43% and new customer acquisition by 53%” - Aerie Tom CMO

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