Lytho Transforms Advocacy into a Consistent Revenue Generator Using Gainsight
Lytho used Gainsight to standardize and optimize their advocacy strategy, implementing a data-driven approach that nurtured advocates and deployed them more effectively to drive business objectives.
Advocacy events YoY
of Customers experienced advocacy programs
Advocacy is an indicator of retention, so ARR absolutely should be counted as part of the total value of advocacy.
VP, Customer Experience at Lytho
Creative operations platform Lytho had developed a deep pool of customer advocates who love their products. But the company struggled to balance the desire to leverage advocacy for sales and marketing with the need to manage customer relationships. Using Gainsight, Lytho began identifying, tracking, and managing their advocacy program so they could maximize the revenue-generating potential while maintaining and nurturing customer relationships.
Lytho’s Customer Experience (CX) organization aims to create experiences that their customers want to keep having again and again. For Brittany Pais, VP, Customer Experience at Lytho, customer advocacy is a powerful means of distilling those experiences into fuel for the marketing flywheel. In fact, Pais believes advocacy is one of the most underrated metrics in customer success—critical for building brand presence, growing NRR, and creating momentum for new sales.
“Advocacy is the magic wand of customer success,” Pais explains. “It’s the truest way to measure whether you are delivering value and outcomes to your customers.”
Pais defines advocacy as, “Any positive comment that a customer makes to another person outside of your organization.” Pais calls these comments “advocacy moments.”
For Lytho, the challenge was how best to capture advocacy moments without becoming a burden on their best customers. Sales, Marketing, and other stakeholders were keen to leverage advocates for sales references, speaker programs, and other initiatives. But for the CX team, the high demand made it difficult to manage customer relationships in a prudent way. The risk was that advocates who are used too often could become burnt out. And compounding the issue was the fact that Lytho did not have a good way to track the effectiveness of the advocacy program.
As the owner of advocacy data, the CX team was in prime position to optimize and streamline the process. To help them transform advocacy at Lytho, Pais and her team turned to Gainsight.
With Gainsight on board, the first task for Lytho was to analyze their customer base and determine the best candidates for advocacy. Led by Katelyn Turner, Customer Experience Operations Analyst at Lytho, they used data from Gainsight’s Timeline feature to start tracking Advocacy Events such as peer-to-peer communications, analyst interviews, speaking engagements, blogs and case studies, sales referrals, and public reviews.
Turner then used Data Designer to transform the events information with other criteria to build an Advocacy Dashboard. The robust filters for the Dashboard Turner created allowed them to quickly sort by customers with a high health score, by success stage, likelihood to renew and NPS status, as well as if they had a recent advocacy event and good product usage.
The depth of filters meant we started with more metrics than we ended up using. I collaborated with internal stakeholders as we went. We could then tweak the filters until we felt like we had it right, then we went live.
Customer Experience Operations Analyst at Lytho
The Advocacy Dashboard within Gainsight has transformed the way the organization nurtures and utilizes advocates. Marketing and Sales can now research customers on their own to find potential advocates. But customer success managers (CSMs) have ultimate jurisdiction over which customers are available. For example, customers are automatically removed from the Advocacy Dashboard after participating in two events over a 180-day period.
“Democratization of customer advocate data can be concerning for CSMs. We used an opt-out option to help us get buy-in from the CX team because they had the final say in who was contacted.” – Brittany Pais, VP, Customer Experience at Lytho
The team used Gainsight to track and analyze the impact of the Advocacy program on a quarterly basis. They measured the number of Advocacy Events By Type, Segment, and CSM, as well the amount of ARR influenced. As a result of their revamped advocacy program, they doubled the number of advocacy events on a YoY basis. 19% of their customer base have now participated as advocates.
But ARR was perhaps the most important metric. Influence over ARR was defined as the revenue from any sales opportunity that is influenced by a reference call, and the revenue from all Advocate customers.
“Advocacy is an indicator of retention, so ARR absolutely should be counted as part of the total value of advocacy,” Pais says.
Ultimately, advocacy works best when it is tied to the customer lifecycle, which is why Gainsight and advocacy are a natural fit. “Every time a customer achieves value and is on a high, that is a potential advocacy moment,” says Pais. “Gainsight helps us understand how advocacy can layer into those moments.”