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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Forrester Research Confirms Value of Customer Advocates

Recently, Forrester Research embarked on a groundbreaking research project on transforming employees into brand advocates. As part of its due diligence, several company executives, academics, and industry thought leaders were interviewed. I was fortunate enough to be included and spent an hour with researchers over the phone. The results of the report are further proof and acknowledgment, through major case studies, that companies can successfully use employees as their brand advocates.

Forrester interviewed a number of experts besides me from consulting firms and academia as well as marketing executives from organizations representing telecommunications, hospitality, airlines and healthcare. The report said that "Marketers spend significant dollars to promote their brands. However, if employees aren't aligned with and rallied around that brand, then delivery of the brand promise is broken, leading to suboptimal customer experiences, missed opportunities for brand differentiation, and even customer defection. A first step in building internal brand advocacy is the assessment of the current level of brand engagement of employees. To help this assessment process, Forrester provides a framework to segment employees into four groups based on their level of brand advocacy: brand resisters, brand learners, brand believers, and brand advocates." ("Stimulate Employee Brand Advocacy", Forrester Research, Inc., April 2008).

Through its Leadership Board programs Forrester's clients leverage a combination of proprietary research, analyst expertise and the collective wisdom and experience of their executive peer group. Turning Employees into Brand Advocates is just one example of the ways in which senior marketers have benefited from their participation in these communities. To learn more about Forrester, the Leadership Boards and view some of our research briefs, please visit http://www.forrester.com/Leadershipboards/CMOGroup.

How Inward Can Help

The independent report from Forrester Research hit our sweet spot - at Inward, we are pioneers in creating successful programs that inspire employee brand advocacy and enable it to thrive and prosper. We'd welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your current issues and advance your plans for putting a proper employee brand advocate program in place. Let us share with you our internal-brand credentials presentation, and Change FX - our Employee Engagement Measurement tool, with a demonstration including several case histories and best practices.

If you would like to see either of these presentations created by Inward, please let us know and we can arrange an on-line demonstration for you and your staff.

Enjoy the rest of the Summer!

-Allan