What Role Do the Press and Analysts Play in Customer Advocacy?
At its core, customer advocacy is about identifying successful client stories and spreading them accordingly on media channels so that the sales, product, and marketing teams within your organization can better connect to your target audience.
These stories become known to the audience through reference calls, conferences, press and analysts reports. They have an important role in marketing and brand communications, as they influence purchasing decisions in all verticals and business models, especially in the B2B tech sector. By offering advocates a network to speak to about industry trends and best practices, you have the chance to increase your exposure and develop strategic partnerships.
Industry analysts such as Gartner, Forrester, or IDC are important influencers in the IT industry. Almost all buyers make purchase decisions and shortlist service providers after first consulting analyst reports. Especially when they need to justify their decision in front of stakeholders and present a business case to colleagues and management. Press and analysts are looking to get information from your communications team about results your customers have using your products. If you are letting them to speak to customers without feeding them relevant data, they will go with their personal assumptions.
Some of the best practices you could apply to ensure a successful press release include:
- Bringing forward the customers who are already polished executives with strategic speaking experience.
- Help your less experienced advocates with presentations. Make it easier for them to say awesome things about your brand. Prepare them accordingly by providing sample articles, questions they should expect, and key product benefits they can expand on.
- Get your writers and marketers to work with your advocates, because no matter how great the raw story is, a touch of structure and personalization will make a big difference.
If your brand is on the verge of a big launch or acquisition, adding support messages from your customer advocates and spreading them across the media is a good idea as customer advocates’ voices will boost your brand messaging, reinforce its trust and resonate to your target audience. Also, having deeply rooted connections across your customer community and business ecosystem and working with analysts or press, allows you and your advocates to befriend your target audience.
While some of your more experienced advocates know how to speak about and shed light on your current or upcoming services, analysts or press can introduce those services to potential customers that are out of you reach. By employing this strategy, your sales conversion rate is bound to increase rapidly, all you have to do is just ask your advocates to share their stories with the press. Analysts often share valuable insights based on the conversations they have with advocates and the research they conduct. These bite-sized pieces of information can offer business-changing advantages which you hadn’t previously considered and at the same time positively influence your prospects’ buying behavior.
Generally, the press has close relationships with your prospect base, so the manner in which advocates depict your products can serve as valuable information for both analysts and prospects. Ultimately, the way analysts perceive and represent your brand in various consulting engagements and throughout their research can have a huge impact on your brand’s growth. So, educate analysts about your existing and future brand assets, keep them updated and provide with opportunities to leave their feedback on your customer success story. That feedback can later be leveraged by your brand to adjust business and product planning. It’s a valuable element that once implemented can help you see how your brand performs from an outside perspective.
Key takeaways about what role do press and analysts play in customer advocacy:
- Press and analysts acts as an extension and amplifier of your customers’ voice.
- Despite of your actions, your customers are reading articles and talking to analysts every day, so why not create opportunities for them to meet and grow your personal brand through speaking and press engagements.
- By offering advocates a chance to speak in front of a targeted audience helps you grow your brand and customer base.
Related Knowledge-Base Articles:
Word of mouth exists since the beginning of commerce. But it has evolved over centuries and exploded into a hot new trend since social media exists. You want as many advocates as possible to empower your sales, marketing and product development.
In the 21st century, community remains one of the strongest human needs, and it is no different for those who decide to become customer advocates. Through forums and community management software you can engage your customer advocates and help them interact and connect with each other, both online and offline.
The press and industry analysts are an important voice in marketing and brand communications. They influence purchasing decisions in all verticals and business models. But possibly B2B tech more than any others. A robust customer advocacy marketing program will broker interactions between advocates, press, and analysts. It will also help prepare the advocates for the interview and make them comfortable.