609: How to Mobilize Your Advocates w/ Mark Organ

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Mark Organ, CEO at Influitive.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markorgan/

There's a ton of noise out there. So how do you get decision makers to pay attention to your brand? Start a podcast and invite your ideal clients to be guests on your show. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the baby growth show. We are here today with Mark Oregan. He is the CEO at Influidi of Mark. How you doing today? I'm doing great, James. I'm really excited to chat with you today. Mark. We started talking about a month ago, maybe a few weeks ago, right before your your annual conference, and stoke that we that we got you on mark. You you recently wrote a book called the Messenger is the message is all right, that's right, awesome. I want to talk about some of the key themes from that book, but before we get into that, I'd love for you to tell our listeners just a little bit about influidive and a what you guys are doing up there. Sure, yeah, thank you. So a little bit about in fluid and influided and and the book. The messengers the message have have a lot in common, as you think you at at influent. If we help companies discover Nur sure mobilize their customer advocates and other advocates, including developers and partners, employees and discoverners, for mobilize them to do way more than really what most people and companies would think is reasonable for customer advocates to do. And that is well also a lot of what the book is about as well, which is, you know, how to get a lot more value from your advocates by giving them a better experience, which is really where...

...the oars and story of fluidio comes from, where I used to be found or CEO of Aliquoi, and one of the things we noticed was that these best in class sales processes where you know you'd win these deals in a few days as opposed to a few months, that those had tons of advocacy all over those processes. You know, it was a referrals in the way in and in great case studies and references in the way out, and and so. And it was hard to generate that ad because, yeah, and so, where in Fluti have came from was trying to solve that problem. How does systematically generate a lot more of these referrals and videos and five star online reviews and all these things that we, as be too be folks, really are dependent on, yeah, for our best that's really where where influitive has come from, and we're still dedic for much dedicated to that idea of how to help companies systematically generate this high quality activity. And our big insight was that by providing a better experience for advocates, you will actually get a lot more of that high quality advocacy that we all want. I love it, and so so mark. Let's just let's just dive right in there like so. So, if creating this advocacy experience is is what we should be trying to do, I guess my question is, where do we start? How do we go about trying trying to create an advocacy experience that actually creates the raving fans that do our marketing for us? Well, I think in order to answer that, I may be useful to take a step back and I'll talk a little bit about the foundational research that I did, actually, even back when I was at al and from two thousand and seven to two thousand and ten, even before I started in fluid, and what I learned about what makes advocates tick, because it's actually different from these people in our roles as customers, and so I interview literally hundreds of these folks, these people,...

...we call them super advocates. They do over two hundred pieces of advocacy here. To understand a simple question, which is, what would it take for you to triple the amount of activity do? And reason why I asked it that way was was really as an accident that while I was at Alcua, we had this award ceremony called the Marquis. They still do it, the Marquis Awards, and what they found, again by accident, was that when you give people awards and you invite people to a gala dinner and entertain folks and make them feel really good, then they respond by doing a ton of advocacy. That was involved moment that went off for me, yeah, that there's something special about the experience that we created that drove people to advocate even though we didn't even ask for that was the amazing thing. We even asked for it, they did it. So that's when a lightball went off for me that there's something special that we did at this award ceremony. And it turns out, I think, what it is that we did. There was something we call social capital. Yep, and social capital is the you know, this increase in reputation, you know that that these people have got by just being at that emits. So social capital is one of those things that drive advocacy. Another another thing it drives advocacy, which you could feel at this event, is something that we call exclusive tribe. So human beings love to belong to something that's bigger than themselves and ideally it's exclusive. Right. That's why people paint their faces that, you know, sporting events, and that they tattooed like Harley Davidson on our arms, stuff like that. Like why do they do that? Right, but what they do that because they want to feel like they belong to something and especially now, when you have like the decline of organized religion and a bunch of other things like, it's never been more important for people to feel like they belong and so when people are at this award ceremony, they felt like they were in the club. You're in something that's quite exclusive. So that's the second thing. And the third thing that we find it really drives advocacy is being able to measure one's impact. Okay, at this the word ceremony. You had all these...

...stories of people saying, talking about the impact that these people had upon their companies and upon ouriqois. Not. So those are the things that we see time and time again in terms of what drives advocacy, at least at a at a high level, at a strategic level. Yeah, so how, then, Marke, does that translate kind of outside of that that specific use case of putting on an event like that? So how does that translate into kind of everyday activity that we can be doing as marketers to create a better advocacy experience? Yeah, well, I think it really starts with a community, and that's that's what we learned from, again, those Markis awards, that that became a mini community, that was a special, Rarefied Club of folks and people felt, you know, very, you know, attached to one another and and I think that is the start of great advocate experience is a powerful community where people feel like they're part of exclusive tribe. So yeah, if you look at the advocate hubs that we power, they all have their own special personality. They often have, we these inside jokes and even we don't really understand at influitive. I mean one of our stormers, they call their how the panda as simulation society or something like that. I really have no idea, but let me tell you, those insiders they completely get it. They feel like they are indebted to the Organization for creating this group of panda simulators or whatever it is, and there's that feeling of inside Ernest right the with respect to, you know, impact, we strongly advocate for and we have technology to help companies measure the impact that their advocates are making. So, for example, if someone's giving you a referral, you should let them know how the referral is doing. How is it progressing through the pipeline in sales force? If if they've generated a five star review, you...

