What’s The Worth Of An Advocate To A Company?

“To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.

Would an advocate bring value to a company? You bet they do because true company advocates are hard to find even when all is not well in The Mother Ship. 

According to Weber Shandwick; who is one of the world’s leading global public relations firms  say that people are quicker to take action on issues and causes, make decisions to buy products and services, and express satisfaction and dissatisfaction than ever before. Advocates can be further defined as individuals who forge emotional bonds and higher levels of involvement with companies, brands and issues. Three types of Advocates emerged from a recent survey;  High Intensity Advocates, Low Intensity Advocates and Badvocates

Advocates are much more likely than average adults to pay a premium for brands they support. They vote with their wallets and provide tangible returns for the brands they champion.

Nearly three out of four Advocates pay more for select brands compared with approx. 4 out of 10 global respondents who are willing to do the same.

Advocates stand by companies they support in time of trouble. They’re more likely to give companies the benefit when controversy rises. When reputations are in danger, companies can count on their Advocates to help stabilize revenue and sales. Companies should engage their Advocates before needing their support.

Advocates are 3.5 times more likely to continue loyalty to a company when it’s in crisis than to discontinue loyalty. The average adult is only 2.8 more likely to continue loyalty than to discontinue loyalty.

Badavocacy  or the act of actively detracting from companies, brands or products, is more likely than Advocay to travel through personal networks. When encountering a negative experience Badvocates take their stewardship seriously. They feel more responsible than Advocates for cautioning others about which products or brands to use. In less direct channels, writing, blogs, web sites and podcasts are just as likely to be used by both Advocates and Badavocates.

Negative feedback is more likely to be forwarded than positive information, 54% of Badavocates share negative feedback while 45% Advocates send positive feedback.

Why a blog about the importance of advocates vs. badvocates? The company that I’m referring to is in a time of internal changes, changes that will bring a different perspective to the technology landscape and according to those who stand to lose the most as a result of these changes they are not happy. The noose tightens and the wagons are drawing in closer for more protection. We’re not talking about newcomers to the game, we’re referring to people who have been around a long time and for most of that time they were advocates.

September 30th is the end of the fiscal year and the true barometer of this lack of respect for company advocates will be known at that time. All I can say is that I don’t consider myself an 100% advocate of this company any longer for many reasons but I’m not ready to jump onto the Badvocate camp quite yet.

Too often companies have employees making decisions that change relationships drastically without any history of that relationship and I believe strongly that is the case in the company that I’m referring to.

If I were any lesser of a man I would publish the company name and the individuals who are making those decisions but I was taught to take the High Road and once again that’s the road I’m taking.