December 16, 2016 | Written by: Srinivasan Narayanan
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Think of a situation where you were about to make a major purchase, like an expensive car or an apartment. Somewhere during that buying process, you most likely consulted someone to inform your decision—a friend, a relative or even a stranger through an online review. Their feedback either reinforces your decision to buy or hold off and get something else.
The same behavior holds true in a business procurement scenario. In the era of digital business, the ways in which companies and their customers seek and consume information, make purchase decisions, and buy and sell goods and services have all rapidly changed. To remain competitive, organizations must now address the quality of their interactions with customers and business partners. And they must deliver their message across more channels than ever.
With so much data—and a lot of noise—how does someone make a purchase decision, be it in a B2B environment or otherwise? While making a purchase decision, these questions have become pertinent more so than ever before:
- Where do I get trustworthy information that will help me to decide?
- Who can help me in my decision-making process?
- Can I check with someone in my known circle or someone that has used the product or service?
Building brand advocates
Advocacy marketing addresses the questions above. Advocacy marketing harnesses the power of your employees, customers, and partners to transform them into trusted brand advocates. Those advocates spread positive word-of-mouth about your company’s brand across their social media channels.
Today’s ever-changing social media landscape opens a world of advocacy opportunities for tapping and motivating the most important marketing assets of your organization—engaged employees, happy customers and trusted partners. Advocacy marketing plays an important role in a company’s digital transformation.
APIs can help build advocates
You can unleash the power of advocacy marketing to build an army of brand advocates for your product through APIs.
One of the best descriptions of APIs comes from IBM: “Application programming interfaces are the digital glue that link services, applications, sensors and mobile devices to create compelling customer experiences and help businesses tap into new market opportunities.”
For starters, APIs enable interaction with other data. They help businesses stay on top of their programs with coordinated data and thus play a critical role in building advocacy. Companies will tap into a disparate set of platforms increasingly as they build on advocacy marketing. Thus, APIs and microservices allow marketing teams to enhance and strengthen the advocacy through multiple, adjacent resources.
Most consumers or even B2B buyers do their purchasing research before they even get to a vendor’s site. Line of business marketers must consider getting those influential review sites— and their APIs—into their core marketing plans.
Check out API Connect from IBM, a proven API management solution, that marketers can leverage to build advocacy marketing for your company. Visit us to know more about API Connect here. Ready to try it? Download a free trial of IBM API Connect here.