...know how many people who give it a thumbs up? Have Anybody's as at anybody cited it as a reason for why they purchased? If you get people that feedback they're much more likely to keep doing it. And then social capital, you know, as people have a better experience in life and his career as a result of their advocating, more likely to advocate a lot more. So I created a community that drives those things. Is a big way to jam more advocacy, which I think is necessary, but it's not sufficient. We also learned a lot from the habit forming games that me and a bunch of other people here are kind of addicted to. Okay, and the way I look at is is like games, like video games, and even though that's there's a video games, really all games have won the Darwinian war for attention, and that is like attention. Like Sacha Adela road a memo to his staff and said human attention is the most scarce commodity. Yep, it's more scarce and plutonium. Okay, yeah, and Games have won them. I bet you that a number of people listening to this podcast right now is spending probably too many hours playing some game and and no one's had to force them to do that. No one's had to date, have had to do any training. They did because they love it, because they enjoy it, and it's because these games have specific habit forming drugs in there that get people to want to play again and again, and so we've put a lot of those sort of attributes, these advanced game location techniques, into our communities and that's something that we do advocate for it. And even if you create an advocate program at that doesn't use our software, and we've lots of lots of companies to do the right who who have something running on slap or facebook fan page or or even just a dinner that they get once a quarter and they get their customers together. You know, we advocate building in these these sorts...

...of ideas. So the the social capital they exclusive tried, the impact, but even the gamification. I have dinners all the time. Fact, I'm going heading on to Atlanta tomorrow where I'm having a customer dinner, but we're going to have a contest at this dinner. We're going to have prizes. There's there, there are people who are going to win big and there's people who are like not, we're still going to good have a good dinner, but you know they're not going to win that win that prize. And you know that's part one of those things that we've learned. Just makes things more fun and interesting is is when you when you game a fighting so you put all those together and you end up with a much better experience, more fun, more rewarding and also more efficient. It's one of the things that we learn from advocates that they really want is that they actually like advocating. They just wanted to be fast and easy and frictions. You know, that's you think about right now. I have it, I bet you. Right now you can think of a couple of companies that you just love, but products that you just love and you're not advocating for it. Why? Because it's to hush friction. It takes work to figure out will. Who am I going to refer this to? And I got to write the email that. Never mind. No, look, there's a squirrel, you know. So if you make it easy and efficient and people to do a lot more of that activity. Yeah, what has been mark as you've been talking about the book since it's since it launched. What's been feedback from people that have read the book? What's what's made been a piece of feedback that you weren't expecting to a an insight that people are saying, man, I really got a lot of value out of this part of the book that maybe you weren't expecting to hear. But but yeah, so, I mean I got a go these be backy one. I got some feedback people saying I wasn't expecting to like the book this much. That is actually pretty it is actually pretty pretty entertaining. There's lots of examples that I that I didn't expect, I think. I think a lot of people expected that I would just talk about our...

...customers and what they're doing and and there's some great examples, for sure, from our customers, which tend to be be to be tech companies. That's ninety percent of our customer base today be to be tech companies. All of people listening to this show are the kind of people that we work with. Okay, but I really worked hard to get a lot of examples that are beyond our customer base, a lot of examples from the BTC world. I think there's a lot to learn from B Toc, you know, as a b Tob Company. And so I've got examples from, for example, Lego, which transport themselves from near bank, or a producer of plastic bricks in two thousand and three to today being the most profitable toy company the world, and they've done that through their several advocate communities that they've created. Wow for the for teachers and and for kids and parents. You know, a lot of the best ideas for new lego proxy services don't come from their own product folks. That come from their customers. Pretty powerful example. People resonate with that. Talk about the story of Gold Corps, which was also near bank groups gold miner that couldn't find its own gold on his property and they open sourced all of their data and they let their advocates in and all armchair geologists found the gold and today it is the most profitable gold company in the world. You'll you'll hear this trend of profit and advocacy. The absolutely go together and in a book I explain why, why it's so crucial if you want profit, why it's pretty important to have this unpaid army of people doing your marketing for you. Those are absolutely correlated. But you know, those are a couple examples of kind of mine. Talk about AIRBNB and how you know airbnb leverages its host advocates do a lot of its policy work. It's do a lot its innovation work as people. People found those be quite entertaining and I'm appropriate thinking. What are what are some of the me to be examples...

