Laura Ramos, VP, Principal Analyst and Amy Bills, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

B2B companies recognize the value of customer advocacy, but many take a one-sided approach that offers little benefit to customers. The fix, say VPs and Principal Analysts Laura Ramos and Amy Bills, is to understand what motivates customers and match advocacy opportunities accordingly. On this episode of What It Means, they describe four advocate personality types and how marketers can use them to bolster their advocacy efforts.  

The episode starts with Ramos defining customer advocacy: a strategy, program, or set of initiatives that help customers share their knowledge, experience, and advice with prospects or other customers. Advocacy efforts help B2B companies build trust with prospective buyers, who often rely on peer recommendations to make decisions. Yet many organizations take an ad hoc approach to advocacy, with marketers unwittingly “harassing their customers from a lot of different directions,” Ramos notes. 

To overcome this, she and Bills introduce four advocate personality types: educators, validators, status seekers, and collaborators. Each type has different preferences and goals for engaging in advocacy activities, so B2B marketers need to understand and cater to them accordingly. 

For example, educators like to share what they know, so are good candidates for helping with FAQs and similar content. Validators provide candid feedback and see their success as hinging on their providers’ success, so are good candidates for customer references and product testing. Ramos and Bills provide detailed examples of what motivates each personality type and what types of advocacy content and initiatives each type may be eager to contribute to.  

Later in the episode, they share additional insight for creating B2B customer advocacy programs that are holistic, ongoing, and two-way. They explain how companies can improve their advocacy efforts, whether they are just starting out or looking to build a more structured program. Tune in to hear the full discussion. And check out the agenda for Forrester’s B2B Summit North America, where both Ramos and Bills will be presenting.