Advocate Marketing Has Four Personality Types

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Customer advocacy has rich—and largely untapped—potential, according to a recent Forrester report. To help marketers harness customers’ ability to promote brands, the report identifies four personality types they should consider while designing their advocacy programs.

While many companies focus on technology to establish their advocate marketing programs, they should instead be putting customer experience first, the study suggests. Moreover, focusing on customer desire—as opposed to company wants, such as case studies, testimonials, and referrals—can help build relationships with customers who are potential brand advocates, the report notes.

Educators are the first advocate personality type identified by the study. These people are enthusiastic, eager to help others, and have a good understanding of the products and services offered. These qualities make educators best suited for content creation, sharing content on social media, and community participation.

“When somebody is satisfied and happy with the way that your products and services are working for them, they want to tell other people about it. But the educators also have that teaching gene. [They] are helpers, they want others to be successful, and they do it because it makes them intrinsically feel good,” says Laura Ramos, vice president and principal analyst serving B2B marketing professionals at Forrester and principal author of the study.

Validators are the second advocate personality type. They tend to be credible, well-spoken, and fair in their evaluations. Furthermore, they are often willing to go on record on behalf of a company and to make introductions. These people are good resources for sales references, internal and external referrals, case studies, and product feedback.

“[Like educators], validators are also happy to share stories and things like that, but they don’t really feel that they’re getting anything out of it intrinsically,” Ramos clarifies. “They’re also the kind that, when they’re happy, they’re going to be your best supporters, but when they’re unhappy, they could be your biggest critics. They could be happy with you but still want more from you, and they will tell you straight, no matter what. They’re very important because they’re authentic and honest.”

Status seekers are the third type. Ambitious but honest, they tend to be strong public speakers, have extensive networks, and can influence others. With these strengths, status seekers are great for keynote presentations, executive introductions and referrals, and webinars.

“The status seekers are looking for the spotlight. They want to be seen as having…brought their career along by working with you,” Ramos notes. “They’re very motivated to be onstage, to have their name associated with your brand…and to be seen as a thought leader or an expert.”

Finally, there are the collaborators. Influential and dedicated, they are willing to invest in a brand and leverage their exclusive personal networks. Considering these strengths, collaborators are good options for customer advisory boards, strategic business reviews, and joint ventures.

“Collaborators tend to be executives, although not all collaborators are executives,” Ramos says. “While status seekers will have extensive networks and want their network to know about them and you, collaborators have an exclusive network. When you invest in each other—[when] they feel that you’re investing in them and they’re willing to invest in you—they will go out of their way to introduce you to the right people in their exclusive network.

“Based on these personalities, you make different choices,” she adds.

Ramos also suggests asking yourself a few questions before making the really tough decisions: “What kinds of people do you have in your customer base who could potentially be your advocates or are your advocates now? How do you design a program that’s going to take advantage of their natural inclinations?” she says. 

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