How to use Account Based Everything to Create Raving Customers

New year, New role, New me. Okay, only two of those are true. I’m still me, only now I’m leading Customer Advocacy at a hot company in Silicon Valley, Engagio!

From Then to Now

Rewind 5 years ago, I was sitting in front of Steve Dodsworth interviewing for an internship at Marketo. I was just trying to stay afloat finding my way in the tech world. I had no idea that it would be one of the greatest opportunities of my life. After my internship as an SDR, I sought out a role on the Professional Services team so I could work with existing customers and contribute directly to revenue growth. Those four years of selling services and smashing quotas were extremely fulfilling.

Fast forward to my current role at Engagio – I’ve made the shift from sales to marketing and customer advocacy. I love that I’m still working with customers and helping them succeed, but now I get to use a different side of my brain and use even more technology. Being a user of Marketo and Engagio has given me a new look at how to help customers and deliver a better experience. One of the things I’ll cover below are examples showing exactly how I leverage Engagio to expand our customer relationships.

Blogs, Books, and Videos Oh My!

Being a team of one doing Customer Advocacy at Engagio is a double-edged sword. I’m able to execute upon all of the ideas I have, but at the same time, I’m the only one doing customer advocacy so I have questions all the time. I have to rely on my industry friends, books, and blogs!

The first person I called was Genevieve Guerette Mays, Director of Customer Marketing at AppAnnie. She and I worked at Marketo together and our first meeting was extremely fruitful. She suggested I start with some goals of my Customer Advocacy Program. I identified three: expand the influencers list, leverage partnerships to help close new business deals, and build overall brand awareness.

Moving past the core job requirements, (tracking NPS, managing G2 Crowd reviews, etc.) it became very clear on what to execute first. I felt it was important to recognize the customers that have been voicing their love for Engagio since the beginning. I was excited to connect with them and send really awesome gifts their way. Check out the bobble heads I made of Kristen Wendel and Peter Herbert for participating in our very first case study and doing a video testimonial with us.versionone kristen wendel  peter herbert of versionone

Introducing the Advocacy Program

Next up, I wanted to brand the Advocacy Program. It was important to call these advocates something… something fun… but what? Engagio has an underwater theme, and Gio the Whale is fin-tastic! (See what I did there) and then it hit me…water, boats, sailors, ah Captains! “The Engagio Captains Club”. And the rest is history. It has already become a highly successful program for our customers who have shown serious passion for our Account Based Everything platform and need to be recognized for their efforts. I use Marketo, Salesforce, and Engagio to manage it.

I heard Lori Bush Shepard, VP of Marketing at Mobify, speak at an Influitive meetup. (Thank you Jim Williams, for your EDGE Program.) Lori words inspired me:

“To build a successful customer and advocate marketing program, you have to be authentic with your customers and give value to get value.”
– Lori Bush Shepard, Mobify

Authentic communication is what Engagio is all about! Lori also told me that it’s best to roll out a new program at an event. So while the back end of the Captain’s Club was being built, I started planning a local customer breakfast. For the invitations to the breakfast, I built out a Play in our PlayMaker product.

Here’s the template of the first touch:

PlayMaker email example

How I’m Using PlayMaker for Customer Advocacy

Now, take a look at the first email in the play from me. What a beautiful email, filled with all the info you would need and from the Customer Advocacy Manager – you would think everyone would respond…

Boy, was I wrong!

The majority of the responses flooded in when our VP of Customer Success, Scott Fehr jumped in (and by jumped in, I mean he approved the email I wrote and teed up for him to send out, which, again, I accomplished using Engagio).

Scott Fehr email

A common problem most customer marketing departments face is the inability to scale their executive reach-outs. Engagio’s PlayMaker product addresses this problem head-on! I sent out 65 invites and by the final email from Glen Lipka, our Head of Product, 39 people had RSVP’d.

The morning of the breakfast came fast! I had solid speakers, the space looked amazing, and I was ready to announce Engagio’s Captain’s Club.

Check out the Swell bottle I gave out to everyone who attended!

CC Water Bottle

*Pro-tip: Katie Pope, Sr. Customer Marketing Specialist at Marketo, told me about a hoodie campaign to drive G2 Crowd & Trust Radius reviews that garnered a ton of reviews and interest, more proof that physical giveaways work great and people love swag! I also learned that, if at any point, you are at a stand-still for reviews, throw out an incentive for internal employees to enlist customers to write a review.

Here I am announcing the program at the breakfast.

Captains Club Debut

The final email step in our Play built out of our PlayMaker product was to thank them for coming and sending them one last email welcoming them to the Captain’s Club!

After a successful customer event, I wanted to continue to ride that momentum. Coming from a sales role, I knew it would be important to connect revenue dollars to The Captain’s Club. The quickest win would be to create a reference program for sales. This way I could show that members in the Captain’s Club are helping influence deals. Since this happens frequently, I needed a fast and scalable way to manage these requests. I once again turned to Engagio PlayMaker to orchestrate our referral requests. Check out the play below!

customer outreach email

The Sales Account Executive is running this play on my behalf. Our sales team likes this because they are in charge and know it’s getting done. Our customers like this because Engagio’s advocacy is recognizing them for their efforts.

Are you well-liked? The Score that Matters

Let’s shift gears and talk about something extremely important in Customer Advocacy. How do you know which people would be interested in participating in your program? This initial question led me to a bigger question… Who even likes us?

Enter the Net Promoter Score. I thought it was important to understand who our promoters were, and more importantly, who the detractors are so we can get them on the right track and understand their needs better. I have a PlayMaker Play for each NPS response. Today, I can simply add the promoter, passive, or detractor to a Marketo Smart Campaign based on their score and PlayMaker will trigger a Play to that person.

There is a step to customize each email. If they are a Promoter, the email will urge them to join the Captain’s Club. If they fill out the form to join, yet another Play is triggered, this time welcoming them to the Captain’s Club from our very own Jon Miller! Pretty cool stuff!

A Little Help from my Friends

Heather Foeh, VP of Customer Experience at LookBookHQ, has been extremely helpful. One of the major things I was struggling with was managing advocacy without a platform like Influitive. Heather walked me through where, when, and how to log advocacy data in Salesforce in order to run actionable reports. She also got me on Twitter! Now, it’s fun to highlight our Engagio Captains on social media, plus, I need to see when they tweet out the awesome gifts I’ve sent them!

So, you may be wondering, do I miss Sales? Well, not really, mainly because I feel like I’m still involved. I can measure the revenue and retention that our Engagio Captains drive. Not only that, the amount of creativity I can put into my job has increased dramatically and I love learning new things about effective advocacy. Not to mention, my happiness level is through the roof – I enjoy coming to work each day and figuring out how I can enable and encourage all of our customers!

The people mentioned in this article are wonderful marketers and I want to thank them for their help. The people I haven’t mentioned here are just as important. They are my very talented co-workers that have helped contribute to the success of our advocacy efforts! Learning as much as I can from our marketing team (Charlie Liang, Brandon Redlinger, and Sandra Freeman) is now the opportunity I’m most excited about. I can’t wait to make history with my friends.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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