We measure advocacy, which is the number of people recommending a brand above any others, and have seen strong relationships between the metric and sales in a number of categories including automotive, cellular, CPG, pharma and others. The underlying concept is similar to NPS – namely that if people are recommending your brand to others, that you will be better off than if they are NOT recommending your brand.
Here is where it is different from NPS. We are observing naturally occurring recommendations. There is no suggestion, no survey, no artifice. People are either recommending your brand to others or they aren’t. We have tested this extensively (working with a team at Northwestern’s Kellogg School) to validate the correlations between change in advocacy and change in sales or market share.
Example below from the luxury car category showing the correlation between changes in advocacy and changes in share for BMW.
Social media clearly has an impact on sales in this category and others. Many times the relationship will not be this clear or the category may be so complex that a single variable model cannot tease out the results or there could be errors in the metric (source spam/problems, bad language model, etc…) but if you believe in the 3 tenets, it’s not surprising and quite intuitive that there should be a link between a social media metric and sales.
Of course, to change advocacy you need to know what drives it – but we do that part too! We have an underlying analytic model to understand in detail what drives advocacy for any category, brand or competitive set.