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How To Measure Customer Advocacy Marketing ROI

Advocacy marketing is quickly gaining traction as one of the most innovative and intuitive methods for growing a company’s reputation. From start-ups to established companies, it’s become the norm for forward-thinking marketers who put the customer at the center of the brand.

Customer Advocacy Marketing is a long-run strategy focused on building real and meaningful relationships with brand champions. It takes time, trust, and conversation but it’s what a company needs to organically attract new customers, integrate them into the user community, and provide them with flawless brand experience. 

And even if it might not yield the expected result immediately, or you may not be able to quantify the exact impact it has on your organization’s revenue, in the end the results speak for themselves. It’s like that adage: “good things come to those who wait”. Because forging a close bond with your customers takes steady effort and constant investment.

Nonetheless, in order to measure your customer advocacy marketing program’s ROI you first need to define your goals.

Is it brand exposure? Driving website traffic? Obtaining referrals? Getting product feedback? Social media reach? Event or webinar attendance? Collecting testimonials? Press and analyst hand raisers? Getting reviews on specialized platforms?

Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all formula to use when it comes to Customer Advocacy Marketing. With so many use case you can adopt, the metrics you follow have to be different as well. Look beyond the numbers and try to focus on the quality of the engagement you generate with your champions considering your target goals and audience. Then measure this engagement with a customized set of KPIs.

If you’re looking for immediate proof of value—when just starting out or at the request of a specific stakeholder—you can also try experimenting with tailored A/B testing and…

  • See how a product sales landing page performs with testimonials against one without
  • Count how many leads were captured at an event session with internal speaker vs. a similar session with a customer behind the mic
  • Check the average lifetime value of customers who are advocates vs. those who are not

Faced with the results from the split test, the difference will be clear enough for every stakeholder to understand how advocacy marketing works and why it benefits the organization.

For more established programs, you can use advocacy marketing software–such as Influitive AdvocateHub, ReferenceEdge, Reference Enablement, Gainsight Advocate Engagement or Salesforce Pardot— to stay on top of content shares, reference calls, participation in events and other acts of advocacy.

Key takeaways about how to measure customer advocacy marketing ROI:

  • Customer advocacy marketing is a long-term strategy mainly because building REAL, meaningful relationships with customers takes time, trust, and continuous communication.

  • As the overall budget for advocacy marketing programs varies from one company to another, it’s important to define your expectations and success before adopting ROI measuring tools.

  • As social media continues to gain popularity among most customers today and organic reach continues to be the preferred traffic source for most companies, advocacy marketing programs drive important growth without the need for massive financial investment.

  • Some commonly used tools for ROI measurement include social listening, tracking referrals, measuring customer engagement and influenced revenue as part of your marketing automation software toolkit.

Related Knowledge-Base Articles:

What is the best performing content?

The “customer success story” also known as case study, is the most common asset in advocacy marketing programs. This 1-2 pages story typically describes the customer journey from discovering their organization had a challenge to how they solved that challenge with the help of your solution.

Hungry for customer advocacy marketing knowledge?

Browse through our resources library to learn about inbound recruitment, automating engagement tasks, getting internal buy-in, setting program goals and everything else you need to know to recruit, nurture and engage customer advocates.

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