The word “evangelism” comes from the Greek word euangelizesthai (εὐανγέλιον), roughly meaning “to share the good news”. The etymology of the word “brand” is derived from fire brand, a burning piece of wood. When put together, we have “brand evangelism” which one can think of as a torch to light up your brand’s presence and bring the good news to others.
A brand evangelist, or chief evangelist, does just that. They carry the torch — a trusted torch that shares your revolutionary product or message. By amplifying the problem your wealthtech company solves, an evangelist creates awareness around your brand, while directly speaking to the wants, needs, and desires of your target audience. When you show that you deeply understand your customers on a psychological level, you foster emotional human connection and build trust with them, leading to greater brand affinity over time.
What most of us don’t realize is that we’re all brand evangelists to the products and services that we love and believe in. It’s natural, and as humans that are meaning driven, we’ll most likely be talking about what is meaningful for us. But creating true brand evangelism isn’t an overnight process, and it takes productive exercise and intention, often at a level that isn’t provided by the time or space given internally within an organization.
A Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is usually the first evangelist within an organization, but often lacks time (or sometimes flair) to carry the torch effectively as a company grows. As demands around fundraising, company strategy, and keeping a board happy heighten, it becomes increasingly difficult to “show up everywhere” as a CEO, and evangelize a company to the extent it deserves. This is why more and more companies are appointing dynamic people to the role who can fully dedicate themselves to the work.
When you show that you deeply understand your customers on a psychological level, you foster emotional human connection and build trust with them, leading to greater brand affinity over time.
The functions of an effective evangelist
Having a chief evangelist is one of the most effective marketing and growth tools you can leverage to actively engage your clients, build rapport and relationships, and grow your reputation. It’s your company’s way of getting creative in a commoditized space, and humanizing how you show up in the market.
The first consideration in effective brand evangelism is that it does not occur spontaneously. Evangelism marketing requires a concerted effort to gain real traction and effectiveness. Evangelists constantly work at spreading the brand message using marketing tools both internally and externally to light up the way for influencing members of your audience.
This engagement becomes increasingly important in crowded technology markets. It’s no secret that the wealthtech industry continues to grow by the “tech boatload” each time Michael Kitces updates his advisor technology map. If your customers aren’t emotionally engaged with your brand, something that can only be fostered through human-to-human connection, then what’s to stop them from jumping ship when a cheaper, newer, and perhaps better-positioned alternative presents itself?
From the wise words of marketing genius Neil Patel, here’s what you can expect from an evangelist:
- They explain. A brand evangelist is a walking, talking form of content marketing.
- They inspire. Explanation is only the beginning. Brand evangelists infuse their marketing message with passion. They are more powerful than any viral video, longform content, or brilliant Twitter campaign. Why? Because they possess the power of the personal touch and genuine human conviction.
- They use their personal brand as a platform. A brand evangelist doesn’t buy PPC ads or Super Bowl ad space. Brand evangelists start evangelizing right where they are — Twitter, Facebook, the subway, or even the checkout line. They are the brand, the face of the product or service to others.
- They use a variety of marketing methods. Brand evangelists embrace any and all marketing methods. They aren’t tied down to the instructions of a CMO or Director of Marketing. They can get on Facebook and talk it up, write a blog post, do a TED talk, speak at a conference, or do a webinar. They have freedom.
If your customers aren’t emotionally engaged with your brand, something that can only be fostered through human-to-human connection, then what’s to stop them from jumping ship when a cheaper, newer, and perhaps better-positioned alternative presents itself?
The benefits of brand evangelism
Now that you’ve been briefed on some of the ways a chief evangelist can help your company transcend beyond its company’s walls, let’s talk about a few of the exciting benefits of implementing a brand evangelism function within your wealthtech business.
- Chief evangelists can open doors and make new connections happen, leading to deal opportunities you may have not otherwise gained as quickly through implementing traditional sales and marketing efforts. Brand evangelism is especially powerful in the enterprise sales space, where relationships trump marketing emails any day of the week.
- Chief evangelists can energize your demand channels and strengthen your partnerships, allowing you to get more return across your entire growth landscape. Got a cool campaign idea? Let your evangelist humanize the content with video. Got a presentation idea you know will revolutionize the way people look at the problem you’re solving? Lean on your evangelist to energize the message from the stage. The goal is to make your audiences feel good when they engage with your company.
- Chief evangelists can intelligently shape the roadmap of your product. As an Evangelist spends most of their time out in the market, they’ll gather invaluable customer feedback and stories they’ll bring back into the organization. This first-hand data collection process inevitably shapes product development, and ensures your company intelligently prioritizes what the market really wants.
- Chief evangelists set the foundation for others to evangelize your product, too. The ultimate goal of evangelism doesn’t stop at whoever you appoint to head up the function. Converting others to become brand ambassadors of your company is part of the duty, including customers, partners, and employees. As the message of your product gets unleashed and represented through quality networking, real client satisfaction, and a word of mouth that inspires the market while boosting company culture, the “domino effect” of brand evangelism takes off naturally.
Brand evangelism is especially powerful in the enterprise sales space, where relationships trump marketing emails any day of the week.
Choosing a chief evangelist brings real value to your wealthtech company’s odyssey and ingenuity to the meaning of your brand.
In a space where companies are competing for the same financial advisor attention, how will you stand out?
Will advisors rave about your company?
Or will they remain at baseline with their level of satisfaction?
Run a wealthtech company with an innovative solution you’re passionate about, but need help evangelizing your brand? Learn more about the wealthtech industry’s first Fractional Chief Evangelist growth offering, and book your free growth assessment here.