Hundreds of Customers. Billions of Customer Advocates. Ten Winners.

The RO Sherpa Awards bestow the highest honor on organizations, large and small, that are taking the future by force and powering the world’s best customer marketing programs. You have shaped our industry and we are excited to give you the spotlight!

This year, awards will be given to 9 winners across 10 key categories designed to recognize customer marketing transformation, excellence, innovation and impact. Committed to recognizing the best of the best, the awards are open to companies of all sizes in all markets.

Please be sure to provide relevant metrics to illustrate your customer marketing program success. Insights, testimonials, anecdotal stories and related achievements (e.g. customer program awards) will strengthen your nomination.

Nominations are now open! Applications are due by July 31, 2018.

Award Categories

This year’s award categories cover a wide range of Customer Marketing achievements.

Outstanding Executive Leadership

Customer reference programs can live and die by the executive hand. This award recognizes an individual executive stakeholder or team for their efforts in supporting and promoting the value of customer reference programs through their vision and leadership. View award eligibility.


Exceptional Customer Advocacy Alignment

The B2B purchase process has become more buyer-centric than ever. This award recognizes a progressive B2B organization proving the impact of customer advocacy end-to-end in the customer lifecycle to create brand authenticity, customer loyalty and new business through content, referrals and social validation.  View award eligibility.


Most Valued Program

There are some programs within companies that become so helpful, useful and effective that people can’t help but take advantage of the benefits it has to offer. This award recognizes an organization with a customer advocacy program that is highly adopted, appreciated and well-loved by internal stakeholders and customers alike. View award eligibility.


Most Improved Program

All reference programs set out with a goal to accomplish something significant. Some programs simply crush their goals they set for themselves and as a result see success they’ve had only dreamed of. This award recognizes an organization that set a specific goal in the past, and has made major strides in accomplishing it.  View award eligibility here.


Best Advocate Engagement

A reference program doesn’t work unless you have advocates to call upon for activities. This award recognizes a program that had an outstanding strategy for recruiting a large volume of new references and/or great execution on a strategy that engaged reference contacts to participate in additional activities in their program. View award eligibility.


Rising Star

This “rookie of the year” award recognizes an up-and-coming professional in the customer marketing field. The Rising Star honoree is a customer advocacy pro who truly is “one to watch” because of his or her contribution to the profession and their organization — and has promise of leadership in the future. View award eligibility.


Best Customer Program Tech Stack

Customer Reference Programs do not live in silos. The most successful ones embed their programs in as many places throughout the organization as possible. This award recognizes an organization that has achieved an outstanding way to integrate the Voice of the Customer throughout the daily lives of their employees. View award eligibility.


Innovative Feature Use

Many of RO’s features were originally ideas directly from our customers based on unique concepts and use cases. This award recognizes a RO Innovation customer who’s idea for improving our platform was actually brought to market or was implemented at their organization in a unique way.  View award eligibility.


Top Game Changer

This award recognizes a customer marketing program for a new strategy or tactic that was implemented for the first time within the past 12 months and created game-changing results for the customer marketing program. This award specifically highlights a top performing project, campaign, or new idea that created success for the program or had a significant business impact. View award eligibility.


Best In Class Customer Advocacy Program

This award honors the best overall customer advocacy program strategy, tactics and results as determined by the customer advocacy and engagement experts at SiriusDecisions, the leading global business-to-business research and advisory firm. View eligibility criteria.


Rewards for Winners

The winning organization will be globally recognized for customer marketing innovation, which includes:

Global Recognition

Winners will be recognized at the RO Elevate Customer Summit in front of industry leaders, peers and analysts. A press release and social media posts announcing the winners will be promoted.

RO Sherpa VIP treatment

In addition to this, the winners will be awarded:

  • Primary consideration as a future RO Elevate Customer Summit speaker
  • Impactful recognition and exclusive networking opportunities with peers, analysts and RO Innovation executives
  • Networking with global customer advocacy leaders who are recognized innovators
  • Onstage award presentation including presentation of a coveted award trophy


Have a question? Please refer to the FAQ or read through the Eligibility and Criteria details. If your question is not included, please email

Previous Winners

We’re proud of our past RO Sherpa Award winners and what they’ve accomplished. Check out some of their stories of success!