Why Every Company Needs an Evangelist
The very term Evangelist conjures up visions of a preacher on a church platform gesticulating wildly while preaching to his audience. It's only natural to think that way. Those are the type of reactions I receive when I tell people I am an evangelist. Just like a church evangelist is preaching the Gospel, a product evangelist preaches the Gospel of whatever he or she is representing, usually a product or service. It is paramount that the evangelist knows the product in and out, is able to answer questions and respond to people's concerns. A product evangelist must know where these people congregate, both online and off. They should know what their target market is like, what kind of media they consume.
A product evangelist must be ready to live and breathe whatever entity they are promoting. Having a passion for that entity is not just a nice to have. It is critical. They must be able to communicate their custom-tailored messages on the fly, whether it be via the written or spoken word. The main goal is to inspire the masses to want, see, read, buy, consume whatever the evangelist is ...well...evangelizing. Regarding the media, the evangelist must know who the key influencers are in the space, whether they be bloggers, journalists or university department heads.
If it is what the product calls for they must have a solid foundation in technology. Not to take anything away from bright marketing folks, but a true evangelist is a marketer with an added dimension. They are as much a necessity as a CEO. But, yet most companies, even large ones do not know this term exists outside of Sunday mass services. While most larger companies (tech and non) can afford a marketing director and chief evangelist, smaller ones that employ marketing managers without the evangelist dimension are missing out on potentially huge exposure and the spreading of their message...