3 Reasons Why Advocate Marketing should be in Your 2019 Marketing Budget

This is the time of year when many marketers are creating their 2019 marketing plans and budgets.

Here are three reasons why Advocate marketing should be in your 2019 marketing game plan:

1. Word of mouth is the #1 driver of purchase decisions.

It’s a proven fact: Word of Mouth (WOM) like online reviews play a huge role in purchase decisions.

  • 92% people trust Word of Mouth (WOM) over any form of advertising (Nielsen)

  • Up to half of all purchases rely on WOM (McKinsey)

  • 88% say buying decisions are influenced by user-generated content like customer reviews (Gartner Group)

It’s therefore critical that you have a systematic, ongoing program to get your Advocates to recommend your brand and products by doing things like:

  • Creating and posting positive reviews and stories

  • Sharing your content and offers

  • Referring friends

2. Advocate marketing is highly effective.

Here are three data points that prove this:

  1. The conversion rate for most traditional marketing programs is about 1% or less. However, conversion rates for Advocate marketing programs is about 35% (Ogilvy)

  2. On average, when brands send messages to 100 prospects this results in about five in-bound clicks. When Advocates send messages to 100 prospects, brands get about 70 in-bound clicks. (Zuberance customer data)

  3. Customers brought in via Advocate referrals are 37% more loyal than customers brought via traditional marketing (Deloitte)

    Here’s another proof point:

 This SaaS company acquired subscribers via Advocate marketing for about one-quarter the cost compared to traditional marketing.

This SaaS company acquired subscribers via Advocate marketing for about one-quarter the cost compared to traditional marketing.

3. Advocate marketing is inexpensive, relative to paid media.

For only about $10K per month, you can build and unleash an “army” of thousands of Advocates to enthusiastically recommend your brand and products to thousands of prospects — all year long.

For an investment at this level, and depending on the size of your Advocate Army, you can get:

  • Thousands of pieces of valuable UGC (stories, reviews, photos, videos.) UGC is 12X more trusted than brand content. (source: BazaarVoice)

  • Millions of impressions from Advocates sharing their content and yours on their social channels. The average number of followers and connections a Brand Advocate has 1,000. If you get 1,000 Advocates to share your content, you reach 1,000,000 people.

  • Hundreds of thousands of in-bound clicks to your website, online store, and landing page

If you know of another marketing approach more cost-effective than Word of Mouth, please let me know.

PS: It’s not too late to start mobilizing your Advocates to drive sales for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and during the entire holiday season.