Choosing the Right Customer Advocacy Agency

Wondering what it’s like to work with an agency? Learn why working with Captivate Collective will level up your customer advocacy game.

Whether you’ve already decided to bring an agency on board or you’re researching your options, I’m so glad you’re here! Working with an agency gives you access to resources, expertise and best practices, helps you accelerate time-to-value, and lets you dedicate your time to moving other important initiatives forward—not to mention it can be more cost-effective than hiring. 

There are quite a few agencies in the customer marketing and advocacy world—certainly more than there were even just a few years ago. As the practice grows, so does the need for external support. Across strategy and managed services, you’ll find each agency has its own areas of expertise and approach to the practice of customer advocacy, so choosing the right one is an important decision. And while I can’t speak to other agencies, I can share what sets Captivate apart from other agencies and what you can expect from a Captivate engagement.

Why Captivate? 

At Captivate Collective, we help organizations accelerate growth with bold engagement strategies that motivate and activate customers at all stages of their journey—from acquisition to advocacy. Our foundational approach to client work is based on two principles: the Advocacy Mindset, and something we like to call the Captivate Advantage.

The Advocacy Mindset

You may be familiar with Captivate’s adage that advocacy is a practice, not a platform. Well, the advocacy mindset is just as foundational to our work.

The Advocacy Mindset is the belief that true, long-term advocacy from your customers is driven by a mutually beneficial relationship. 

It’s about approaching every customer advocacy initiative with the question “What’s in it for them?” instead of leading with “What’s in it for us?” It’s about moving away from the transactional mindset and finding ways to bring value to your customers from the very first touchpoint. A transactional approach to your advocacy activities might help you achieve short-term results, but thinking about your customers in this way is damaging to your long-term advocacy efforts. Like using the same star customer as a reference for all your deals…sure, they’ll sing your praises (after all, that’s why you asked them), until they’re burnt out and feeling like a means to an end and you’re left scrambling to find a reference the sales team is relying on to close a deal. 

Whether you’re looking for an agency to help launch a new advocacy initiative, expand your portfolio, or manage an ongoing program, Captivate brings the advocacy mindset to each and every engagement and keeps you from getting trapped in a cycle of transactional advocacy. 

The Captivate Advantage

Beyond our foundational belief in the advocacy mindset, we also have the Captivate Advantage: four key ways we raise the bar when it comes to providing advocacy services. 

  • We are real-world practitioners: Team Captivate knows the ins and outs of customer advocacy—we don’t just talk the talk. We’re practitioners. We’ve managed advocacy programs and have hands-on experience with the tools in your AdvoStack. That means our clients get the benefit of our collective experience. 😉
  • We’re on the forefront: We’ve had the opportunity to build, test and measure the success of a wide range of advocacy initiatives, in our own programs and alongside our clients. With that experience, Captivate has had a hand in developing many of the best practices applied in the CMA space today, like our current work in lifecycle advocacy. (Check out this episode of the Talkin’ CRM podcast with Captivate Collective co-founders Liz Richardson and Deena Zenyk about Advocacy 2.0.)
  • We’re unbiased and on-side: We’re firm believers in the right technology for the right customer. We want our clients to be successful and that means recommending the right tools. We also believe in full transparency, so while we do have relationships with many vendors throughout the CMA space (we are the hosts of Customer Advocacy Vendor Speed Dating, after all!), you can rest assured that our recommendations will never be biased in any way because of our relationships. They will always be what we believe is best for our clients. 
  • We’re future-focused and holistic: Between new tech, emerging trends, and what’s buzzing in the CMA community, we make a point to stay on top of the latest developments. The CMA industry is still being defined and refined—and we’re here for it! Captivate has always been committed to moving the practice forward and that means being in the know so we can help our clients stay ahead of the curve. 

What to Expect from a Captivate Engagement 

Now that you know how we approach customer advocacy and all the advantages that come with partnering with us, here’s a look at how it all comes to life in the day-to-day. 

  • We’re going to ask a lot of questions. It’s all about getting the foundation right when we start a new project. We’ll spend time with you in workshops. We’ll conduct research with both your internal stakeholders and customers. The discovery phase is critical to the success of any project—but it’s not the only time you’ll hear us asking questions. Working with Captivate is a collaborative experience, so we build in checkpoints and ask the right questions at every stage of the project. Being curious is part of our process. 
  • We’re going to be your advocacy accountability partner. Not just an extension of your team, we are also your partner in getting things done. We’ll keep you on track (trust us, we love a good operational plan) and work with you to build a realistic path to meeting (and exceeding!) your program goals. Look out for our Friday Recaps every week to keep you informed and up-to-date on our progress. 
  • We’re going to challenge you. On the topic of being realistic, we will be honest with you and challenge your assumptions—whether that’s your timeline, your goals, or your approach. We want you to succeed, and part of that is leaning on our experience as advocacy experts when making a recommendation. On the flip side, we’ll also challenge you to think big and step outside your comfort zone. This is where best practices come to life.
  • We’re going to make sure you’re set up for long-term success. During the course of your project, you’ll have access to our team’s expertise, but we make sure you’re also set up with all the resources and templates you need to keep running a successful program long after our project is complete. This is the goal. Yes, we love working with our clients on an ongoing basis. But what we love even more is seeing our clients hit their goals and come back, ready to partner on a new initiative that will take their program, and their career, to even greater heights. 
  • We’re going to make you look good. Like really good. We only consider ourselves successful when you are successful. Not only will we arm you with best-in-class advocacy engagement strategies to win over and wow your customers, but we’ll also make sure you’re prepared to report back to your own internal stakeholders and show up like the advocacy pro you are. 

What have our clients said? 

You could take it from me, or you could take it from some of our clients. Here’s what they had to say about partnering with the Captivate team: 

Captivate Collective is an extension of your advocacy efforts in all the best ways. They are helpful, experienced, and intuitive. They were very good at sensing when we needed more support or when something was falling through the cracks. I would trust them with all customer communication and know that my legal, PR, and direct customer counterparts are in great hands. Aly McGue, Director of Customer Marketing, Amplitude 
The entire experience was very collaborative and consultative. It's an entirely different experience ideating with true experts. You can feel that you're taking your department to the next level because of it. Sana Farooq, Director, Customer Success, FloQast

I’m willing to bet that if you made it all the way here, something resonated with you. Why not reach out and tell us what it was? We’d love to hear about what you’re working on and discover if there’s an opportunity for us to work together to bring it all to life.

June 7, 2023
Bianca Del Vecchio