ARE YOU READY TO BE MORE THAN LIKED?
FIND YOUR BRAND ADVOCATES – THE TRUE MAVENS OF YOUR BRAND
By Mary Kate Scott
SO, YOU'VE HIRED A SOCIAL MEDIA
enough, that they want to be a "maven" and
LIAISON. YOU HAVE A FACEBOOK PAGE,
know all about your product. Brand
YOU TWEET, AND MAYBE YOU'VE EVEN
advocate "mavens" want to both know and
DONE A GROUPON. YOU ARE ALL OVER
PINTEREST AND ENGAGE WITH GOOGLE+.
YOU HAVE THOUSANDS OF FACEBOOK
You probably have brand advocates out
"LIKES," BUT HAVE YOU REALLY EARNED
there, perhaps you don't know it. To find
ANY MORE BUSINESS? ANYONE CAN CLICK
them, learn from them, and enable them to work even harder for your brand, you need
A BUTTON, ESPECIALLY IF YOU OFFER
to know who they
THEM A GIFT FOR THE CLICK. BUT HOW
DO YOU REALLY ENGAGE THOSE
are, how to reach
First, learn from great
FACEBOOK FANS AND TWITTER
examples of successful,
need to be an even
FOLLOWERS? HOW DO YOU TURN THOSE
louder voice and
INTERESTED FANS INTO YOUR BRAND
ADVOCATES, PEOPLE WHO REALLY VALUE
YOUR PRODUCT AND WOULD TELL THEIR
(Your casual fans are great too – more later on the potential
FRIENDS ABOUT IT?
for fans to be customer advisory panels).
A brand advocate isn't passive. She doesn't
A brand advocate is engaged
with your product and loves it.
Loves it enough, in fact, to tell
people about it.
‘Like' and enter to win an iPad." She doesn't accept every company's friend invite so she can drive her numbers into the thousands. A brand advocate is engaged with your product and loves it. Loves it enough, in fact, to tell people about it—not just the public but friends or family. Loves it
How can you get started with a brand
negative. Get a sense of what's important
advocate program? First, learn from
or valuable to your fans, for your product
great examples of successful, established
and their lifestyle, what kinds of questions
they're asking, wishes they seem to be
Don't ever forget this is a programs.
expressing. Social media is a treasure trove
of information for any business that wants
relationship. These are friends. studies
to understand a customer base and their
Treat them as friends below show
how brands have successfully engaged advocates and enabled their voice. Each
Develop a survey to understand your
company took a different tack, ranging from
fans (who might become potential
cultivating technical expertise to rewarding
customer advisory panelists or advocates).
passion to just spreading around some fun.
Find out as much about what they think of
Some of the efforts were more complex (and
your brand and product (and perhaps
expensive) than others, but all of the case
studies can teach valuable lessons.
products), what they use
… Separate the fans from a
Who are your advocates and how can
potential customer advisory
you reach them? Once you've read the
panel and from this panel,
case studies, think about how you might
find your smaller "maven"
identify your brand advocates. When you
want to know what's new, you don't talk—
you listen, right? So if you already have
social media strategies in place, start there—
think about your product and category, how
surveying your existing Facebook fans (the
they use products, what they like and what
ones who clicked "Like") is a simple way to
they would change is invaluable. Find out
find people who are willing to champion
about these fans: do they post online, create
product reviews, rate products, recommend
products (doesn't have to be yours). You are
Get a sense of what's important or
seeking to find online talkers with large
or valuable to your fans, for
bases of fans or followers. Find out which
your product and their lifestyle,
fans read blogs, comment, forward, tweet
what kinds of questions they're ever
and otherwise engage with others.
asking, wishes they seem to be
this is a
Ask them to become part of a
customer advisory panel. From these
responses, separate the fans from a
These are friends. Treat them as friends.
potential customer advisory panel and from this panel, find your smaller "maven"
Before you initiate contact, listen.
advocate group. Listen a little more to
Follow posts on Facebook, tweets on
these special fans (you're getting the hang of
Twitter, blogs and comments, product
this relationship thing now .) Customer
reviews, shopping sites and so forth, taking
Advisory Panels can advise you on products,
note of who's posting the most and what
packaging, competitors, pricing and more.
they're saying. Read it all, positive and
These panels will talk to you, but they
usually don't talk (as much) to others, as
(Customer advisory panels will try a
your "maven" brand advocates. These
sample, but usually don't share samples.
panels are interested in your product, and
Ask each group. Do your research on this; it
can provide you with thoughtful advice, but
don't necessarily aspire to be a "maven"
From this customer advisory
with special information.
panel, separate out those who
From this panel, find your brand
are information seekers and
advocate "mavens" who want to
sharers. This is your "maven"
advise you and share with others.
