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

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Chapter 12

Activating B2B Advocates

Whenever I speak at conferences or on webinars about advocacy, I inevitably get this question from B2B marketers:

“Does advocacy work for B2B companies?”

The answer is an emphatic “yes,” in nearly all cases. Intuit, Microsoft, Box, and other B2B companies are amplifying positive word of mouth and collectively selling billions of dollar's worth of computers, software, marketing services, and more by energizing their Advocates.

Surprisingly, Advocates of B2B companies and products are very willing to use online tools provided to them by companies to create and share recommendations. About 25 percent of B2B Advocates are writing reviews and stories plus sharing promotional offers and content online with their business networks, among our B2B customers. An astonishing 65 percent of Advocates for CDW have written stories about their experiences with the online IT retailer.

Power of B2B Advocacy

Let's step back for a moment.

Advocacy has always been very influential in B2B circles. Very few B2B buyers purchase business software, marketing services, financial and accounting services, or thousands of other business products and services without getting recommendations or reading online reviews and comments.

In fact, business decision makers consistently rate word of mouth as the most influential factor in their purchases. In one study on the power of word of mouth advocacy in business, 56 percent of business decision makers rated it as most influential, ...

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