Product Marketing Rule #36: Turn Your Audience into Advocates
Product Marketing Rule #36 from the best-selling book, 42 Rules of Product Marketing, was written by Adrienne Tan, Director, Brainmates, Australian product management and marketing agency
In effect, social media becomes the platform where users sell to buyers.
A key task of Product Marketing is to create buying messages that entice buyers to purchase.
Sound simple? As any great Product Marketer knows, there is a plethora of activity that occurs before crafting appropriate messages that make products stand out in crowded markets, some of which include:
- Market segmentation
- Eliciting buyer problems
- Developing a buyer persona
- Mapping the buying process
- Understanding the product, its features and benefits
Product Marketing is a significant investment for any business. To get it wrong means that substantial efforts across the business may not be realized. On the flip side, getting it right means that the rewards are plentiful. The investment in Product Marketing and the cost of doing business means that we must seek ways to stretch our limited resources. Using the target audience as advocates for the company’s product and message is one way in which we can effectively do more with less.
Social media has made it possible to generate enthusiasm and excitement amongst our audience and subsequently create a more natural, believable way of selling our message. In effect social media becomes the platform where users sell to buyers. Peer recommendation and endorsement are extremely powerful, more so than stale ads.
How do we turn our target audience into advocates?
Deliver a product that solves a problem better than the competitors. While Product Marketers are not directly involved in Product Development efforts, outwardly focused views on the market and knowledge of the buyers means that Product Marketers can influence the final product solution.
In order to turn the audience into advocates, the organization must provide a talking point. Product experiences that delight the customer from the beginning to the end are the only meaningful talking points that drive significant business value. Without this, the audience will certainly talk within their circle of influences, but the conversation may not be positive and may damage the product’s reputation and brand. Good product experiences are talked about.
There are some simple rules to follow.
Be where your customers are.
Product Marketers who stay on top of what their customers are saying and doing are ones that will know how to create loyal advocates. In order to do so, you’ll need to find your customers and be a part of their community. Alternatively you can create an appropriate community for your customers. In order to establish a loyal following who will spread your product’s key messages, do both. Join in and create a community.
Engage and deliver value.
When you’ve found your customers, best to sit back and listen first. No one likes a noisy marketer. During this stage, identify influencers of the community and trending topics. Once you’re familiar with the community, genuinely engage with your audience. Over time, you’ll discover key opportunities for offering your ‘tuned in’ customers a little more ‘love’ so that they start to spread the message and become your advocates. Needless to say, what you offer to your customers needs to be
of value before an exchange occurs.
Make it easy for your audience to be advocates.
If you’ve created a community, make sure it’s easy for your customers to participate. And this simply means providing the right tools, content, and messages for your customers to use and spread the good word.
Done genuinely, results will follow.