The direct experiences of consumers clearly impact the way they feel about a brand – but other attitudinal factors are influencing people’s likelihood to become advocates of those brands. So is advocacy really all about customer service, or is our measurement of it failing to reveal the bigger picture?

What you’ll learn:

  • A new perspective on measuring customer advocacy that anyone can implement
  • An improved ability to analyse real drivers of advocacy
  • The utility of advocacy metrics versus brand metrics

Advocacy is traditionally considered a metric driven by direct customer experience, but a UK-wide research project by YouGov has challenged this idea by examining the extent to which advocates are created and influenced more by deeply engrained attitudinal traits.

YouGov asked a large group of representative UK adults how likely they would be to recommend their bank. This produced a robust sample of both advocates (who would recommend their bank) and detractors (who wouldn’t), which allowed for deeper analysis into the attitudes, behaviours and values of each group.

As the findings showed, advocates often displayed different beliefs and behaviours to detractors, feeling significantly happier in their lives, more trusting of people and organisations and more financially secure. The research suggested this deep-seated more positive mind-set, combined with personal circumstances, influenced the advocates’ propensity to recommend their bank – or indeed any other service or brand – more than the direct consequences of the service they received.

If deeper attitudinal factors are at play then other means of increasing advocacy scores can be considered, such as directing targeted marketing towards a more optimistic, forward-thinking consumer. Instead of trying to turn brand detractors into advocates, why not just recruit more advocates?

Clearly these traits vary for customer bases of different brands, meaning some brands may have a ‘circumstantial advantage’ over others. But having this additional perspective – enabled by a larger interconnected dataset than traditional advocacy studies allow for – provides us with a better understanding of what is driving advocacy at a more fundamental level.

Given the proliferation of big data and the development of smarter research, why are we still designing advocacy research like it was the 20th century?

About the speaker:

Matt Palframan, YouGov’s head of financial services research, has over 15 years’ experience in financial services both client side and agency side. Having managed large scale Net Promoter Score and brand tracking studies for HSBC UK’s retail bank brands, Matt has an intricate knowledge of the key drivers of NPS and how to present actionable insight and strategic recommendations to the board.

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