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What Is the Value of an Advocate?

Advocates can provide a wide range of benefits and value. Their value can be measured in several different ways, but revenue is most valued by companies. Citrix’s senior manager of Global Reference Programs Lee Rubin reported at a recent event, “In 2014, our reference engagement value programs influenced $500,000,000 in the sales pipeline.”

Advocates deliver powerful public endorsements and can strongly influence peers and acquaintances. Through their evidence, other consumers gain independent, firsthand information about how a product or service delivers value by helping clients address critical business challenges. Endorsements can be found in a wide range of forums and in many forms, including product reviews, references and referrals, content syndicators, user group content, market intelligence, speaking engagement presentations, marketing, or customer support content and surveys.

In the April 2014 issue of Infographic Journal, writer Irma Wallace described the Statistical Argument for Customer Advocacy. Those metrics underscore the value of advocate marketing as follows:

  • 92 percent of customers trust recommendations from people they know.
  • Advocates tell twice as many people about their purchases.
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations drive 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.
  • Advocates are five times more valuable than average customers because they spend more on products and increase product purchases.
  • Customers referred by other customers have a 37 percent higher retention rate.
  • Advocates are two to three times more effective than nonadvocates when it comes to persuading others to make purchases.
  • A 12 percent increase in advocacy generates a 200 percent increase in revenue growth rate.
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