On this episode, I was joined by Luis González, Manager, Global Customer Advocacy at Alteryx. He currently leads the global vision and execution of their portfolio of advocacy programs and was recently named a Top 25 CMA Influencer. He previously worked in client success and engagement at where he was first exposed to advocacy research and frameworks. We talked about how his programs blur the lines between B2C and B2B, his triple B approach for building brand love, and truly understanding your customers on a human level. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Luis.
Margot Leong: Hey Luis. Thank you so much for joining Beating The Drum. Appreciate you joining us on a Friday.
Luis Gonzalez: Actually. I couldn’t be doing anything better on a Friday afternoon, Margot. I’m a huge fan. Huge fan of Beating The Drum. As a matter of fact, I’m kind of fanboying that I’m on this right now. I’ve looked up to this podcast, the guests that you’ve had and there are definitely folks that have been here that I look up to. So thank you for the opportunity.
Margot Leong: Yes, absolutely. I’m super excited to have you on and I think this is going to be a fantastic episode for everybody to listen to. So first question as always is talk to us a little bit about your background and your journey to customer advocacy, how you ended up where you are today.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. So it’s about five years ago now where I was a strategic customer success manager with SiriusDecisions, which was an advisory and consulting firm based in Connecticut. While I was a CSM there, my whole entire goal was to make sure our customers were successful. That they were getting the impact out of the services that we would offer them. And I’m a big time relationship builder. So for me, it was always easy to say, if I had another customer in my entire book of business that perhaps was looking at a different service or product and didn’t know how to get it up the chain, I would always say, well, I have a relationship with a great customer who has that product. And do you want to make that connection and talk about the benefits?
And it became natural where I started to realize there’s an opportunity here. And so I pitched a pilot program to start an advocacy program there and that’s where everything got started. We worked on it for almost two years. It did Become a little bit of a success and that’s where the appetite and the hunger and the passion for advocacy began for me. And under the tutelage of two of the greatest advocacy and customer marketing minds that I can credit, which are Amy Bills and Lisa Nakano, I mean, I’ve learned everything from them. You know, I devoured their research, their thoughts, they were a guiding force for me and my thinking. And then that’s pretty much how I got started.
Margot Leong: Fantastic. I’m curious if like as a CSM at SiriusDecisions, what was your knowledge or understanding of the practice of advocacy and customer marketing when you were in that role? Like, did you have a lot of knowledge about what that would look like already or it wasn’t until you really started going into the role that you started getting steeped into that?
Luis Gonzalez: I consider myself very fortunate in being surrounded by incredible minds, again, going to Amy and Lisa, because as a CSM, I had direct access to kind of like a best in class best practice research that had been written and created by them. And so I had the theory and the concept down because I just kept reading all of their models and frameworks. And I would just conceptually say, this is how it would potentially work. This is how I would potentially build a program. And so direct practice, not so much during that time with the exception of aligning some customers with others and then piloting that program.
But I always had my scribbled notes in a notebook of how I would go ahead and build a program if I ever had the opportunity to truly do it, wholeheartedly, professionally. So to me, the CSM skillset is directly transferable to customer marketing and advocacy. So it was very natural to understand what drives the customer, what makes them successful, how to continue nurturing them, and then just infusing some different types of skillsets and influences is really how I got started and what influenced me.
Margot Leong: Absolutely. Just talk to me about maybe what those frameworks looked like and how that has influenced how you think now about the programs that you run now.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. I’ll explain it this way. One of the biggest influences was around 2017, 2018, we’re starting to see that B2B marketing and B to C marketing, both worlds were starting to collide. There was like this gray area of folks were yearning to have the same experience with their B2B vendors that they have every day with the consumer brands that they love. And both from a demand perspective, both from a product perspective, from a sales perspective, they just want it to be treated like human beings.
And so I would take some of the measurement frameworks and models and think about them in a way of how do you make this more human? How do you make this more every single day, right? And one of my biggest influences was around how Sirius would measure their demand programs, which was around taking KPIs and metrics and bucketing them into families.
