A new study from Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group and BzzAgent, Boston, found that social marketing — when used to build widespread consumer advocacy — generates an average sales lift of 6.7 percent for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. Companies in the study used BzzAgent’s social marketing practices to build consumer advocacy and SymphonyIRI’s Matched Market Analysis to measure the sales attributed to these programs.
The study was based on 11 social marketing programs conducted between 2010 and 2012 for a variety of food, beverage and personal care products sold at U.S. grocery, drug and mass merchandise retail outlets. Although results varied by product category, sales of food and beverage products saw an average lift of 6.3 percent, while sales of personal care products rose an average of 7.2 percent, SymphonyIRI and BzzAgent said.
“Consumer advocacy in social media can make a significant business impact for all types of CPG products,” said Dave Balter, founder and CEO, BzzAgent. “Now, with proven measurement practices like Matched Market Analysis, brand marketers can confidently invest in social marketing.”
Unlike most social marketing measurement practices that use Facebook “likes” and qualitative “engagement” assets to determine success, SymphonyIRI’s Matched Market Analysis evaluates store-level transactions to determine sales impact, the companies noted. When applied to social media marketing programs such as BzzAgent, marketers can see the effect of these programs, which leverage the same proven measurement method(s) used with all other types of media.
Although the study did not involve store brand products, it stands to reason that social marketing that builds widespread consumer advocacy would benefit these products as well.
“The BzzAgent/SymphonyIRI relationship helps address the biggest barrier [in social marketing]: measurement of such efforts at a local, granular level,” Shristi Gupta, executive vice president, new media solutions with SymphonyIRI, told Progressive Grocer’s Store Brands. “It [provides] the ability to not only look at the number of posts or conversations, but to ultimately relate that back to in-store sales.”