3 Ways to Identify Advocates

Identifying your Advocates is the first step of the advocacy process. I often refer to this step as building your Advocate Army. It's the prelude to unleashing your Advocates. Identifying isn't a one-time deal. You should be identifying your Advocates continuously. The more recruits in your Advocate Army, the more impact it can have on your sales and marketing.

3 Ways to Identify Advocates

  1. Ask. The first way to find Advocates is to ask the Ultimate Question for customer loyalty: (On a scale from 0-10), "How likely are you to recommend us?" Customers who answer 9 or 10 (highly likely to recommend) can be considered advocates.
  2. Listen. You can identify Advocates by monitoring Twitter and other social channels. social media listening tools can also help you find Advocates. But these tools by themselves aren't always the best way to identify Advocates.
  3. Observe. You can find Advocates by observing customers' behavior. For example, if customers are bringing referrals to you or creating positive videos about your products and posting them on YouTube, they're already showing by their behavior that they're Advocates.

You may be satisfied with your Jeep Grand Cherokee, but would you put your personal reputation on the line by recommending it to a friend? Maybe not. Advocates recommend. {tweet this}

Based on customers' responses to the Ultimate Question, you can categorize them as either Advocates, Passives or Detractors.

  • Advocates (people who answer 9 or 10) are highly likely to recommend your company, brand, product or service.
  • Passives (people who answer 7 or 8 ) are somewhat likely to recommend your company or product. Some Passives for business products and services are actually willing to recommend.
  • Detractors (people who answer 0 through 6) are highly unlikely to recommend your company or product. Detractors go out of their way to criticize you, damaging your reputation and revenues.

Ask the Ultimate Question Often

Your company may be asking the Ultimate question now in annual or quarterly customer satisfaction surveys. I recommend you ask the Ultimate Question often and at every customer touch point. Here's why:

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  • The more you ask, the more Advocates you identify. Asking the ultimate question often enables you to build a large Advocate Army. When it comes to advocacy, size matters. 
  • Advocacy is dynamic. For example, you may be a jet Blue Advocate now, but if you're stranded on the tarmac at JFK for eight hours without food or water, you can quickly become a JetBlue Detractor. When JetBlue issued its passenger bill of rights, becoming the first airline to do so, they may have won back some of those lost Advocates.
  • Advocacy feedback is valuable. Knowing whether customers recommend you and why, and who your Advocates, Passives, and Detractors are, is vital to building your brand and business. {tweet this}

When marketers discover the power of the Ultimate Question, they're like kids in a candy store. they want to start adding all sorts of questions to online surveys featuring the Ultimate Question.

Resist the temptation.

I recommend that you limit online surveys aimed at finding Brand Advocates to no more than three questions: the Ultimate Question, plus two others. Here's why: the overarching purpose of this type of online survey is to identify your advocates so you can turn them into a marketing force. this is not customer research. It is the first step in energizing your Advocate Army. {tweet this}

You can always capture more profile data about Advocates later as you engage them.

What are you waiting for? Go ask the Ultimate Question!

Resources for You:

Zuberance: The leaders in Brand Advocacy

ZuberRants: Zuberance's blog full of ideas as to why you should invest in earned media & content to  help you build your Brand Advocacy program


This is an excerpt from the book, Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force (Wiley; ISBN: 978-1-1183-3603-8; July 2012; Hardcover & E-book) - See more at: http://brandadvocatebook.com/about-the-book/#sthash.x8yth0oN.dpuf