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Posts Tagged ‘Net Promoter Score’

Who cares if your customers say they will recommend your brand… if they never get round to doing so. Realising the potential of advocacy requires active advocates, but can you influence this? This was the question we set out to answer in our research project ‘Leading by recommendation’. We studied 120 brands in the UK and 4000 customers. We found significant differences in activation levels between brands in the same sectors. We also found striking similarities in the way these brands approached their marketing. We distilled these findings into a model, the 4C’s of advocacy activation. A model which can be applied to build advocacy, build activation and build the momentum of brands.
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As budgets get tighter and marketing expenditure requires that extra bit of  justification, the question of PR measurement once again rages. Richard Stacy in his social media blog tells a lovely story which has relevance to this debate. The moral of his story is make sure you measure the right thing . PR measurement still tends to focus on media clippings or the odd reputation study. Rarely do we measure the full system that we are looking to influence. This must change. Brands with more advocates build reputation and sales more cost effectively than their competitive set. It’s a proven fact. Surely analysis of this should be PR’s ultimate measure?

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In December last year P&G announced that it had purchased a 1% share in Ocado, the Grocery Delivery service linked with the supermarket Waitrose. For many this was seen as an intriguing investment, for P&G it was seen as a chance to apply it’s “two moments of truth philosophy” to the Web .

P&G has for some time now looked to build its understanding of these two moments – the first being when the shopper chooses a product in-store and the second being when they get home and use it. An amazing 70% of shopping buying decisions get made at point of purchase. TV has also become so fragmented, with P&G claiming that to reach 80% of the population in 1977 you would have needed three TV advertising spots; to reach the same figure today, around 75 spots are required. It is unsurprising therefore that P&G has focused on these moments to give it the best return on its investment.

Bain & Co more recently have identified an even more important driver of growth – customer advocacy or recommendation. Using their Net Promoter Score measure they have identified that brands with the highest levels of net recommendation in their category; outgrow their competitive set by X2.5 times.

This is the new moment of truth; the moment at which one customer turns to the other and say’s “what do you think?” It’s an exciting space, requiring new insights, approaches and partnerships.  To date even blue-chips like P&G have only scratched the surface of what is possible here. With high levels of advocacy creating a natural momentum, allowing for the possibility of lower proportionate marketing spends over time; brand rallying cries, storytelling and involvement strategies will soon be at the heart of most brand strategies and this new moment of truth will truly come of age.

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What is Brand Advocacy? I read a case study this weekend in Contagious Magazine that provides an answer.
Method , launched in 1999 in the US, makes cleaning products. It’s aim is to take cleaning products from under the sink and put them on the counter top…. making cleaning fun, trendy and importantly “non-toxic”. In summary, to start a fight against all forms of “dirty”.
At launch Method commissioned a designer called Karim Rashid to help shape their offering. The result was a range of highly designed, gentle and nice smelling products that surprised and delighted and complimented any home. This started to create an army of fans for the brand – stage one of any Brand Advocacy approach.

Stage two was activating these advocates. Marketing started with the new  5th P of Marketing the Parent or Corporate brand. The founders of the company “the first people against dirty” asked potential recruits to complete homework assignments answering “what are you going to do to ensure Method continues to receive 1000’s of fan letters”. This practice still continues today. Next, Method built up a community of fan’s (over 5,000 now) who actively help them design products and spread the word through Blogs and “love letters”. Every call the company gets to the customer service team results in that person receiving samples and literature for them and their friends. Initially these callers received free T-Shirts and caps as well.
Today, Method run regular “Detox” (your home) parties with customers, organised through paid regional co-ordinators and have programmes with key influencers groups such as Parent Teacher Associations and even Fashion Journalists – there’s a first for cleaning products!
Put simply, Method have seen their network of advocates (customers, journalists, staff, experts) as far more important than paid for media. They have done everything possible to mobilise these … to help them spread the word. The result has been tremendous growth for the business and a demonstration of the power of brand advocacy.

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I notice that the conversation around brand advocacy is changing from a focus on it’s relative importance, to a discussion on how you build it – quickly.

Here in a nutshell is what you do.

1. Measure your advocacy levels. NPS is a pretty good start point.

2. Fine-tune your advocacy engine – your brand. Are you surprising and delighting at every touch-point?

3. Identify your most influential advocacy channels. Today they are unlikely to be ads.

4. Identify the conversations taking place amongst these channels

5. Create the story that will ignite memorable conversations around your brand

6. Develop the engagement plan (the platforms to spread the story).

7. Measure and watch your business grow!

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