And that’s actually how I measure to this day is really around not just focusing on activities and outputs. But saying how ready am I to achieve something? What are those KPIs? I’m going to bucket them into that family, which that model was called the metrics spectrum. They called it readiness.
And then once we’re ready to achieve certain things, what are the activities that you’re helping drive with that readiness pool of customers that are advocates? What is the output of those activities? But if you stop there, that’s where I think folks kind of stumble in getting executive buy-in for their programs because they stop at the output and unless you’re able to transform and translate those outputs into this is the impact to the go-to-market strategy or to the overall org, that’s the final icing on the cake. It’s what do these three metric families impact to the business.
And so those four families of KPIs: readiness, activity, output, and impact was one of my biggest influences in building a program and measuring it and being able to then get creative within the KPIs, right. And saying, okay, if I’m driving this type of activity, is that a very human everyday kind of seamless experience instead of just calling it go to a review site and give us a five-star review. You have to take and borrow from different practices, et cetera. So my time at Sirius and Forester, I borrowed from different practices. I took experiences from my own everyday life and brands that I look up to to design a program and its experiences.
Margot Leong: I have like so many questions I want to ask. But this is really great. First off you talked about readiness, activity, output, and impact. Let’s take that and understand how you applied this to some of the programs that you’ve run in the past. So if you want to speak to the advocacy program that you ran during your time at SiriusDecisions, or if what you’re doing currently at Alteryx, would love to hear how that translates.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. Let’s talk about the present, right? Let’s talk about now, because right now, what we’re trying to do is really push that envelope of our customers are human beings. And what’s the difference between them experiencing something with a brand on Friday when they’re at work, then when they wake up the next day and go to one of their favorite brands, their favorite coffee shop, right. I’m trying to make that as seamless as possible, but you also have to keep that B2B hat on and, and understand what does our organization need. So that’s where the readiness comes from. In order to achieve anything, you’ve got to have the actual advocates, right. But it’s not just about the number: it’s about how you slice and dice that number.
So for example, if your organization has a need for a specific persona, then you’re going to try to recruit that specific persona. That’s just being ready to achieve, right. If you’re looking for advocates that come from a specific type of industry, or let’s say an index, one of the fortune 500, et cetera. You’ve gotta be able to recruit those folks. And that’s part of your readiness metric. How ready are you to achieve? And you’ve gotta be able to have a good strategic mindset and be tactically ready to go and chase those folks
And then once you have those folks in your program with a good value proposition, you start talking about, okay, great. Well, what activities do these folks want to do? You know, what makes them tick? That’s the important part. If you’re just kind of saying welcome to the program. I want you to do these things. You know, folks will be turned off by that.
Whereas, if you give them an option of activities to do that are both you’re earning something from their advocacy, but you’re also giving them an activity in return that’s a benefit for them that you know aligns with their persona, that is where the magic happens. To give you an example with our customers, they love to learn. It’s constantly being upskilled. It’s constantly learning more. So the activities that we provide for them rely heavily on what more can you learn of our platform? What’s going on in the outside world of data and analytics and how can you apply it to working with us?
And so that gives you more of that consumer level type of experience because if you’re part of a loyalty program in the consumer world, those brands will always give you, well, the good ones at least will give you a bit of a related experience. Like here’s how you learn a little bit more about what you love. And then once we’re completing those activities, obviously it’s easy to measure the output. How many blog posts or use cases are these folks writing for us? How many reviews are they writing for us? But it’s all about keeping them engaged and driving that positive customer experience.
The final part is the impact, right? And for impact, we have several stakeholders, right? You always have sales as a stakeholder. You’ve got the overall brand. What kind of stories are we delivering to the business? We like to basically focus on yes, hard hitting stories with KPI’s and ROIs, but we also like to focus on the fact that these folks are human beings.
How is our platform, our services impacting their everyday lives, impacting their business and even doing good for the overall community or the world. You know, one of my favorite stories that we’ve published centered around an education program out in Australia and with Alteryx, they were able to identify folks with children with learning disabilities because the data was near real time.
