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The Role of the CMO in Advocate Marketing (#advocatemktg twitter chat by @influitive)

February 13, 2015

Today I’m following the discussion on twitter about #advocatemktg, and I’m answering questions posted by @influitive.  This post will be updated as I move on to the next question.  Join the chat to share your insights!

Let’s begin.

Q1: What role does advocacy play in building a company’s brand?

My Answer: Advocacy involves imparting the message of the brand successfully to stakeholders, in turn advocates extend that message to others.  But what this also means is that the company first understood what their customers wanted, and alongside that, had a clear and worthy message their stakeholders could believe or count on.  Then the company delivers outstanding products and exceptional service that attests their message (and brand), and only after that will customers or external influencers become convinced about the brand, where some of them turn into evangelists or advocates for their brand.

Q2: Why should CMOs pay attention to advocacy and ?

My Answer: #advocatemktg is the CMO’s means to impart the right message to the right people, engaging both lead and customer.  There’s a proper call-to-action for each level of relationship for both potential and existing customers, where every engagement builds a deeper relationship with the brand.  So it starts out with reaching the right people (or quality leads), but they continue to grow into advocates who start evangelizing others.

Q3: How can CMOs make advocacy a strategic priority at their organization?

My Answer: The results from a successful #advocatemktg campaign will speak for the CMO (ex. increased conversions).  Equally important are customer retention and increased satisfaction.  But sometimes convincing the organization to try it the first time is what’s most difficult.  You can present case studies and testimonies from other successful campaigns, but the amount of preparation or maintenance is what stops most executive management from pursuing (because of the costs), especially when short-term-get-customers-quick campaigns appear to be working for them (what I call shallow marketing).  In which case, the CMO needs to explain how the long-term benefits outweigh the costs.

Q4: Who should CMOs partner with to create a culture of advocacy?

My Answer: #advocatemktg is also the business of business developers, production teams, service teams and community managers.  CMOs should work with everyone involved in building and maintaining the brand’s image, reputation, product quality (and ROI) and service delivery.

Q5: What digital tools should CMOs have in their technology stack?

My Answer: Check out @influitive 😉 other #advocatemktg tools and helpful guidelines for picking them are also found here . Although the article focuses on Employee Advocacy, I think their guidelines are applicable to advocate marketing in general.

Q6: Which results should CMOs stay focused on when it comes to ?

My Answer: Depends on need, but generally: Conversion, retention/customer loyalty, response consistency,  message value.  The intent behind any campaign determines what KPIs matter, as well as message value that drives the advocacy.  Message value also affects brand impact.   Capturing quality leads is important, but more so high conversion rates and customer loyalty.  What I also mean by response consistency is how both the brand and the audience maintain open communication to address any situation, whether positive or negative, and this exercise also touches on transparency.

Q7: How do you see the role of the CMO evolving next?

My Answer: The CMO becomes an advocate of corporate citizenship and an enabler for brands to build lasting relationships with customers.  It’s not just about bringing in revenue anymore but developing brand value for all stakeholders, whether potential/existing customer, or even the brand’s very own people.  There should be synergy in all these.

Q8: Does anyone have any questions about the role of the CMO and ?

My Question: How many CMOs actually practice #advocatemktg? And if there aren’t a lot, then why not?

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