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The Important Role that Advocacy Marketing Plays in Brand Elevation

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Author: Mark Nardone, Chief Marketing Officer at PAN Communications, headshot
Mark NardoneChief Marketing Officer
advocacy marketing

Here’s a fun fact: people are 16 times more likely to read a post from a friend or employee about an experience with a brand, than they are to read a post directly from that brand.

As an agency, we’ve seen many forms of brand advocacy rise to the top as teams try to harness the “power of voice.” Our most recent eBook covers a variety of advocacy disciplines – from media, to influencers, to customers and employees. These advocates work collectively to increase trust and build brand awareness across different channels for the organization. Whether you focus your efforts on organic (preferred choice of engagement) or a blended approach with paid, the authentic, emotional experience captured as marketers will be irreplaceable.

Advocacy was cited as a top challenge and budget concern in our 2020 CMO Predictions (dropping shortly!), reinforcing that marketers should be factoring this approach into their plans for the coming year. As with all of our pillar content pieces, we will continue to address the importance of each category over the next few months. But for now, we would like to share this eBook as a guide to get marketing teams thinking differently about activating, integrating and measuring the impact of strong brand advocates.

So, the question remains: how can marketers lean more effectively on customers, employees and other stakeholders to authentically convey messages and spread awareness about a brand? Has the challenge of content overload impacted these strategies in the age of trust, reputation and engagement?

Advocacy for the Experience Economy is our answer to how teams can better utilize and leverage the passion of people – through experiences, emotions and overall behaviors – and drive brand awareness like never before.

Here’s a breakdown of what you will find as you dive into the eBook:

Voice of the Customer (VoC): Today’s customer has a very powerful and influential voice. Loyal customers can articulate credible, third-party opinions about your product or service, creating proof points that resonate with your audience. It is important to utilize the right tactics to optimize your VoC program and better amplify the company’s value through this platform.

Voice of the Employee (VoE): Employees are trusted twice as much as CEOs today, making them go-to resources in your brand advocacy efforts. Often not leveraged, these powerful voices are becoming critical to all marketing success. Learn the tools and tactics to successfully implement a strong employee advocacy strategy to compliment your VoC efforts.

Voice of the Market: Building relationships with the media is always important. When it comes to analyst relations efforts, be especially mindful of the reputation that you are building and the media targets you are leveraging as advocates for your brand. Thought leaders and subject matter experts leveraged through earned media channels will further define your external voice and bring third-party validation into the mix.

Voice of Influencers: Influencer marketing utilizes trusted industry thought leaders to advocate on behalf of your brand through online and offline channels. Influencer marketing is a highly lucrative marketing strategy today, and this section highlights the ins and outs of implementing a successful influencer marketing approach through organic and paid programs.

Measuring the Share of Impact: Equally as important as implementing the right advocacy strategy is identifying the correct goals and measurements to properly analyze your efforts. Utilize the correct measurement tools and tactics to ensure brand advocacy success.

Are you ready to invest in advocacy marketing?

Whether it stems from your customers, employees, influencers, analysts or other stakeholders, brand advocacy is a critical element that will help amplify your brand messaging. Even if you’re starting small and scaling your efforts – it’s never too late to kick off this program. Just make sure you are looking at this critical activity through the filter of your integrated marketing and PR plan and never as a standalone initiative.

Download “Advocacy for the Experience Economy” and learn how you can up level your advocacy efforts across departments to improve your bottom line.

An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.