The Organic Marketer

Customer Advocates: Something a Brit Different

Leave it to those wacky Brittish to create a web site that draws us into their, uh, peculiar way of life.

Leave it to those wacky Brittish to create a web site that draws us into their, uh, peculiar way of life.

Smart marketers should look to their best brand advocates for unique promotional opportunities — past customers who have graphic personalities, surprisingly colorful stories and experiences that trumpet the passions of your organization. Here’s one example, well told, Old Chap.

We StumbledUpon an interesting web site the other day, — an innovative microsite created by Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain. This decidedly subtle site showcases what it’s like to live in — and travel within — Great Britain from the perspective of a handful of its very outspoken citizen advocates.

Consider the story of Jon from Wellington, who spent two years of his early life living in a caravan without running water or electricity. He’s a fan of Pink Floyd, Charles Darwin and “making cool stuff happen in Shrewsbury.” Or Liz, a married mom of three adorable kids who like to surf, watch the kids “play rounders” and wrote a recent blog post about touring the pubs of Cornwall by train. Ah, those Brits.

And while VisitBritain could have wooed us with tantalizing pictures of mossy castle ruins to explore, bustling urban streetscapes to shuffle through and lists of widely-visited cultural attractions, they instead have encouraged their passionate citizens to create profiles, list their favorite neighborhood haunts and impart little-known local secrets through a web site that encourages you to make an intimate connection with each contributor.

You can read each person’s funky and enticing journal entries, befriend them on MySpace and Facebook, learn more about the regions they live in and subscribe to RSS postings from favorite bloggers or the site in general.

Along the way, you’re treated to such gems as lists of the top things on British minds today (among the top theatre picks: predictably, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and the delightfully unexpected “Chicago” — seems there’s still the misguided intrigue for the Windy City’s storied past).

Sure, the site is full of monthly events, travel deals, recreational opportunities and even online shopping for some of Britain’s best-known brands, but it’s the decidedly British ambiance that the site instills that endears you to this destination.

So, we ask you smart marketers to consider how you might use the intimate conversations, passionate stories and little-known insight of some of your best — and most intriguing — customers to your advantage.

Consider setting up and promoting a web site who’s sole purpose is to share the experiences your customer advocates have had with your company or organization. Keep your brand to a minimum and let the narratives and encounters clients have experienced be subtle examples of why new customers should come knocking on your door.

Promote the unique and unusual — and they absolutely need to be out of the usual — personalities that get created by setting up Facebook and other social networking sites and encouraging befriending.

Create videos to post on branded YouTube channels of your advocates in their own funky surroundings, telling their stories and sharing tales. Collect their pictures into libraries on Flickr and cross-promote their views of the world to their growing fan base.

With a little forethought, consumer advocacy can be utilized to promote your brand, your products or services, and the culture of your organization to online prospects who are hungry for unique experiences and personal sharing.


3 Responses to 'Customer Advocates: Something a Brit Different'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Customer Advocates: Something a Brit Different'.

  1. Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

    Jason Rakowski

  2. Anthony Mason said,

    well written piece this from either the agency who created it or Visit Britain

  3. BigBan said,

    Oh, Thanks! Really funny. keep working!

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