Definition: Advocacy Marketing is a form of marketing that emphasizes getting existing customers to talk about the company and its products. More than 80% of shoppers research online before buying, and having people publicly advocating for the product gives these researchers something to find and study.
In a 2015 report by Nielsen, a global information and research organization, it was found that 83% of consumers placed the most trust in the recommendations of friends and family. Furthermore, 66% trusted the opinions of consumers they found online.
Advocacy works because, as the above studies illustrate, people are more likely to trust their peers than direct advertising. When someone asks a friend about their experiences with a particular product or company, the feedback can be significantly more impactful than any marketing campaign could hope to attain.
Advocacy marketing is also one of the most affordable methods of acquiring new customers because it leverages previous investments in products and customer service. Happy customers tend to talk about products without being prompted to do so, which can lead to new customers at no additional cost.
These simple strategies can help any company encourage advocacy (and improve their business at the same time).