And it just pulls at the heartstrings and it allows us to really showcase the power of our advocates, our humans via storytelling. So, it’s a mixture of how to make things human, right So then you take those stories and you bring it back to your advocates and you say, this is what Alteryx can do beyond just machine learning, artificial intelligence. We’re impacting people’s lives. And if you’re a part of a good loyalty program on a consumer level, those brands are also telling you what? How we’re working to make the world a better place. Patagonia, for example, they’re talking to you about how they’re lowering their carbon footprint.
Well, at Alteryx, we’re telling you how data and analytics can help identify a learning disability in a child and do something about it. And that to me is bringing both worlds, consumer and B2B.
Margot Leong: You’re kind of crossing that chasm between what we think about very stark differences between a B2B brand and a B2C brand and you’re right. Like, why is there a difference right? There shouldn’t be a difference. I mean, in some cases, your customers for B2B are spending more time, right? Much more time living in these tools than they are with some of these B2C brands. So there’s something really interesting in what you’re saying here is normalizing that perception.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, 100%. I mean, look, I can openly share one of my favorite brands and it’s Starbucks and it’s because a) I worked there for nine years when I was younger. I still go there every single day.
Margot Leong: That is really funny. I used to work at Jamba Juice and the affinity you’ve built just from working at a place, like I still go there and I just have fond thoughts, even though it’s been so many years later.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. I’m the worst. I literally have a hoodie that says Starbucks across its chest, and I actually walk into Starbucks wearing it. So I love the Bucks. And so this is going back to that B2B B2C meshing, when I was there, it was when Starbucks first started venturing into the fair trade aspect of their business. You know, they were realizing that the coffee farmers were not being paid their equal share in comparison to the massive benefits that a corporation like Starbucks was getting. And so the B2C world was was getting on top of ESG years ago. But as a customer, when you read about what Starbucks was doing fair trade, it made you feel proud that you were part of the customer base, you were supporting an organization that was treating people fairly.
And so it’s the same thing for me here at Alteryx and for my team. We like to highlight these great stories. We like to highlight things that Alteryx is doing for the community to make our advocates feel proud that not only are they customers of Alteryx, but they’re also advocates of Alteryx, you know?
And so that’s why we like to highlight not just the business side of the stories, but also the human side. And obviously, we give them opportunities to be charitable through our rewards as well, which a lot of people take advantage of.
Margot Leong: And something that’s interesting too, in terms of making that bridge or making sort of B2B and B2C sort of more similar in that way, is if you think about how different generations think about brands? You know, I don’t know if you are millennial or gen Z. But I know that for example, like gen Z, the relationship they have with brands is different and that they really are actually demanding that the brands that they work with stand for something, or they have an opinion on something, or there’s a much deeper interest in connecting with a brand, if they feel that it aligns with their values. This generation has started to enter the workforce, there’s gonna be maybe a natural shift towards that anyway, it sounds like it will come down the pike eventually anyway, you know?
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, exactly. And you’re mentioning how gen Z and millennials feel about brands that they support and they love. I’m a millennial. We’re looking at these brands as you’ve got a great product and I love you, but are you behaving ethically? That’s huge because if you’re not, you’re losing the customers’ mindshare. Those folks are going elsewhere.
Margot Leong: I wanted to go back a little bit to what you were talking about with the advocates, right. You know, making sure that it’s not just what can you do for me? You said that, you know, our customers love to learn, they love being up-skilled. What sort of work did you do to really understand the persona?
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, it’s a good call-out. There is no way around it. I think if you’re a customer marketing practitioner and you want to give your customers a good experience and actually truly understand them, you have got to roll up your sleeves, tie your boots and go knocking on some doors. And what I mean by that is actively reaching out to your advocates, right? So as soon as they join the program, the team and I have a good practice of ensuring to the best of our ability to get a 30 minute meeting. Just like you and I are having a conversation here, Margot, is, who are you? What’s your analytics journey been like? Why Alteryx? How does Alteryx make you feel? What makes you tick? What do you care about? Not only do we have those one-on-one conversations, but my teammate Christian does a really great job with a monthly check-in where he’s turned it into basically like a hangout.
