New research presented by BzzAgent and dunnhumby at the ARF Audience Measurement 7.0 Conference shows just how important customers are to advocacy marketing success.
Targeting people for brand advocacy programs based on their purchase behaviors, along with social influence scores and demographic profiles drives higher levels of in-store sales than using social scoring or demographics alone. In fact, advocacy programs focusing on shopper behaviors have increased sales by an average of 8%. But it doesn’t end there. These advocates have a deeper connection to the brand so they keep talking long after their involvement in a program ends. Their continued discussion influence sales that sustain 50% of that sales lift six months later.
For many marketers, customers are anonymous online. Social media is the most trusted and the most influential media, but a brand’s loyal customers see the same Facebook posts, tweets and blog posts as everyone else. Word of mouth generated by these customers is not connected to their purchases or to the purchases made by anyone they may have influenced.
Marketers often turn to their Facebook fans and demographic profiles of consumers collected by surveys. But Facebook fans aren’t necessarily your best customers. Many are there for free products and special discounts and demographic surveys represent what people say, not what they actually do. Social influence scoring is insufficient because the best advocates aren’t always the ones with the most followers on Twitter. Social media celebrities don’t usually have a deep connection to a brand or the personal motivation to help others make better purchase decisions.
The answer is your customers. They have experience in the product category, loyalty to your brand and they want to help others make better purchase decisions. This research highlights the improved effectiveness shopping behavior data can bring to social marketing. Check out the details of the research in the ARF report. Download it here.