“Victory in marketing does not happen when you sell something, but when you cultivate advocates for your brand”: Steven Knox, Proctor and Gamble
In today’s intensely competitive world, there’s nothing more important than amazing and relentless customer advocacy and support. Putting a heavy focus on customer needs, engagement and interaction are all essential elements for turning customers into loyal brand advocates. According to Harvard Business School, a 12% increase in customer advocacy can result in 200% growth in revenue for companies. So, what is customer advocacy? When customers love your brand so much so that they prefer your products or services over others and recommend them. Customer advocacy helps brands do the heavy lifting of growing their business. Customers want brands to stop marketing to them and start engaging with them. They prefer a dialogue, not a monologue anymore. Due to customer advocacy, brands see increases in average order value, customer lifetime value, frequency of purchase from repeat customers, customer referrals and more social mentions.
Customer advocacy starts with a clear understanding of customer needs and behavior. In order to achieve this, identify what they want and keep an eye on any key shopping behavior metrics and patterns. Customer feedback is critical to understand how to best support them. Identify customers with a high NPS of 9 or 10 to review your brand. This ensures a strong relationship and provides your company with valuable insights. One of the most effective customer advocacy best practices is breaking customers into segments and surveying them to offer suggestions. Companies like Patagonia, Nike REI, and Apple are the frontrunners in their respective industries because they enjoy strong advocacy from their customers.
How can you succeed at cultivating customer advocacy? Going the extra mile to build trust.
How are brands leveraging their brand advocates these days?
At Nordstrom, employees are mentored to utilize good judgement and nobody abides by a rule book. By doing so, employees feel ownership towards something they care deeply about. This is a great example of how building employee advocacy creates a great customer experience, which thereby creates the opportunity for customer brand advocacy and loyalty. Nordstrom sets the standard to delighting customers and demonstrating very high perceived value despite the high cost of their products. So, why are brand advocates so valuable?
We are in a new world that requires a fundamentally different approach to customer engagement. The best strategy is to give back to your most profitable and valuable customers to encourage brand loyalty.