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Hidden Track: A Customer Advocacy Interview with Jim Williams of Influitive

August 11, 2016 | Chad Koskie | No Comments |

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Why is customer advocacy so important in account-based marketing?

Advocacy strengthens the effectiveness of each stage in the account-based marketing funnel. In the identification stage, advocates help identify who your ideal customer is.

You want successful customers, and advocates are successful customers who are now willing to refer new business to you. So, evaluating and understanding the characteristics of your advocates will help you determine your ideal customer profile.

Second, armed with that customer profile, you can now seek referrals from advocates, and they can identify great prospects in your network who match the profile. Next, advocates can help discover contacts and map them to accounts. They can also develop insights about accounts.

You can go through your advocate network, identify which advocates are connected to target accounts, whether through direct connection or if they are at a similar industry or company level. Direct secondary connections can provide first person insights, and industry/company specific information can assist with targeting.

For effective ABM, you will need way more content and you want that content to be as specific as possible. Fortunately, advocate marketing programs generate customer proof points rapidly. The more customer stories you have, the better you can match them to potential accounts and create great content. You help potential customers view their own situation within your existing customer stories.

Featuring advocates directly in your marketing can make your messaging more authentic and relevant. You could increase conversions by up to 150%.

Finally, Sangram Vajre, CMO and co-Founder of Terminus, says, “Advocacy is a big part of ABM, if not one of the most important aspects of it. If you can turn your customers into advocates, they will bring the next generation of customers who feel the same pain. ABM is particularly interesting for advocacy because you already know your target audience and now you need to tailor your message to their needs and on their terms.”

What is the most predominant challenge you see in this area?

How do you get them to take a sales call? Your advocates are your ticket in the door. Advocates help you establish credibility and trust so you can get the sales conversation started earlier, and get to the close faster.

Your advocates can help you:

  • Create your target account list
  • Provide referrals and warm intros to decision makers
  • Create volumes of relevant content
  • Champion your cross-sell and upsell goals internally

Account-based marketing and advocacy are customer-centric strategies that work better together.

How is ABM solving for these traditional challenges?

Most of the people you are marketing to are not a fit for your product. It’s no surprise 58% of B2B marketers are naming account-based marketing a priority this year, and focusing their efforts on their most valuable target accounts. But capturing the attention of your ideal prospects is hard. They may have never visited your website. Never read a piece of content. Never even heard of your company.

What is one ABM tactic you see as the most effective to succeed with customer advocacy?

Account-based marketing can be drastically improved through warm, targeted introductions from customer advocates. You can pick accounts based on your advocates, get the right introductions, and map your advocates to your accounts. Further, you can potentially even map multiple contacts within an organization through your advocates.

Through referrals, advocacy truly enables you to embrace account-based marketing. As a marketer, it allows you to focus on the accounts that you really want, and to go after them. It is a great way to get the prospects that are most desirable to you. Many of these prospects are constantly being courted –– but advocacy is the way to do it authentically, and win the deal.

How does your solution support customer advocacy?

Influitive helps companies engage and mobilize advocates at scale. Having the ability to engage only a few advocates at a time via email is often not enough to amplify a comprehensive ABM strategy.

The network effects of an advocate community provide a much greater likelihood to connect with prospects through a significantly larger group of advocates.

Download Monsters of Funnel II: Back to Stack. You’ll get the ultimate tech stack (and tactics) to achieve face-melting success with account-based marketing!

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