• Vanessa Mitchell

A-Z of Customer Advocacy Key Trends

Customer advocacy, also known as word of mouth marketing, is one of, if not the, most powerful marketing tools brands have today. Why? Because consumers trust third-party reviews, endorsements, and recommendations from real people far more than 'cold' marketing or advertising messages.


In fact, a 12% increase in advocacy (done well) can represent up to a 200% increase in revenue.


Prospects trust other consumers, and not necessarily the brand, to tell them the truth. They know most consumers will be honest, and not pull any punches when it comes to reviews.


Therefore, an endorsement by a customer goes a long way to convince potential new customers to give your business a try. In fact, customer advocates are 83% more likely to share information, and 50% more likely to influence a purchasing decision. Customer advocates are also two times more likely to generate sales than paid advertising.



AZK Media prides itself on being a premium global agency for developing and scaling exceptional customer advocacy programs. Let’s take a look at the A-Z of why customer advocacy is vital in today's B2B marketing mix:


Advocacy

As mentioned, but it bears repeating, a 12% increase in advocacy (done well) can represent up to a 200% increase in revenue.


Brand

58% of companies don’t know who their brand advocates are. This is a big disconnect and a significant waste of marketing resources.


Customers

Customer advocates are 83% more likely to share information, and 50% more likely to influence a purchasing decision.


Digital advertising

The cost of digital advertising is rising 5 times faster than inflation, and increasingly consumers are becoming more adblind. Instead of wasting money on ads, try customer advocacy to get more leads.


Earned media

Press, word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer referrals drive 4 times the brand lift as paid media.


Friends

People pay over 2 times more attention to posts and recommendations from their friends than any kind of ad.


Great experience

71% of people recommend a great experience. So if you are offering a great experience to your customers, you are well ahead in customer advocacy.


Hero

92% of users will use a local business if it has a 4-star rating, making ratings your hero.


Inbound

80% of companies don’t leverage advocates in their inbound marketing, which is a significant mistake.


Just ask

60% of marketers track their word-of-mouth referrals by simply asking how they found out about their business. It’s easy to do, and you can even offer incentives for your happy customers to refer to your business.


King

81% of marketers said that exceptional service was their method for achieving good word of mouth, which is why customer experience (CX) is increasingly under the CMO’s purview.


Likely

When a friend or family makes a recommendation, it is 50x more likely to trigger a purchase.


Leads

49% of marketers believe that 20-40% of their leads come from referrals, says Referral Rock.


Marketing

Peer-to-peer marketing is the leading driver behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.


Ninety

Consumers discuss specific brands casually 90 times per week - are you one of them? If not, try upping your CX.


Online

Online businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to referrals from advocates and brand superfans.


Posts

User-generated posts have a 28% higher engagement rate compared to standard posts. They are also 2 times as likely to be shared.


Quality

28% of millennials say they won’t try a product if their friends don’t approve of it.


Referrals

82% of consumers proactively seek referrals from peers before making a purchasing decision.


ROI

Brands generate a 650% ROI for every dollar invested in influencer and advocacy marketing.


Sales

Customer advocates are also two times more likely to generate sales than paid advertising.


Social media

The average social media user is connected to 400+ friends and family and 67% of consumers say they are likely to purchase an item or service they see on their social feeds.


Trust

76% of individuals surveyed say they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands. 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.


Users

Up to 30% of all internet users are using ad blockers, and among both Millennials and Gen Xers, there is a rise in ad blindness.


Verified

92% of B2B buyers are more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review.


Word of mouth

90% of consumers rate ‘word of mouth’ as hugely influential in their purchasing decision and word-of-mouth marketing has been shown to increase marketing effectiveness by as much as 54%.


X-factor

88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.


Y?

Why is it only 33% of businesses are actively seeking out and collecting reviews? AZK Media finds it’s because a lot of brands are scared to find out what their customers have to say about them. This thinking needs to end.


Zero (almost)

Almost zero per cent of consumers (8%) believe advertising over suggestions from friends and family.


As you can see, there are a number of compelling reasons why customer advocacy is critical to your B2B marketing efforts. The increasingly savvy consumer is becoming immune to the 'same old' advertising and marketing messaging, however more than ever before, they are trusting network recommendations and real, evidence-bases use cases. If you have a great product and offer a fantastic customer experience, why not let your customer do the talking for you?


Discover how AZK Media can help scale your customer advocacy efforts here.