From this customer advisory panel,
separate out those who are information
better product testers as you don't want too
seekers and sharers. This is your "maven"
much sharing about early ideas. Mavens are
advocate group and will likely be 5-10% of
better with new information.
your advisory panel. Understand what is valuable to these "mavens", what do they
How can you make it easy for them to talk
believe, and what do they want to know.
about it? Part II to this article.
Remember they usually value "being in the know", being the first to know about a new
Don't ever forget this is a relationship.
product, first to see or critique a new
These are friends. Treat them as friends.
campaign. They love to share, and usually
Appreciate them. (Two words, lots of work,
want to give away samples to friends?
and worth all the effort).
Step 3 – generate content. Over 200 videos were recorded, thousands of text-
testimonials were received, and Novartis
selected multiple candidates for use in
marketing webisodes, advertorials in print
publications such as Southern Living, and
more. Prevacid®24HR is now the #2
branded OTC heartburn treatment (source:
IRI Actual Change in Dollar Sales VYA for
Step 4 – find the advocate "mavens" who
will continue to talk about Prevacid. From
the consumer advisory panel, they
generate content to use in marketing
developed insights into who might be a
campaigns; create word of mouth among
maven by looking at the content they
potential users by tapping into potential
generated for Novartis, their interest in the
brand, the online reach through friends, and
their propensity to engage online (across many topics/products).
Step 1 – find potential consumer panelists. Novartis had to source and identify
Step 5 – understand these "mavens" and
clinically appropriate, influential frequent
find out how the Prevacid team can help
heartburn sufferers to participate in other
them continue to generate content and
PR, marketing, and consumer insight
engage their audiences.
initiatives. They needed to find and
cultivate this appropriate panel to try out and document their experiences and
Redwood Creek Wines
hopefully to evolve into brand advocates
Consumer Advocacy Program
who could be used in product marketing. Novartis used online techniques to recruit
potential advocates. Over 10,000
heartburn sufferers applied to be a part of
the panel—2,000 were approved and 800
people became the advisory panel.
consumers to explore
Step 2 – activate the panelists. Activated
panelists spent an average of four hours on
the Prevacid®24HR Panel over their two-
week trial period including creating video
diaries of their trial experiences and
brand's positioning—the love of the great
heartburn-related lifestyle conversations
outdoors—while educating them about the
with other panelists.
brand and about the wine. Consumer advisory panels were provided with
samples, information, the option to for
food is an art. Barilla invested in advocates
exclusive Q&A sessions with winemakers,
by providing them with "Test Kitchen"
and creating avenues for this panel to share
packages containing product samples and
content. From this panel, the team
information about Barilla. These
identified the active advocates and created
consumers were provided flip phones, and
specific programs to meet their needs. The
were encouraged to create dishes, host
platform has become an "anchor" of
dinner parties, and upload video or photos
Redwood Creek's overall marketing mix,
of their dishes for other members to
connecting on and offline marketing, PR,
comment on, rate, and share. These
consumer insights, and direct consumer
advocates were also encouraged to rate and
share recipes and events created by other advocates. Feedback on consumers' pasta
consumption habits, market research, and
La Cense Beef -
brand perception as also collected.
The Grass-fed Party Advocate
Cingular - Cingular TrendForce
La Cense Beef wanted to
agency, created and
environmentally conscious consumers about
their 100% grass-fed beef products and
ranching methods. The Grass-fed Party
social platform started by reaching
influential foodie bloggers, then expanded
panel program that brought together
to smaller upcoming blogs by informing and
passionate consumers in a private,
educating them about industry trends,
members-only online social environment.
sustainable ranching, and the latest news on
TrendForce engaged, connected with, and
the grass-fed "moo-vement". The team
rewarded participants for learning about
then reached out to consumers, created
Cingular's products and services, creating
advisory panels and selected and cultivated
content, sharing information with peers,
and providing Cingular with opinions, feedback, and valuable market research.