We actually call them meet and greets and it’s not a requirement, you can come if you want. And we’ve had an advocate literally say, thank you for this. This was like like therapy because you get in and you’re in a room, virtual, with people that are just like you, and they’re all just talking shop. You just sit back and listen to what they’re saying. And it’s just like a treasure trove of what’s going on in their minds. And then we actually actively ask them on those calls: what would you like to see more of from the program? What else can we do better? And they give us that kind of feedback. And so that’s how we do it. I mean, there’s no better way in my opinion than getting in front of them. One-on-one, face-to-face in a virtual way. And actually asking them what it is that they need.
Margot Leong: It’s quite similar to how I’ve thought about in the past is like, there should always be customer calls on your calendar because it’s not a one and done thing. Like even if you have a thriving program, people change as well and trends change, the environment changes like there’s no real playbook anymore for how to do effective marketing because everything is just constantly evolving. So to be able to be constantly talking to your advocates and then of course having that sort of treasure trove where you have that monthly check-in and you’re just listening to them talk to each other, like there’s so many insights.
But I also see some value in that the more touch points you have with them, you’re sort of breaking down future barriers to the point where there’s like less and less friction. Basically you become friends versus like having some sort of artificial barrier between okay, like I work for the company, I’m a vendor and you are, you know, like, so there’s something really interesting there too about consistently building up those touch points and reducing future friction as well.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, exactly. I mean, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about to your point though, the use of the word friend is massive. Because we show up to these meet and greets, or we show up to the calls with one-on-ones with advocates. And the first thing we try to get to know is who they are as a person. Oftentimes especially in this virtual world, we’ll see something in their background and I’ll just be like, Hey, what’s that?
Like one of my advocates, he’s got like every monopoly box known to man. And so you kind of ask a question about that, right. And that gives you a little bit of insight beyond the customer, but the human. And so therefore you kind of understand, this person likes to collect things. So maybe they like to collect points or activities or badges. You kind of translate those human aspects to how can you make the advocacy program fun for them as well?
Yeah, so those conversations are, yes. We show up not as Alteryx representatives, we show up as this is a unique place that you can be yourself and share your love for Alteryx, as well as get to know people that think just like you and expand your network.
Margot Leong: When I looked at some other advocacy programs in the past and gotten a sense of what creates higher engagement, I think a lot of it is very related to what you’re talking about, which is, are you understanding your personas as people? And are you thinking about, just the same as you would a friend, are you creating a program that your friend would enjoy being a part of versus just to try and drive quote, unquote business value. There always has to be elements of like give get and you know, what are you doing that helps them think about being part of this as like an enjoyable part of their day.
You mentioned there are some interesting things that you thought about and have actively integrated into some of your programs at Alteryx as part of some of the activities or part of things. So like, I think it was like a Spotify playlist, I think you said like an Analytics Concourse or something like that, but talk to me a little bit about some of the specific things that you guys are building in to make this really interesting and enjoyable for people to be a part of.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. Thanks for bringing that up. The Analytics Concourse. You know, that goes back to the B2C kind of influence. So two things. So I’m heavily influenced again, because I think Starbucks has done an incredible job with this loyalty app. Seriously, like you go onto that thing and you can either just order your coffee or you can read a blog post about how somebody is helping in their community, or what farmers are doing to grow coffee in an ethical way or listen to some tunes, right. And then there is that kind of special feeling you get when you are a loyal member of either a credit card or an airline where you get that special treatment inside of a lounge. I kind of married both together, where I was like, all right, the portal where our advocates go to hangout and engage with the program needs to be both kind of like Starbucks. Okay, great. I’m ordering my drink. I’m giving you something right. I’m giving Starbucks money.
Well, with Alteryx, with the Concourse, you can come in and you can help us with a review or you can help us tell your case study or your use case or help write a how to. That’s the push, the giving part, but it also allows us to give something back to them. So we’ve designed activities that still give them points, but they’re actively learning about our new products. They’re downloading maybe an ebook that one of our associates wrote that’s thought leadership based. They are understanding what our organization is doing in terms of go to market strategy.
So for example, Hey, we’ve just acquired X company and this is how it’s going to benefit you. We’ll put things that are third party. Like there was a clip that we uploaded by Simon Sinek who was talking about, can you measure the intent that’s driven by data. We also provide some fun things for them to do and you called out the Spotify playlist. So the Spotify playlist is something that, again, to your point about how do you design something that people want to be a part of . Throughout many of our conversations with our advocates, we learned that the work that they do can be very tedious, right.
