Choosing the right brand advocacy software: Step 4 – Narrow the field

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Continuing our Choosing the right advocate marketing software blog series, this week we discuss how you can whittle down your long-list of vendors.

If you’ve not already been following this series, you might like to go back to the first blog: Choosing the right advocate marketing platform- Step 1: Form the right team.

Before you take a deep-dive into each brand advocacy technology offering, you’ll need to turn your long list into a short list. Taking a close look at every advocacy tool on the market simply isn’t possible (or necessary). Use your evaluation matrix and scores to knock out the weak contenders until you’re left with three, four or – at the most – five strong candidates: the ones which are best aligned to the needs of your brand advocacy program.

If you try to evaluate and compare any more than five options, you’ll find the task gets more complex and time-consuming. The risk is that the effort becomes too high, you get bogged down in “analysis paralysis”, and the selection process stalls. Once your momentum dies, it can be very difficult to re-engage all your stakeholders for a second run at it.

Using a spreadsheet format when capturing your technology requirements will help you calculate each vendor’s score and easily identify the strong or weak contenders:

  • If the vendor has a feature you need, they get the priority points associated with that requirement: so that your most important requirements are more heavily “weighted” in the total score for each vendor.
  • Using your scores as a focal point, discuss and agree on a short list of vendors to engage with. Make sure everybody in your team agrees before you move forward. If any group feels like their requirements are not being taken seriously, they will disengage from the process and compromise the value you will get from your advocate marketing program.