To identify possible advocates, coordinate your efforts with other departments, such as marketing, sales and customer support. Work with these teams to segment customers according to their levels of engagement and what you’ll ask them to do for you. Advocacy experts recommend focusing on those customers who are contributing the most to your business and the customer community. But that doesn’t mean you should limit the field to those who spend the most. Lower-tier customers may also have a lot to offer.
“Sometimes, you can get people who are up-and-coming,” said Thierry Chau, vice president of Market Development at CommScope, a global telecommunications company. “They may have a lot to contribute in terms of technical or go-to-market knowledge.”
Wilder agreed that expanding your scope beyond elite customers can reap rewards.
“The rising stars at the second tier, for example, are key because they could become your future tier-one advocates,” he said.
Leslie Barrett, director of Customer Marketing and Advocacy at Sendoso, a gift-sending platform that supports business-to-business sales and account-based marketing, has multiple strategies for selecting advocates.
“I use Gong to listen for people who love Sendoso, and then I ask them to join our program,” she said. “I also target big accounts who are using our platform a lot. I’ll send them a direct email with an ask and a QR code to join.”
In addition, she creates a “smart list” from Marketo for those who are opening the company’s emails. Recipients who have the highest engagement can be ideal advocates. For example, customers who opened nine of your 10 most recent email newsletters are prime candidates for your advocacy program.
Similarly, customers who take the time to share positive feedback on social platforms, support channels or email can become advocates.
Another strategy for finding potential brand champions is to look at your company’s net promoter score (NPS). This score measures how likely your customers would recommend your business to their friends or colleagues. A high NPS is considered a leading indicator for strong customer advocacy.