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Home » Future of Retail and E-Commerce » Customer advocacy: why it’s the key to sustainable growth

Andy Cockburn

Co-Founder and CEO, Mention Me

Businesses are urged to adopt an advocacy-first mindset to help them grow sustainably and navigate the challenges presented by the economy and AI.

Brands are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve profitability through spiralling acquisition costs and diminishing customer loyalty. However, an industry expert believes ecommerce businesses that nurture customer advocacy will grow sustainably.

Brands must act now

Mention Me warns that marketing effectiveness will be increasingly impacted by generative AI and that businesses that do not adapt will be left behind. “Brands must start now to build a customer-obsessed growth engine,” says Andy Cockburn, CEO and co-founder.

Analysis beyond spending habits

Businesses that use data to view customers from a RFM (recency, frequency and monetary) perspective are ‘looking at them only through the spectrum of their wallet’ and not with a view of the additional value they can bring through promoting a brand. Harvesting data beyond spending habits — such as positive reviews, social media posts and referrals — provides a better understanding of a ‘valuable customer.’

Unless you have the data, you can’t engage with customers like this to drive greater value.

Insights into real customer value

Mention Me have just launched the world’s first Customer Advocacy Intelligence Platform. Data-driven and powered by artificial intelligence (AI), it provides direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands with unique advocacy insights.

“We enable brands to accurately predict the true value of a customer advocate and what they will bring to a brand in the future,” he says. Working with over 500 D2C brands — including Puma, Michael Kors, Nutmeg and ManyPets — Cockburn says the platform provides the fuel for the customer-obsessed growth engine.

Hidden customer value

Noting that major brands are recognising the value of customer advocacy, Cockburn says: “We are getting them to change the focus away from high spenders to their most valuable customers, which are their advocates.” He mentions a customer who spent £84 with an online florist — and then referred four people who, together, spent £1,500. “Suddenly, that transforms the view of how that customer should be treated; they are a true VIP,” he explains. “But, unless you have the data, you can’t engage with customers like this to drive greater value.”

Nurturing advocacy

“Using unique advocacy data and insights, brands can maximise value from their entire customer base — even outside of the buying cycle. By nurturing ‘customer love’ through advocacy, businesses can drive retention and deliver unbeatable economics,” concludes Cockburn.

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