Editor's note: This article originally appeared on iMediaConnection on May 29, 2013. Marketers’ interest in Brand Advocates is hot, hot, hot. Driving advocacy and loyalty is the #1 digital priority for CMOs across the world, according to a recent IBM study. (“From Stretched to Strengthened.”)
Here are five surprising facts about Brand Advocates, those consumers who pro-actively recommend brands and products:
1. Brand Advocates are a large segment. About one in four US online adults frequently recommend brands and products, according to a study published in eMarketer. That means there are about 60 million Brand Advocates in the US alone, enough Advocates to fill 1,200 baseball stadiums.
2. Brand Advocates recommend often. On average, US consumers talk about brands 56 times per week and 62 percent of these conversations include positive references, according to Word of Mouth researchers Keller Fay.
3. Brand Advocates aren’t limited to sexy consumer products. Box, a file transfer service used by consumers and businesses, has created an army of over 90,000 enthusiastic Advocates. Box Advocates are touting the service via thousands of positive reviews, stories, tweets, posts, and more.
4. Brand Advocates are your most valuable customers. Brand Advocates are your true VIPs. They go out of their way to recommend your brand and products, serving as a volunteer marketing force. Our studies show that Advocates are about 5X more valuable than average customers.
5. Brand Advocates recommend without pay or incentives. Real Brand Advocates don’t ask for cash coupons, points or perks. Advocates recommend because they’ve had a good experience with products or services and want to help others, according to a study conducted by Loyalty Wins for Zuberance. We’ve powered over 30 million Brand Advocates. None of these Advocates have ever benefitted personally from their recommendations.