About eight in 10 (83%) brand advocates, or consumers who habitually share information about products they use, strongly agree they communicate with others online to “meet nice people” and “receive free products,” according to [signup page] a new study from marketing network BzzAgent. Data from “A Field Guide to Brand Advocates” indicates 75% like “incentives they receive for communicating.”
Non-brand advocates are much less likely to say they communicate online than advocates for any of the reasons covered by the survey. For example, only 32% of non-advocates strongly agree they want to meet nice people or like incentives they get, while 51% strongly agree they like to receive free products. Receiving free products held the top spot by itself among non-advocates for reasons to communicate online.
While the old cliche says “blood is thicker than water,” brand advocates are 11% more likely to tell a friend (71%) than relative (64%) about products, brands or stores. Acquaintances (37%) and unknown online participants (29%) don’t fare as well. Non-advocates follow the same pattern but at lower rates, with the highest percentage (49%) communicating with friends very often.
In addition to being more likely than non-advocates to share product information online, brand advocates are also more likely to learn about products online. Advocates are more than twice as likely to receive product information via online feedback mechanism (34% compared to 16%) and discussion board or forum (36% compared to 17%), and twice as likely to receive product information via customer-created complaint site (22% compared to 11%).
The only mechanism where rates of receiving information are close to flat is email (58% compared to 56%).
Advocates are far more likely than non-advocates to understand the latest tech lingo. For example, advocates are 31% more likely to understand “tweeting” and 23% more likely to understand “liking.” The closest differential is for the term “PDF,” with advocates only 5% more likely to understand what it means.
Almost six in 10 (58%) brand advocates say it is very important to them that the brand views them as a good advocate. Fifty-five percent say it is very important that the brand rewards their efforts, while a slightly lower percentage (49%) say it is very important the brand recognizes their efforts.
Brand advocates (28%) are four times as likely as non-advocates (7%) to share information about products, brands, sales or stores via online feedback mechanisms than non-advocates, according to other study data. They are also roughly twice as likely to share information via social media (58% compared to 27%) and e-commerce websites (43% compared to 22%). A smaller, but still significant discrepancy exists in the use of email (53% compared to 39%) for sharing product information.
About the Info: This research study was conducted by Dr. Kathleen R. Ferris-Costa, University of Rhode Island, College of Business Administration. The data set is based on a representative sample of web users from BzzAgent’s Agent network and from the general web population. 695 people in BzzAgent programs provided responses and 204 random web users responded. Recipients from each group were chosen at random. The only qualifications were that they were internet users 18 years of age or older. Data was collected online between December 2010 and January 2011. Recipients received an email inviting them to take a 35-question, multiple-choice survey as part of a research project. They were not offered, nor did they receive, any payment or incentive for their participation.
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