Advocacy is a term that is for the most part associated with non-profits, Non-Governmental organizations or in some parts of the world demonstrations, strikes and human rights stuff in general. This notion even made the decision for the title of this article tricky but if you subscribe to the school of thought mentioned above let me clear the air right now and say this article is not about that kind of thing.
Advocacy is defined in the dictionary as active support of an idea or cause etc.; especially the act of pleading or arguing for something. The dictionary even mentions synonyms like insistence, drumbeat among others. I personally prefer to use the definition from Community Toolbox which says Advocacy is the active promotion of a cause or principle. When Non- profits have a cause they feel strongly about, they advocate and promote it till they achieve action from the people responsible for making it happen, for instance if police harass a suspect upon arrest, an NGO can come up to demand for more humane treatment of suspects and will be insistent on it till it happens. The result of a successful advocacy campaign is the satisfaction of the advocate and the betterment of society or the affected group that was the cause of the campaign.
Advocacy has been proven as an effective tool to make things happen and achieve results but it has been reserved for the civil society yet it can have some real application in the world of business.
Businesses all have a reason for being in existence most of them come down to making money but also benefiting society by providing a service or product. This is done by making a sale, however, to make a sale, you must convince a person that what you have to offer is actually worth their money and then turn them into a customer. In a way this is similar to what advocates do. After being involved in advocacy work for over a year, I have been asking myself whether it is possible to incorporate the principles of advocacy to a business’ marketing strategy?