Gillette - TAG™
sought to strengthen
Gillette wanted to
reach and engage
as well as reinforce their tradition and belief
students on their
that the making—and the enjoyment—of
terms, encouraging them to promote the
individuals spread the word about the
TAG brand within their social circles. In
program and brand, and ways to tell the
partnership with Gillette's youth marketing
company about bars and restaurants they
agency, Affinitive launched a brand
find who haven't quite gotten the Maker's
ambassador program to bring the TAG
brand into the lives of fraternities and sororities with a specific focus on consumer-
generated media (CGM). The program
included product sampling, parties, user-generated content (photos, videos and text), fraternity outreach, social networking, and research.
Scrapbookers know Fiskars, the maker of
fine scissors among other things. This company, with their great product and an
Maker's Mark Brand Ambassadors
interesting history, tapped into an
This program is all
incredibly passionate community to build
about the passion.
engagement. Instead of pushing the
product, Fiskars focused on the people,
legendary brand in
created a program for these advocates, and
encouraged scrapbooking and crafting. The
bourbon. Passion for
company recruited a few of the most vocal
fans to start a group blog, and launched an
crafting a classic.
ambassador program (called them
Passion for enjoying it all one sip at a time.
Fiskateers) with taglines such as "Born to
Maker's Mark created and heavily invested
in a substantial brand advocacy program
Among other things, the "Fiskateer"
several years ago. It's now the subject of
ambassadors had opportunities to attend
countless word of mouth marketing case
exclusive meetup-style events and got
studies, and deservedly so.
invited into a private online community
The Maker's Mark Ambassadors program
where they could connect with others who
gives members access to "The Embassy," a
shared their passion for scrapbooking and
private online community loaded with
Fiskars shears. This was also a way for the
everything from personalized business cards
company to hear directly from their most
to hand out in bars to a picture of your
committed customers, creating a two way
name engraved on an actual barrel of the
dialogue that is the hallmark of smart
fine product—which you can visit in person
ambassador programs that led to product
if you like. VIP tasting events, special offers,
development, and marketing campaigns.
great swag, exclusive gift shop products,
Full credit to the crew at Brains on Fire for
direct contact with Bill who runs the
making this idea a reality.
program (a real guy by the way). Ambassadors are also armed with fun tools to help move product as well – among other things, the business cards, which help
Most Valuable Professional
MVPs, who have to earn their award each
year, show off the program logo on their blogs, profiles, and even resumes and business cards. Thousands of them make the annual trek to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, WA for the weeklong MVP Summit, a massive mix of celebration, recognition, connection making, education,
Microsoft MVPs like to let people know they
and feedback directly with the company's
are experts and share their expertise with
executives and product teams. Probably the
others. Given how technical many of
most structured program on this list,
Microsoft's products are, there is a lot to be
Microsoft MVP is also likely the oldest.
shared. Originally launched as part of Microsoft support teams, as a way to
recognize, reward, and support the users
who were most active on question and answer forums. This program evolved over
the years into a marquee brand for these ambassadors and drove product
ABOUT MARY KATE
Mary Kate Scott is the Principal of Scott & Company, a management consulting firm that
creates strategies and executes projects for healthcare organizations.
She can be reached at mks@MaryKateScott. com
Intensive Care Unit Guidelines for Clinical Management (Developed for the Colonial War Memorial Hospital ICU) Compiled by: Dr Lisa Bennett, Consultant Intensivist, 2010 © MOH_ Intensive Care Unit, Guidelines for Clinical Management_CWMH_ 2010 TABLE OF CONTENTS © MOH_ Intensive Care Unit, Guidelines for Clinical Management_CWMH_ 2010
Contents lists available at Characterizing new ﬂuorescent tools for studying 5-HT3 receptorpharmacology Thomas Jack , Jonathan Simonin Marc-David Ruepp Andrew J. Thompson , Jürg Gertsch , Martin Lochner * a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Bern, Switzerlandb Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Bühlstrasse 28, 3012 Bern, Switzerland