Lessons from a Marketing Guru on building $B Companies thru Advocate Marketing
Using Advocate Marketing to make your customers so happy, that they sell your products for you.
Birth of AM [Radio?] ID Category, pick Right Customers, make Happy Customers, set SMART goals, 1/2 Patience, Serialize
Advocate Marketing concept is so simple, it makes you wonder why it took this long for someone to really implement it. Think about it. You target your best brand ambassadors (your happy customers) and have them lead your marketing charge. It’s organic, it’s smart, and it’s very effective.
Marketing Guru Mark Organ created the company Influitive back before anyone was really focusing on Advocate Marketing. And he succeeded, launching a platform that capitalizes on happy customers & good brand experiences, two positive things that are rarely seen as potential for key factors of success. Prior to that, Mark founded marketing automation pioneer Eloqua, which was so successful that it was acquired by Oracle for $871 million in 2012. In between, he helped over a dozen SW companies in the U.S. & Asia successfully go to market. I recently sat down to speak with Mark to discover what he has learned launching two very successful SaaS companies. Here are five of the top insights from our talk:
1. Birth of Advocate Marketing is going to get a lot of attention over the next few years. While it’s definitely still in the early stage for Advocate Marketing, I’ve led this kind of innovation before and I believe that virtually every company in the world will have some form of Advocate Marketing program and strategy in the next 10 years.”
2. Identify a $B Business category. According to Mark, the challenge for most tech entrepreneurs today is figuring out how to get above the noise of a flooded market. “I think that the solution to building a big company is about understanding — with an incredible amount of detail — a “niche” that is likely to become really valuable in the future. The good news is that there are still a lot of opportunities today in the business world to build a $B category, “because the need to market is fundamental.”
3. Find the “right” Customers. The key to starting any “scalable” startup is to identify your main group of customers and ignore the rest. But how many of us actually follow through to cater to their specific needs? “For me the process of building a company really comes down to first identifying a unique “niche” that needs and will pay for your product or service. You have to decide which of your customers are the best ones — & reward them to keep them extra loyal. What is it about these people that is driving the most value and how do you get more people like them
4. Happy Customers are your “best” Marketers. Content & Inbound marketing isn’t expanding as fast, and it’s created a new problem for marketers — too much content. There is so much content – perceived as noise – that a lot of prospective buyers do not know what to focus on. The best way to cut through the clutter is to develop prospects with social proof and have trusted advocates communicate your message.
5. Take time to set SMART goals. (Specific, Measure-able, Attainable, Realist, Timely) It’s not easy scaling from a few thousand dollars in revenue to a couple million, much less to one billion. According to Mark, it’s a matter of hitting small, achievable goals every day and keep raising the bar.
6. Benefits of Goals. I write out what my goals are for the day. And I feel good in that I get most of those things done, both for the company and as an individual, on a daily, weekly, monthly & quarterly basis.” It’s equally as important for entrepreneurs to enjoy the journey while hitting their goals. The deep level of personal and team-based growth that an entrepreneur experiences at a startup is irreplaceable. “I think the kind of personal growth that makes the life of an entrepreneur very satisfying.
7. Patience to accept the Pains & Frustrations, when you have disruptive technology is going.” Why are so many entrepreneurs bad at this? Because creative people tend to fall in love with an idea for a solution rather than with the problem that needs solving. Starting a business comes down to making it personal. If you can’t lose yourself in a problem, if you can’t understand the need personally, then you can’t “feel out” the best way to solve it.
8. What being a “serial” Entrepreneur really means. Finally, I wanted to know the difference between what Mark did at his 1st company to make it so successful, and what he’s doing at Influitive today. “The difference between what I’m doing at my present company Influitive, is that I decided that I’m always going to be a “serial” entrepreneur and I’m going to try to do it the best I can.”
Take-Away. Serial entrepreneurs must consider their pain points constantly and use them to evolve their problem-solving skills. Mark advocates personal growth. Don’t stop building companies. And don’t stop building yourself.
Comments: Have you tried Advocate Marketing? Can you share your experiences?
from Enterprize Zine 21 June 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz