The Importance of Active Consumer Advocates

The Importance of Active Consumer Advocates

Slide1If you?ve ever made a purchase online, you?ve probably noticed one consistent thing?consumers experiencing annoyance or displeasure with a product are more likely to comment in the review section. Even a quick look at sites catering to consumer reviews supports this observation?negative (one star) observations comprise 80% of those for American Home Shield while five star reviews make up a meager one percent. While it is possible, it is unlikely that this 80% represents the opinions held by an actual 80% of their cliental?a business with such lackluster response would hardly survive in a struggling economy.

And online reviews are important. In fact, 92% of consumers have more confidence in information found online than they do in information gathered from a salesclerk, who presumably has more knowledge and experience with the product. 75% of people do not believe that companies tell the truth in advertisements, thus heightening the need for positive customer reviews.

Consumers fall into a few different categories. First, there are those who actively advocate for a product. These individuals wholly believe in a product and are in a financial situation to purchase it. They?re telling friends about the latest and greatest, they?re posting about it on social media.

Next, there are passive brand advocates. These individuals, if asked, are happy to recommend a product to their friends. Someone might mention that they are looking for a portable music device and the passive brand advocate will happily share their experience with the iPod.

Finally, there is the provisional advocate?that is, the ?until something better comes along? consumer. This type of customer might be very satisfied with their Nike running shoes until the release of a just out New Balance shoe. It is difficult for these customers to maintain loyalty toward any brand. Instead, they?re always on the lookout for the next best thing.

Of course, many consumers fall into a combination of these categories. For example, you might love Apple products and be unable to afford them. Still, you?re always recommending the iPhone and lamenting the loss of your last Mac. Or, you might passively recommend a brand and actively advocate against others.

90% of buyers trust recommendations from people they know, and 45% say they are influenced by people who rant or rave about a product or company on a social media site.

As Jason Hartman knows, this is important for investors looking to buy particular properties?for example, if a particular construction company lacks the positive reviews to back up their work, it may be best to stay away. Similarly, if renters perform a search and encounter a lack of active tenants advocating for you, the landlord, they may stay away.

For businesses, the best kind of advocate is an active one who is able to persuade others. Identifying these individuals is crucial to the success of a business because it allows for a company to better understand a potential target audience, recognize the positive identifying features of their product, and identify brand qualities that breed active loyalty. Customer advocacy is at the center of the buying and selling market, especially in the age of ever-expanding social media.?(photo credit: joiseyshowaa via photopin cc)

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