There were complex datasets, and they’ve always got their headphones in and you’re kind of like, hey, are you listening to something? And they’re like, yeah. So when it’s a really complex data set, I’m either listening to this kind of music or when it’s something that I need to just pump out really quickly, like depending on the mood, I’m listening to this kind of music.
And so we came up with a Spotify playlist that we call, Music To Work Flow To. And the word “workflow” is key to our product. The customers build workflows within the Alteryx designer product. And so while you’re building those workflows, you can jam out. And that’s a Spotify playlist that’s only for our advocates and is launched every Friday. They get a push notification on Fridays, right? It’s a feel-good thing. And they get five points for coming back into what we call the Concourse. And they listen to some tunes that are curated by either us, different folks inside the Alteryx community or innovators themselves. The advocates. But yeah, it’s more fun things like we linked them to the Alteryx community to do some other weekly challenges and what’s even cooler in my opinion is a lot of our advocates speak on our behalf on voice of customer webinars.
And so we amplify them even further by advertising and marketing their upcoming event inside this portal. So more people, their peers can come in and register for those events and listen to one of their own deliver a key thought leadership piece.
Margot Leong: For your advocacy program, are these people coming in like based off having volunteered themselves as advocates or at what point in the customer journey do they come into the program?
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, it’s a good call-out. So the way that we like to do it, our favorite way of recruiting new advocates is by being closely aligned with our customer success teams. As a matter of fact, we’re closely aligned right now with our customer success leadership, where they’re actively looking at their customers and seeing who is truly happy. Who’s truly driving impactful change in their organizations and their functions. So I would say throughout their customer life cycle, it’s somewhere towards the right side of the spectrum, beyond adoption of the platform. And maybe right before or right after the renewal stage. So those are like the most ripe kinds of clients that are there for advocacy.
But then again we also see a lot of hand raisers or volunteers that come in organically through our advocacy landing page. And what we’ve learned there is that you get a mixed bag of folks who’ve had a really good experience with Alteryx, but have only been with Alteryx using it for maybe six months to a year. And what are they saying? They’re filling that gap of, Hey, you know, I’ve onboarded Alteryx, I’m a fairly new customer, but I’m experiencing something that I’ve never experienced before, which is an incredible gain in efficiency and I want to tell that story. And that helps us nurture newer clients that are coming on or thinking about investing in Alteryx.
Margot Leong: Yeah, it’s really interesting how when you think about the points at which people can join this program, it’s not as linear as you might expect it to be, cause that that’s kind of been my experience too, is like, someone can be an advocate or think about themselves in that way after trying the product a few times and they’re like, I’m sold, you know, like I want to be a part of this, but they have less of a level of experience. Versus someone coming in after renewal that you would think would more traditionally fit that, but it’s really interesting to me to notice that people’s excitement levels and passion for product can result at times that you may not necessarily think, you know.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. I’ve always practiced advocacy in the way of I don’t like to set for example, specific entry points. Again, back to that consumer thinking of you can become an advocate or a fan of a brand based on your very first experience with them. Right? So you could walk into a store. Or an amusement park or whatever it may be and say, whoa, I love this. This is amazing. And yeah, I’ll tell my friends about how great of a time I had and I’ve only been there once. So same thing, we have actually seen that with our executive level advocates. Some of them have literally, when I interviewed them, they said the way I got exposed to Alteryx was I met someone on a team that was in a different function or department. I watched them create a workflow in Alteryx and they themselves have never actually touched the platform. They said I saw what it could do and I was hooked.
And so advocacy can start before you even actually use the product because it’s a lot of sentiment, a lot of feeling. And so for me, advocates can start literally at signing the dotted line and our, community does a great job of that by the way. So our community online is an incredible place because you can go in there and see how thriving it is and see that people are answering questions that are having a great time. But the kinds of stories and outputs back to the measurement side that you’re going to get differ.
