The key to Advocate Marketing? Relationship building.

The term advocate and advocacy marketing get thrown around a lot. Some people think of advocates as people who post spammy messages on Facebook or LinkedIn, others closely align them with ambassadors and think of them as walking billboards. Do not be fooled; advocates are a powerful channel that could help just about any company grow. How? It’s simple — relationships.

Before we begin, here’s a quick review
Advocates are people who publicly support or recommend a particular product, cause or company.

Advocate Marketing (Advocacy Marketing) is the formalized way to manage company advocates and use them as a marketing channel.
Relationships and Power


How Companies Can Leverage Advocates

Advocates are a robust and scalable channel for both acquisition and retention. Often, advocacy programs are thought of as a simple way to generate referrals or to build brand awareness with potential customers. However, advocacy marketing also helps build stronger relationships with customers and puts your brand top-of-mind.

Blowdryer Example
For example, think about a time you were looking for a new blow drier.

Scenario 1 - Walk into a Store

  • You walk into a store and find the aisle for blowdryers
  • You take a few minutes to pick up and compare models
  • You either: buy one and walk out or leave without buying anything

Scenario 2 - Walk into a store and talk to a store clerk

  • You walk into a store and find the aisle for blowdryers
  • You take a few minutes to pick up and compare models
  • A store clerk approaches you, tells you about a few features and leaves you to decide on which model
  • You either: buy one and walk out or go without buying anything

Scenario 3 - Walk into store, talk to a store clerk, they give you a recommendation

  • You walk into a store and find the aisle for blowdryers
  • You take a few minutes to pick up and compare models
  • A store clerk approaches you, tells you about a few features and tells you how much they love Brand XYZ
  • You either: buy one and walk out, think more about the model that the clerk suggested, or leave without buying anything

In this scenario, you have similar options and choices, but it isn’t until the clerk makes a suggestion does your decision process change. By suggesting a particular brand, the clerk helped narrow down your options — making it easier for you, the consumer, to decide which brand to purchase.

Advocate marketing takes this concept but applies it even before you get to the store.

Scenario 4 - A friend recommends a product; you walk into the store, (maybe interact with a store clerk)

  • This time, you walk in knowing which model your friend recommended
  • You walk to the aisle for blowdryers and look through the models
  • Your eyes scan for a few options, you see the one your friend recommended
  • A store clerk comes over to explain a few features, make a recommendation for another brand and leaves you to make your decision

This time around, you have two recommendations to process. However — statistically, 88% of people will go with the suggestion that their closest relationship has recommended unless the other party is an industry expert. Now imagine if you could find a way to connect with a buyer before they even enter a store or online shop? You probably already have people who love and talk about your product, imagine if you knew who they were? Or if you could reward them for promoting your product to even more people?

With advocate marketing — you can.


Check out our plug and play advocacy program platform, or ask our team of experts how advocate marketing can help your company grow!


Emily Lonetto

Emily Lonetto

Growth & Marketing @ GrowSumo