By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer
Last month, I promised to dig a bit more into the topic of “brand ambassadors,” who can be an effective part of an overall strategic marketing plan and contribute to improved results from various marketing and sales support activities.
Recruiting your ambassadors to attend and be active at NAFA, ALFA, RIMS, NTEA, and other important industry events can be much more effective than relying upon company representatives who can’t be everywhere at once.
Do you schedule your best advocates, e.g., enthusiastic customers, to spend time on the show floor? If not, consider arranging for them to be present during a scheduled prospect demo? Did you invite an advocate to speak at the conference? Conference planners seek out real-world case studies and avoid vendor-centric presentations. Let your advocate explain the user benefits of your products or services!
Have you arranged for a customer-prospect dinner or event right down to the seating arrangements and networking goals? Have you solicited support from an advocate to start a conversation with a potential customer at an association chapter meeting? The chances of delivering the message are much better in a peer-to-peer conversation.
Other Marketing Activities for Your Ambassadors
There are plenty of company-driven marketing activities where ambassadors can be more effective than your sales reps, technical staff, and even management.
- Seminars/Webinars: Supplement your subject matter expert seminar with a customer-advocate recitation of a real-world application. Seed the audience with advocates. Arrange for a visit to a nearby customer-advocate location.
- Content marketing: Content creation is a great way to bring in traffic and help solidify your brand voice; however, it also consumes a lot of time! So, tap into your tap into your brand ambassadors to contribute to your blog, website, newsletter, or other publication. Invite them to comment, retweet, or otherwise, contribute to your company’s social media program.
- Beyond Customer Advisory Groups: Many companies run customer advisory groups, but how many make brand advocacy, including messaging and feedback, part of the program? How many conduct ongoing communications to keep these most critical brand ambassadors in the loop? How much effort by management goes into soliciting opinions of individual advisory council members and thanking them for their support?
In my experience, most brand ambassadors are more than happy to volunteer their time to champion a brand — and the people behind the brand — they love. Active participation in such efforts only reinforces their belief that they made the right decision in choosing your company!
If you have any questions, comments, experiences or opinions about fleet industry-related marketing that you’d like to share, write to me at edpierce@ITAcommunications.com.