Think Brand Advocacy Isn’t a Measurable Marketing Channel? You Thought Wrong.
One lingering myth surrounding brand advocacy is that it’s not a measurable marketing channel. More often, it’s dismissed as yet another marketing fad that looks nice on paper, but is difficult to execute and even more difficult to quantify. Don’t believe a word of it.
Brand advocates are everywhere, from the staff on the sales floor to professionals in the field. Get a product into their hands, give them a chance to learn about it and use it, and their purchasing influence becomes not only substantial, but also quantifiable.
In fact, up to two-thirds of customers who engage with brand advocates will buy the product they recommend, and spend 50% percent more while they’re at it.Executed well, brand advocacy can take a grassroots effort and turn it into a metrics-driven campaign with measurable ROI. Here’s how one brand did it.
Case Study: Skullcandy Product Launch Boosted by Brand Advocates
Measuring results was top of mind as industry-leading headphones brand Skullcandy prepared to launch a new multi-product sports performance line. To boost sales and consumer loyalty, the company wanted to target retail associates with a defined campaign and convert them to dedicated brand advocates who could both speak knowledgeably about product features and drum up enthusiasm by expressing their personal preference for the brand.
But sales staff can be a very challenging group to reach. Not only is in-store turnover high, but also face-to-face engagement is tough to achieve across far-flung markets. Skullcandy turned to Experticity to create an efficient, effective product-launch campaign targeting retail associates at The Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
This customized program incentivized associates by offering them a special insider deal. Those who completed the product knowledge program could pre-order a pair of headphones at an exclusive rate before the product line hit shelves. The reward system worked in two ways: (1) Associates were more enthusiastic about the line and better able to speak about it to customers, and (2) they bought more Skullcandy products themselves — for a 1,800% lift in advocate sales.
And because sales associates were now armed with firsthand product knowledge, the campaign also helped boost in-store sell-through rates after the product launch.
“With the help of Experticity, Skullcandy’s product launch campaign resulted in the third-best sell-through rate for The Sports Authority in the month immediately following the launch,” said retail ops manager Liz Teran.
So, when you consider 72% of consumers seek out someone they perceive to be knowledgeable — someone with the strong potential to be a brand advocate — these figures make a lot of sense. They also confirm for brands concerned about ROI in marketing (in other words, all brands) that it’s time to embrace brand advocacy as both profitable and measurable.