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What does an Evangelist do?

051130cOne of my favorite books on marketing is Creating Customer Evangelists (see the right side bar for more info), and the authors, Huba and McConnell, just got some coverage in US News & World Report. This new article has a nice explanation of the duties and responsibilities of a corporate evangelist. For more information, check out their blog: Corporate evangelists recruit customers who love to create buzz about a product by James Pethokoukis

"It's not about creating a better megaphone," says Bill Hamilton, CEO of TechSmith, a software developer with 100 employees in Okemos, Mich. "To be successful, companies need better conversations with their customers." The TechSmith side of the conversation is handled by chief evangelist Betsy Weber. "My job is about relationships," she says. And that means loads of contact with users of TechSmith's products--software used to capture images and activity from Windows desktops for multimedia presentations. Weber estimates that she chats with 400 of her customer evangelists several times a month via E-mail, instant messaging, phone, private forums, and meet-ups on the road. What does she do for these people to help them keep and spread the faith? She tries to reply to each and every E-mail, forwards problems or complaints to product specialists, invites the customer evangelists to groups beta-testing new products, and, of course, supplies the occasional tchotchke.