So that’s where you get strategic. Somebody who’s been an Alteryx customer for a year, two years, three years is going to be able to provide you with advocate data that’s more around ROI and KPI metrics. Whereas somebody who’s an advocate, but is more in the first year, maybe is more around the sentiment of how amazing it is to work with this platform and how it can help them become better. So it’s two different stories, but with a lot of impact.
Margot Leong: Yeah, absolutely. What’s kind of on the horizon or like what’s getting you excited about what that vision is for this going forward or that next chapter?
Luis Gonzalez: The next chapter is a combination of consumer led growth with product led growth. So mixing both together, meaning right now, like I said, you’ve got to go and knock on some doors and set some meetings and get in front of the advocate. Whereas I think the future is being able to meet the advocate and the client where they are within your platform. Especially in moving forward towards a cloud-based platform, you can kind of design with our analytics Concourse experience, an experience that says, okay, this client has developed 50 workflows. That could be a trigger of let’s talk to them. What are they experiencing? Right. So it’s meeting them where they are every single day, which is inside our platform. As well as allowing them to advocate even quicker via that route.
Margot Leong: I think Janet Dulsky from Adobe talked about this on one of the episodes is like how you further integrating in your program with the products so that there are certain triggers for you to more quickly identify those advocates outside of some of the existing channels. If you just think about all the ways that people are interacting with your product and maybe like, they’re not like quote unquote raising their hands in the traditional way, but there’s plenty of things that people do in the product that would a signal that they enjoy using said product, right. And might be good and ripe for being a part of the program that may be slipping through the cracks. So that’s a really, really interesting.
Luis Gonzalez: I’ve interviewed so many advocates and when you kind of talk to them about, when did you have that aha moment, that breakthrough moment and it differs, but how would you know if you’re not there kind of tracking what they’re doing within the platform. You know, you’re kind of doing a retrospective at this point, whereas if you’re starting to see the data shows, Hey, once they’re doing 50, 60, 70 runs or workflows within your platform, they’re more likely to have been experiencing something positive and let’s go learn what that is. Not only are you recruiting more advocates, but you’re getting, a story that’s literally hot off the press. And that’s, that’s where I think our next horizon for the Alteryx innovators and visionaries lies.
Margot Leong: You’re right. Like you’re kind of capitalizing on maybe those moments of delight more quickly so that they don’t forget that story and then you make sure that you capture that story essentially.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, exactly, that’s what we’re building towards.
Margot Leong: You’ve been at Alteryx, I think about two years now. Is there anything that you’ve learned or that has evolved in terms of your thinking about advocacy or customer marketing or the practice in the time that you’ve been there?
Luis Gonzalez: Yes. So what I’ve learned is that this is something that I actually wanted to pressure test and It’s always gone back to that B2C loyalty program. What resonates with people? Why do they want to advocate? Is it the thrill of getting points? Is it the thrill of getting swag? And what I’ve learned is that it’s really more around getting down to the true emotive drivers of a customer, right? So I call it the triple B approach. And it’s building a brand that makes them feel like they’re a part of something greater, which highlights their passion.
So for us, we didn’t just call the program, Hey, you’re an Alteryx Champion or you’re an Ambassador. Yeah, sure. But anybody can be a champion or ambassador of any program, but for us, it was around getting down to what drives these folks to use Alteryx. And the names, innovator and visionary came about. And that was the brand. And when somebody says I’m an Alteryx Innovator, I mean, not only does it sound good, but it makes them feel powerful because they are actually innovating with our platform. When somebody is a visionary, we call them that because they truly are being visionary in their space. They’re seeing what’s next, they’re driving their functions forward. So. I learned that one of the most important things in building a successful advocacy program is getting to what drives the human. What do they do in their everyday lives that also relates to what they do professionally?
And then the second B is benefits. What benefits them for being part of the program and what do we receive as a business in return?
And finally, aligning your advocates, your program to the business, that’s how you get executive buy-in. Just like you interview your advocates, you interview your execs and you say, what’s our strategy going forward and how are we going to place our customers on the cutting edge? What are we trying to achieve? And how do we have our customers help while providing them with value? Those three B’s are all, if you really break it down related to what drives people emotionally? What drives our customers emotionally? What drives our internal executives emotionally? It’s really around the psyche, I think is what I’ve learned most.
