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Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by Rob Fuggetta

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Chapter 11

Advocacy Powers Up Software Sales

David Decker is no stranger to the power of advocacy.

“In my business, word of mouth is huge,” says Decker, founder of The Affordable Companies, a thriving kitchen, bath, and flooring dealer in Carmel, Indiana, about 20 miles north of Indianapolis. He estimates that about 65 percent of his company's business comes from word of mouth referrals.

So it's no surprise that when Decker was looking to buy an estimating software package for his company, advocacy played a big role in his purchase decision. Decker researched construction software packages online, carefully reading customer reviews and comments. He also talked to a couple of reference customers of Smart Contractor, a construction estimating, accounting, and project management software designed for small construction businesses.

Even though Smart Contractor provided the customer references, Decker said their comments were very influential in his purchase decision. “You can learn a lot when you talk to customers. Their tone and how they say things really matter,” said Decker. It turns out that connecting their Advocates with Decker was a smart marketing move for Smart Contractor. Decker ended up selecting Smart Contactor and has since become one of their Advocates himself.

The Power of Advocacy in Software

Software companies spend billions of dollars on paid search, e-mail marketing, banner ads, events, PR, and other marketing tactics. But nothing drives software purchase decisions ...

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