The Power of Internal Advocates

By Irwin Hipsman

External advocates are very, very important as they will participate in public acts of advocacy (i.e. quotes, videos, use cases…). However, not all advocates can participate in that type of advocacy. Either their company does not allow it, or the individual is just not comfortable with that type of exposure. However, many of your users can and often do advocate on your behalf within their company. It happens all the time and is really hard to track, so it can be a low priority.

There is an argument to be made that internal advocates, particuarly at your key/strategic accounts, can be as important to an advocacy program than if those same people advocated externally.

Think about it. Internal advocates know what is going on at their company, are encouraged to collaborate with their colleagues and are available to help on an ongoing basis. There are a quite a few opportunities for your customer advocacy team to support an internal advocate. These include:

  • Participate in a Bespoke User Group just for a customer’s users of your product
  • Present at a Lunch & Learn or Technology Fair
  • Write an article they write for the company’s wiki, employee newsletter or blog

These are great…but are just more work for your advocate.

What can we do to help advocates without adding to their workload? After all, marketing your product is not their job. Have you ever wondered what advocates say or send when asked about your product? Some advocates have created content just for this task, but most will send a colleague to your web page for them to figure it out.

The Crimson Hexagon advocacy team has been experimenting with a co-branded one-pager (with a custom URL) that explains the product, how it is being used by the customer, who are the key contacts, some relevant use cases, ebooks or videos. It can even incorporate customer-generated content.

A few benefits

  • Once the template is done, it just takes a few minutes to create another one.
  • This is a great conversation starter for a CSM.
  • As it is a landing page we can track and report back to the customer about opens and which content is resonating. None of the content is gated unless the customer wants to determine who is viewing it.
  • Some of your larger enterprise customers already have pages like this. Even if they do not use the co-branded page, this is an opportunity to see what their pages look like, help update the content or messaging and offer any help.
  • Programs like this can impact account growth. Take a look at your existing public-facing content and landing pages. Do any of them lend themselves to co-branding and/or customization?

Who knows…by working closely with your internal advocates perhaps, over time, some will want to become an external advocate.

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