Analysts Continue to Champion Employee Advocacy

Analysts Continue to Champion Employee Advocacy

Here at Dynamic Signal, we see Employee Advocacy growing every day. We are working with more and more customers. We see the innovative ways they are adapting and tailoring our platform. But we understand that you can’t just take our word for it.

That’s why we’re happy that some of the most respected analysts continue to validate the category.

Back in April, we wrote how global analyst firms Gartner, Frost & Sullivan, and Altimeter recently covered the Employee Advocacy space. They not only detailed the rising rate of companies adopting Employee Advocacy, they provided objective proof for the business benefits of those programs.

More proof the category keeps on gaining momentum are two recent reports by more analyst heavyweights. A recent Forrester report, “Unraveling the Social Technology Web”, is essentially a how-to for companies that recognize the need to do more social marketing, but aren’t sure how to execute an Employee Advocacy program. As a “social marketing playbook”, Forrester does a great job in spelling out what capabilities you should look for in a social technology solution. The report also details which technical capabilities and features can support specific tactics like word-of-mouth, social ads, threaded discussions, reviews and more.

To prove the category is changing and growing rapidly, the report includes a chart that matches various customer lifecycle phases and social technologies with specific vendors. It’s handy information to help companies make smart buying decisions. When Forrester is making recommendations, you know it’s because their customers are asking about it.

The Employee Advocacy category gets a further boost with the report’s assertion that “social intelligence tools are the backbone of not just your social marketing practice but marketing in general.” Here Forrester details how social intelligence platforms have improved monitoring and messaging optimization and market research.

Another insightful report came from Gartner, who just released The Buy/Own/Advocate Customer Experience Journey. This is based on the concept that although word-of-mouth marketing is effective, companies need to motivate their customers to be advocates.

As Gartner’s Augie Ray recently said publicly, “Strong brands aren’t merely better at acquiring customers; they are better at keeping them and motivating them to tell others.” For evidence, Gartner shows how Starbucks became the third largest restaurant chain despite being outspent on advertising by their competition. Krispy Creme had 21 consecutive quarters of same-store growth without having an agency of record. All of these impressive numbers were the result of having a slew of loyal advocates. The Buy/Own/Advocate model is used by the Gartner for Marketing Leaders team, which we think is a tacit endorsement of the pioneering work we’ve been raving about for five years.

Watch this space for future analyst research and commentary talking about the state of advocacy marketing and more.

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James Nickerson

James Nickerson is the Director of Communications & PR at Dynamic Signal. He has spent over 20 years in corporate communications and marketing, primarily in the technology and non-profit arenas. He has held similar positions at Accenture, Symantec and Fleishman Hillard. He is the recipient of the 2014 NTEN Leading Change Award. In his spare time, Jim is a Lead Instructor for Digital Marketing at General Assembly in San Francisco. He also has been a member of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for 14 years, where he created their best-in-class social media program.