One of my very favorite things I enjoy about my role as head of customer culture for Oracle Eloqua’s customers is working on our Markie Awards each year. I love the day when we announce the finalists, and even more the exciting moment under the spotlights when we have the opportunity to award statues to the winners. I really think I’m just as excited as they are when they win! That celebration of success is in our lifeblood and it feeds all of us during the year.
Happily last week I had the privilege of being on the receiving end of that statue-handing experience at the Influitive Best Advocate Marketing Awards. This was the inagural “Bammies” ceremony and I was absolutely honored to receive one for Best Advocate Experience. Working with our amazing Advocates on a daily basis is like a mini dose of that Markies fun spread across 52 weeks, so to receive an award for it was the cherry on top of my awesome sundae of a job.
Personally, the best part of the lovely awards ceremony that Influitive hosted was connecting with so many talented marketers in the same area of customer advocacy that I focus on. It’s not often that you have a whole room of us together and we definitely didn’t squander the opportunity to pick each other’s brains for ideas. So many conversations started with, “What do you do about…” or “Have you tried…” We all wanted to know what’s working well for our colleagues and how they’ve tackled specific challenges.
I walked away from the event not only with a really impressive statue, but with at least two dozen ideas I want to try this year and several new friends who I can call in the future when I need to brainstorm. That may have been the best gift Influitive could have given me!
Here are 3 key takeaways from my best practices discussions with other great Advocate marketers:
1. Keep it Personal. Creating strong Advocates is all about the personal connection and the best way to thank someone for doing a reference call, etc. is to do something meaningful to them personally, not just professionally. Does your Advocate love zombies? Send them a poster for The Walking Dead or a zombie-related bumper sticker. It’s not the monetary value that matters; it’s the fact that you took the time to remember what they like.
2. Make it Easy. Sometimes we ask time-consuming things from our Advocates and even though they want to help they might be in the middle of a particularly busy time at work. Create small, easy-to-accomplish ways for them to participate so they still feel part of the Advocate inner circle without a huge time investment.
3. Keep it Growing. Even if you dearly love your current dedicated group of Advocates (as I do!) it’s important to offer new folks the chance to join the group and keep it growing and fresh. This keeps the longtime community from getting fatigued and can also create connections between the veterans and the newbies, which can be beneficial to both.comments powered by Disqus