Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

What Exactly is Brand Advocacy in Experiential Marketing?


What Exactly is Brand Advocacy in Experiential Marketing? An experiential marketing metric that we include in almost every measurement strategy is called recommend intent. It’s an often underrated metric because we so often focus on purchase intent, and rightfully so, since it’s a major predictor of new customer value. However, recommend intent is also a key component of return-on-investment that’s often overlooked because it’s buried in a formula, and most stakeholders want to see the bottom line. So, I thought I’d share why recommend intent is an important metric to track in experiential marketing.

Recommend intent is usually designed as a five-point Likert scale question worded as such:

How likely are you to recommend the product you learned about today to a friend or family member?

This provides a baseline measure of how well the experiential marketing impacted consumers’ intent to advocate for the brand following the event. In the post event survey the attendees will be asked to answer a short survey on their experience and their recommend intent. We compute the top two box score, which is the percentage of folks who said they are “extremely likely” or “somewhat likely” to recommend the brand, and that gives us a recommend intent index. Okay, now how is this insightful?

Once recommend intent is computed, you can plug it into a formula to estimate the total number of consumers who will tell friends and family about the brand based on their experience. You take recommend intent and multiply it by the number of consumers who either sampled the brand you’re promoting or engaged the brand team, which yields an estimate of your brand advocates.

This provides a good foundation, but it can be taken a step further by estimating how many people your newly discovered advocates will actually tell about the brand. There’s some quality industry research out there that you can browse to come up with an estimate of the number of people told about a brand once they learn about it. It varies by industry, but entertainment tends to be on the high end while household products are on the low. This makes sense if you think about it, personally I’d rather recommend people watch House of Cards than try a new dish detergent.

Here’s an example of how to estimate the number of people told about a brand following an event marketing experience. If 10,000 consumers sampled a new energy drink at an event and 80% said they would recommend it to others, the brand team created 8,000 brand advocates. Multiply 8,000 advocates by an average of five people told per person, now you estimate 40,000 people who have been told about the brand you’re marketing! That’s 40,000 word of mouth impressions from engaging 10,000 customers. A four-fold return.

I’d advise you to check out our Coaching Series to learn more about this and other key components of experiential marketing return-on-investment.

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