How advocacy drives your marketing success: Examples from our customers
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How advocacy drives your marketing success: Examples from our customers

Man: In my humble opinion – this comes from
Jim – it’s advocacy that drives customer success. So, Jim, regardless
of the fact that you were born near where I live now, you’re going to have
to prove it. Jim: I’m sorry to hear that. Man: Yeah, exactly. Why is it that you are
. . . what is customer success in your opinion? You’re going to have to answer
that. Jim: Mm-hmm. Man: Why do you believe, and can you prove
it to us that advocacy actually drives customer success? And with that, I’ll
turn the floor over to you. Jim: Great, thanks. So I will just go back
to two out of three people surveyed on this question say that advocacy
and evangelism defines customer success. So thank you very
much, audience, I concur. Man: I think it was four out of five dentists
surveyed. Jim: Yeah, something like that. And I’m not
going to disagree with you entirely because there are some parts of your
presentation I agree with. So it’s not just what they say.
You’re correct about that. And it’s not just what they do in the
app. It’s a combination of those things. So what I’m going to tell you about is advocacy,
and advocacy is really the combination of saying and doing
at the same time. It’s evangelizing. It’s spreading the word
about your accomplishments and a product. I’m going to,
through this presentation, talk to you about why I think
advocacy is what drives customer success. Now, that’s actually a little bit of a backwards
proposition, right? Most people say well, you have success
and then you’re an advocate, right? Kind of chicken or the egg?
What I’ll show you is we’ve done some research and studies, we’ve
looked at some customer case studies, and we’ve researched.
What we’ve found is that it’s actually both. They’re mutually
reinforcing, kind of a symbiotic relationship. That is the more advocacy
you do, actually the more the product you use. Right?
The more faithful you are to the company, the more other people
see your evangelism that have a relationship with you,
the more they use the product, the more successful they are.
So let’s drive through it. This is what I call the “success and advocacy
relationship”. There’s no question that advocacy, customer
advocacy out on the Internet, social, peer-to-peer, face-to-face,
over the phone, reference calls, referrals, whatever you want
to call it, there’s no question that it drives business
success. We know that, right? So, I’ll point that out here.
There’s no question. The more advocacy you have today, the faster
that you grow. The more of an advantage, a competitive advantage,
you have built in. What I think most people don’t know is that
the more advocacy you get out of your customers, the more of
the product they use, the deeper they go, the more they explore,
and, because every company screws up, the more likely they are
to stay with you when that happens. It does happen, right?
They’re more tolerable. They’ll put up with a lot more. Okay. So the idea is how do you get this advocacy
relationship going? I’ll talk a little bit about that. Well, first, why is advocacy so important?
Because nobody trusts you. They don’t trust what you say. They’re
not paying attention to your emails and your ads, and they sure
as hell aren’t calling a salesperson like, “Hey, should I
buy this product?” Nobody does that. They call the salesperson
when they want to beat them up on price long after you have
found out from LinkedIn, Facebook, social media, Twitter,
whatever, Quora, Focus, you can go ahead and name them all,
found out a dozen customers that are using the product today
that you’re considering purchasing. So you’re going to
have those conversations anyway. And this, it will just
keep increasing, right? Less and less trust for corporate sales
and marketing. So let’s take a look at Ektron. Ekron is a
customer right up the road in Nashville. They said, “We’re going
to focus on advocacy.” They do a lot of great marketing
too, but they said, “We need to have customer validation for every
single value proposition we put out there.” And I kind of present this to you, right?
This is the Google search. Their biggest competitor is listed
there. I won’t even name them,. It’s listed up there in the Google
search. There’s no question that someone buying this product
is going to do first “Ektron,” and they’re going to look
on the right-hand side and see all the ads running against Ektron.
Those are all the competitors. Then they’re going to go type
Ektron, Sitecore, etc. So what is more important for them at Ektron?
Is it to make sure that their ad appears, their paid ad at the
top appears? Or is it more important for, in natural search,
their customers’ opinion of those two products appear high
on search results. That’s what drives customer success, because
(a) buyers are going to see this, but more importantly, other
customers see this too when they’re considering other applications
and say, “Why is this person so bullish on Ektron?” To me, that’s the ultimate. I’ve always advocated,
no pun intended, that a salesperson goes into their
presentation and types the search and says, “I’m going to present
to you why we’re better than these people on the right-hand
side.” The best way to do that is say, “Here, my customer
says X, Y, Z.” NPS, that came up. That’s an indicator of
customer success. Here’s why I don’t think NPS is the best indicator
of customer success. It’s fleeting, for one, and it’s
not asking the question like I’m trying to point out here.
On a scale of one to ten, how likely are you to go out with me?
Nobody asks that question. They ask, “Will you go out with
me?” Why do you ask that ugly question? Most people never follow up on the NPS question.
As a result of that, people say they’re likely to recommend,
but they don’t necessarily recommend. So it’s this inverse
relationship. At several companies I’ve worked at, we had many
people with high NPS scores with very little advocacy. But,
if you look at it the other way and you look at the advocates, every
one of them have high NPS scores. So, in other words, put your
money where your mouth is when it comes to NPS. The other thing about advocacy is it is contagious.
There’s no question about that. There is something within
us that says, “Hey, I don’t want to just use the product
to accomplish a task. I want to pick a product that’s meaningful
to me, that helps my career, that makes me shine, that gets me
the respect that I deserve.” We’ve seen this over and over again
with customers. So this is a really simple campaign. It’s
a Twitter campaign, but this particular company, who is Dell Case,
division of Dell, just said, “Hey, we want a campaign and we
want to show what this product can do for our customers, and
so we’re just going to have a simple Twitter campaign. We pre-fill
the first couple words. ‘Dell Case means to me’ or ‘I accomplished
with Dell Case today,’ and put that out there.” Now, they’ve run these campaigns in the past,
and they’ve done it in a very sporadic way. Like they had suggested
to the tech support people, when you have a good experience
with tech support, can you tweet that? They get a little
bit here and there. But when they put some money and some
organization behind a true advocacy program, suddenly they go
from none of these things happening to like over 30 of these
happening in the span of about a week and a half, and that generates
real buzz. The buzz happens from the first couple coming
on, and you kind of see this flywheel thing starts to occur, where
hey, somebody says, “Wow, somebody else is having this experience.
I’m going to put in all my experiences.” It spreads
[inaudible 7:05]. Let me show you a little bit, again, of how
this advocacy can improve things. So Eloqua is a customer of
ours, a former employee of Eloqua as well. But they’ve put
into place an organized advocacy program. Now, they always
had a very good community and have always focused on community,
support, and service. That’s one of their differentiators.
When they put in an advocacy program that actually actively
recognized people for the things they do, with calls from executives,
with priority support, with these things that are meaningful,
they saw a 55% jump in the interaction rates in their community,
and that community is all about having customers solve
other customers’ problems. It’s a tremendous value for them
when they use customer advocacy as the driver. Another company, SMART Technologies, who is
in the education technology space, it’s kind of interesting.
They did a whole study to say, “Hey, what is the value of an
advocate?” Because they had to build everything based on ROI,
which is kind of funny because you never say, “What’s the ROI
on a case study?” But you keep writing them, right? So they had to do this whole thing, and what
they figured out is these advocates create so much content and
do so much consulting on our behalf, that if we had to actually
add a value to it, it’s worth about 135K. This is for a product,
the most expensive of their product line, that sells for well
less than 50K. So that is why I believe advocacy is an indicator
of success, number one, but it will actually create success
in this kind of feedback loop. All right, I’m done.

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