...mark that you may be shared in the book, or or maybe that maybe it's not in the book, but kind of the case of outside the box thinking or creative advocacy program in a Bob Context. Sure, yeah, several I could talk about and I guess one of the themes of the book is that advocates can do just about anything right, so that from the top of the funnel to the bottom. And then, you know, so from from general writing awareness all the way to closing deals, but even beyond that in terms of mitigating churn, driving innovation right, there's and even getting operations and strategy. So we talked about a lot of examples there. You know, a lot of examples do focus in a marketing department. One that comes to mind Serridian, which you know, you'll hear this story again again, you know, close to bankruptcy or and also ran in the payroll services space. They acquired a tiny software company here in Toronto called Day Force. It had a hundred employees at the time. This is a seven billion dollar company that acquire them within six months the CEO Day force became the CEO of Serridian, which is a crazy story that I wish was repeated more and depressed because that just never happens. Like imagine, you know, Microsoft or something acquiring some small start up and then six months later, like that's startup CEO is now running all the Microsoft interesting strategy. But yeah, the CEO is is a brilliant guy and he what he told the board is we need to change this company. Need to build it all around advocates. Is that's the that's what I think the mission of Serridian should be. is to delight customers every day and to mobilize them to do the sales and marketing force and the word love the idea and said you're higher, you're running the whole company now. Good luck. I love it. And to his credit, I mean David Aussi, is done just a magnificent job. I mean not just with a customer...

...advocates, but he's made all as employees advocates as well. He's shot up to the top of the glass door list in terms of the most best, best company to work for. Keep mind is the company found in one thousand nine hundred and fifty seven. This is an old company has been totally transformed by betting on advocacy. And just see how crazy it is. Like they they in their trade shows will staff the booth with customer advocates. So most of the people have actually not employees. That's an for this. They they literally will run a challenge and said, Hey, for for a thousand points, do you want to be in a booth and sign up for booth time? And if you do, you get to meet some great people and he and you get to hang out with us any after party. So that's the that's the PERP right. Gotta is that you get to hang out with school people, and I mean imagine the experience to for a prospect instead of talking to a sales guy and off you don't always talk to the best sales guys. When you're meeting let booth, you're talking to people who just started, who are trying to learn their script right. And now you're meeting with a VP OF HR from one of your peer companies. Yeah, and they're showing you the demo. I mean, it's just awesome experience, incredible. I would have never thought about doing that. That's that's an amazing example. Yeah, and it just goes to show how for thinking they are and why they're doing so well. HP's and other example of a pretty big company that is transforming themselves with the advocates. They've had, you know, entire ebooks. So these are like forty page PDFs that are created entirely by advocates. They have. They have something they called our conveyor belts. So they will put out a challenge to say, Hey, what should we write about? Because you know, you guys are you guys are not the same as us here in marketing, right. So we want to know what's important to you. And so they'll come back. Advocates will come up with ideas for what's the right about, and then I put another challenge saying hey, we had seven...

...good ideas that had multiple votes. Which one would you put as your number one? And so that there's a whittling down to whatever is the best topic. And then the say okay, now we have our topic. Who wants to participate in writing a page? And so people will will do that and and they like to do that because they get their name in lights and what uph and then so and so forth, all the way to distributing the e book. And so you have these ebooks that have had almost no HP involvement other than coordinating the process. Wow, and the cost of creating that content is a small fraction of what it would normally cost. Yeah, but more importantly, the qualities all higher. So when you look at how well that particular document has done, it converts at a much higher percentage than their ordinary you know house produced people because from from start to first start to finish, it's in the voice of the customer. Well, that's because it's on the right topic, it's in the right voice, it's got the right stories and numbers in it and it's being distributed by peers. Yeah, so purs it performs better. Yep, I mean that's the message of you know companies. The message of sort of lean start up and product management is, Hey, get out of the building and start talking to your customers and understand their needs better and have them do more of the work. And what advocate programs do is allow you to do that scalably. I love it. I love it. Marcus, has been fantastic. I love that you shared those examples. I had never I'd never thought about advocacy in that way. If there's somebody listening to this, obviously that you know they want to check out your book. Is Amazon the best place to find the Messenger as the message it is? Yeah, we're working on getting it to other channels, but I mean Amazon really is the eight million pound gorilla these days. It is. It is. So so they can find your book there. What are some other ways that they can stay connected with you and with influid if yeah, that's great. So I'm pretty active on social media. So I'm I'm at Mark...

Oregan all, one word on twitter. Please connect to me on on Linkedin or facebook. We write tons and tons of content and of course, our advocates right a lot of that content as well. That's on the resources page. Of include Ofcom tons of free content. It increasingly ungated content that we really want to gift to the world. So we would invite anybody to come to the resource page and read lots of stuff that that have been created on everything from how to general more referrals to references, case studies, videos, how to provide a great advocate experience. You know, how to do better ABM, which is a big topic for us these days. Yep, how advocacy in ABM goes together. We called am or advocate, acount management marketing. So all that is there for you and yeah, we just look. We're just want more people to join the club in terms of advocate, whether or not their customers. So we love it fun to invite everybody to do more advocate marketing and we want to be a partner to help there. I love it. Mark, thank you so much for your time today. This has been incredible. I really appreciate it. Great to ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show in Itunes or your favorite podcast player. This guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you'd like to connect with B tob executives from all over the world, make sure to join our private facebook community. There are some incredible conversations happening inside this group. To Join, Visit Bob Growth Showcom FB. Thank you so much for listening. Until next done.

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