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  • Malorie Leonetti, Marketing Coordinator at NMI

Fan-Based Marketing Part Two: Determining Who Your Fans Are

In one of our last blogs we focused on Fan Based or Advocate Marketing – what it is, why it benefits you and how to get started. We started to discuss the “funnel” – where you go from having a customer, to making them a fan through your products and services, to the final layer of making your fan an advocate where they love your product as much as you do. As mentioned in the last blog, not every customer will turn into or is meant to be an advocate – this takes a special kind of person. We got a lot of great feedback and questions asking, “how do I define an advocate? Well ask and you shall receive This blog is focused specifically on finding your fans, and then driving advocacy.

We all know what customers are so let’s start with the next important question – what does a fan look like? A fan is a loyal customer. These are regular customers who don’t think about going to a competitive product and are likely to recommend you to a friend if they are asked. And then there’s your advocate. An advocate praises you from the rooftops and can’t understand why anyone would choose anything different!

Take Microsoft Office for example. You have likely used Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, or Excel at school or work at some point. When you think of the spectrum of users there are the ones who use it because they have to (consumers), the ones who like it but don’t think about it (fans), and then there is that person down the hall that just gets it. They are the local go-to for any questions before you run off to IT or the internet. These people don’t just understand it, they preach it, they teach others and they get bloody excited about it. That’s advocacy.

So how can you tie this to your company? Consider this; people are the most powerful ad medium and they can make or break your brand. Advocates will proudly represent your company, use your products and will sway others to do the same. Not because they are paid to but because they genuinely love your business.

Determine the following:

· Who are your loyal customers?

· Who understands your product or service and is always dying to learn more?

· Who recommends you to their friends and family?

Now that you’ve starting thinking about who your advocates will be, start thinking about how you will keep them engaged. Better yet – what are they getting out of the deal? You need to give them a reason to rave about your brand and something to keep them excited. They already adore you but you’re basically asking them to do free advertising for you so you best reward them for their efforts.

Every business will be different, therefore how you reward your advocates will vary. Think of what their lifestyles look like, what they get excited about, what would benefit them. A simple and familiar example that comes to mind is Starbucks Gold Memberships. The people that hold these memberships are already loyal customers and for continuing their loyalty, Starbucks offers them free food or beverage items after purchasing a certain amount, free birthday beverages and even deals on products for an on the go business person, on top of their already wonderful and personalized experiences – which usually makes the customer relay the message that hey, Starbucks is pretty awesome and they get my lifestyle (whether that be in person or the super basic, filtered Instagram post of their watch, shoes and coffee cup… don’t worry, we’re guilty of it too).

Take a good look at who your fans are, what they have in common and how you can benefit them for benefiting you. They key is to give them an experience that will make them want to tell everyone they know just how wonderful you really are.

Over the past few months we have really been focusing on different marketing avenues, the space we play in and trying to shed a little more light on how most marketing forms tie together. In September we are hitting it out of the park with a topic you may not be as familiar with but we are more than excited to announce *que drumroll* – be sure to check it out!

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