Understanding the seven drivers of customer reference program performance

12 December 2017

There is no better time in marketing to harness the power of advocacy.

Highlighting your brand advocates who use and love your products and services and amplifying these positive endorsements is the ultimate achievement.

Organizations, both big and small, are making significant investments focused on featuring the ‘voice of the customer’ to tell the brand story and speak to the benefits they experienced. However, competition is making it difficult to stand out.

For many, customer reference stories live only in central case study libraries, which are doing them no good. They need to be discoverable throughout the customer journey. Modern customer reference programs now need to serve this information through a wide number of channels.

Organizations need to identify ways to differentiate themselves from the growing noise from its competitors. The process is no small feat.

The drivers of credibility

To help businesses evolve their advocacy programs, Metia published The Customer Reference Program Performance Study 2017. The research analyzes the key performance attributes of 13 major technology brands and the comparative effectiveness of their customer advocacy and reference programs against seven drivers of success which are:

  • Discoverable - Rapid and effective access to reference materials, as well as the ability to search, classify, and tag content
  • Current - New, constantly changing content and the ability to easily discover the most recent (and relevant) content
  • Brand Endorsed - Public case studies by credible, household brands andregional or industry-specific small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)
  • Relevant Content - Content diverse enough that customers can find uses cases that are hyper-relevant to their ‘unique’ situation
  • Diverse Formats – Modernized templates, use of multimedia; content that fits diverse consumption preferences
  • Customer Centric - Content that heavily leverages the customer voice and that has a strong emphasis on not only the product, but the end customer-experience
  • Outcome Focused – Content effectiveness comes from demonstrating measurable success and ROI

Opportunities to differentiate

The insights in this study clearly point to specific strategies and tactics to optimize experiences for advocacy throughout all stages of the customer journey. Additionally, the research delivers guidance for brands on how to build a more effective customer advocacy program and opportunities to differentiate its customer stories from competitors.

You can download the report here. If you would like to learn more about the detail of the study, or wish for your organization to be benchmarked in subsequent studies, please get in touch.