Margot Leong: What’s interesting too, is that it also speaks to the power of getting to know your customers, getting to know that persona because it’s very possible that using Innovators or visionaries may not necessarily resonate as deeply with another type of customer, but because it sounds like you’ve really done the research and the thought to really delve into that, right. That this was something that you knew would be interesting to them and would be valuable.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. I mean like we were very careful in choosing the names.
Margot Leong: Naming is hard.
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, it is because you’re right. It has to, it has to resonate and I can confidently and safely say it’s worked. Because if you go on LinkedIn and you search for #AlteryxInnovator, what you see is loads of our advocates sharing the Alteryx innovator logo. They’re putting it in their about, they’re putting it next to their job titles. Folks were putting it in their email signatures. You know, they’re truly proud of being called somebody who’s innovative, right? Who wouldn’t be. But it’s not a gimmick. These folks truly are innovative in what they do every single day.
Margot Leong: So one of my last questions is around, you know, we have a lot of earlier career customer marketers listening. If someone came up to you and was like, Hey, like, I will be exploring launching our first advocacy program here at this company, what tips would you give them? What are things that you would say you absolutely must think about or invest in before launching this program?
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah. You know, it’s a good question, especially right now with how the market’s completely exploded in looking for customer advocacy practitioners. The first question is why. Why are we doing this? Are we doing this because we truly care about our customers or are we doing this because we see it as trendy, right? If you answer that question honestly, and can say the why is because we want to provide a better experience because we know folks with a better experience grow more, grow faster, are loyal, et cetera. Great. If you’re doing it just for trendiness, then you’re probably gonna fall flat.
The second thing I would say is learn who your customers are, what they’re actually doing, what they care about and your best resources are going to be the client success folks. They know their customers inside and out. Speak to as many CSMs, AEs, account managers as you can especially across the spectrum of small business, enterprise, strategic accounts, et cetera.
And then lastly, make sure that that you are aligned with the organization and what is that north star? Again, back to almost the first point. What are we trying to achieve together? Both as an organization with our clients, not just, Hey, our north star is: we’re terrible in the third party reviews area. So we just need people to go in there and give us reviews. It’s not a good way to go to go forward. It really has to be around are you looking to maximize the success of your customers by way of continuing to give them a deeper nurture? That’s a good strategy, it can’t just be one thing that’s tactical.
I’d ask those three questions for sure. And again, CSMs are your best bet. If you have a community, take a peek in there and then see what folks are saying.
Margot Leong: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of it boils down to is long-term over short term too, right? Like, if you’re just coming into this for short-term gains, you may get those gains, but you can’t just start a program and then collapse it once you hit your initial goals. I’m sure you can attest to this, but running a successful advocacy program is not a small amount of work. It’s not trivial. There’s a lot of intentionality and thought that goes into it. And so, the alignment with that north star, with the larger org in terms of the expectations, and then also making it clear that this is ultimately for the customers to help them have a better experience is massive to have that sort of deep love for the customer in all of this and make sure that’s the main thread throughout is so important. And you may have to do some education there within the org as well. But yeah, always thinking about that long-term over short term is super, super important. So I love everything that you’re saying about this, thank you so much for coming on.
Last question is, you know, if people want to connect and learn more about what you’re doing, what’s the best way to get in touch with you?
Luis Gonzalez: Yeah, thanks Margot. Again, I’m honored to be on this podcast and this episode. For me, the best way is LinkedIn. I do have a very common name, so if you just search in Luis Gonzalez and then Alteryx, that’s how you’ll find me. Yeah. And I’m happy to connect and help folks think through anything for sure. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and keep on fighting the good fight because the advocacy programs are taking off. And I think we are the future of marketing.
Thanks for tuning into this episode of Beating The Drum. For more interviews with advocacy leaders and tips on creating customers that will sing your praises, head on over to our website, beatingthedrum.com. If you enjoyed today’s show, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to rate and review us. If you know someone that would be a great fit for the show, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out at beatingthedrum.com. Take care, everybody.