Massive, Two-year Study Delivers Insights on Brand Advocacy
Brand advocacy has quickly become a fixture in the marketing conversation. And when marketers throw around words like “advocacy” or “influence”, mentions of social media tend to follow. While Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can prove useful for disseminating information en masse, there’s another type of advocacy that plays a critical role in the offline world, where consumers hope to find expert advice about the products they’re shopping for. It plays out on the retail sales floor, and at its core are the sales associates consumers turn to for information and insight on products. This form of advocacy is less talked about. It’s less studied. So it’s generally more mysterious to marketers.
Experticity set out to unravel some of the mystery by conducting unprecedented research. We commissioned Marshall Fisher of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to lead a two-year study in 330 stores, analyzing the behavior of 63,000-plus retail sales associates, some of whom engaged with Experticity’s brand education and engagement programs. The research refuted a few myths surrounding brand advocacy. First, there’s the idea that it’s impossible to measure the ROI, positive or negative, of brand advocacy. Fisher’s research proved this myth to be just that, and showed that targeting and engaging with brand advocates produces a hugely positive return. In fact, as his research found:
- Associates who completed six or more Experticity modules sold 123% more product in general than those who took none.
- Those who completed even just one module sold 69% more than those who didn’t.
- Brand sales were 87% higher for sales associates who engaged with just one brand-specific module vs. those who didn’t.
Here at Experticity, we believe that the more sales associates know about a brand, the more they’ll share their expertise, and the more likely customers are to buy the brand. Given the results of our extensive two-year study, the idea can no longer be characterized as merely a theory or hypothesis. For brands and retailers, engagement is a leading indicator of sales. The ROI is not only measurable; it’s predictable.
Our research offers numerous insights bound to transform your views on brand advocacy. Download the free report to learn how much helpful expertise affects sales here.