A couple of months ago I was in Leuven, Belgium. After a day of working with the team of my customer it was time to pack my bags and head to the train. My plane was leaving in less than 2 hours from Zaventem Airport. “Let me drive you to the station” their CEO said. We walked down the stairs to the garage and there he proudly opened the doors of his Tesla Model S. “It’s a fantastic machine” he said. “You won’t believe it.”
The 2-minute journey to the train station became an inspiring ‘demo’ ride. As the car drove ‘itself’ to the station I got immersed into what makes this car so remarkable.
And that made me think: Tesla’s growth isn’t driven by large marketing budgets or big campaigns – it’s driven by people that talk about them – people that keep talking about them, without being asked.
I’ve been in business software for over 25 years – and I know the power of references. Too often, however, we only have a hand-full of them, and they easily get overused. As such we have to move mountains to get them lined up ‘again’ to speak to our prospects. It’s not fun for the reference (our customers) and neither for us (the vendor).
So, what’s different in Tesla’s approach? The way I see it is that Tesla has built Advocacy inside its product. You’re not driving a car, you’re driving an experience. An experience that updates itself every couple of weeks and upgrades its features every couple of months. It keeps surprising you and it feels new and fresh all the time. The moment you turn the engine on it starts to interact – it actually encourages you to tell your friends – and it rewards you for doing so. You simply feel part of something bigger.
What if we’d pay more attention to ‘engineering’ advocacy into our products. The world of software as a service is a magical opportunity. Every sprint we can think of something to surprise our customers again and again. Let’s focus on building peaks instead of just filling gaps. Create those (small) moments of magic and give our users a reason to brag about our product to their peers.
The power of advocacy is underutilized. That’s a remarkable opportunity.
If this keeps you thinking – the Remarkable Effect Tribe might be something that’s for you. It’s designed for Tech-entrepreneurs-on-a-mission. Like-minded people that are on to something big and meaningful with their software business. They experience similar challenges and leverage each other to level up and make an even bigger impact.