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New Study Shows Sustainable Benefits of Household-Level Shopper Data

June 11, 2012

By Progressive Grocer

A new study from Cincinnati-based dunnhumby and BzzAgent Inc., Boston, found that brand advocacy programs targeting consumers based on their previous purchasing behavior generates higher in-store sales lifts with sustainability than campaigns using demographic or social scoring data alone. According to the two companies, the study found that campaigns leveraging household-level shopper data to target known customers online generated an average sales lift of 8 percent for brands. This represents an increase of 19 percent over previous studies using demographics and store-level analysis. Further, those sales lifts sustained at an average of 4 percent even six months after the campaign ended, thanks to the residual social discussions and the lasting impact of personal recommendations.

“The dunnhumby and BzzAgent research shows that brand advocacy by the right group of consumers has a direct and measureable impact on product sales,” said Malcolm Faulds, senior vice president, marketing, BzzAgent. “The most effective social marketing campaigns leverage shopper insights to target those consumers that already have experience with the brand or category and want to help other consumers make better purchase decisions. Further, unlike traditional advertising and promotions, the sales impact of a successful brand advocacy campaign sustains for months after it concludes.”

Brand advocates, those customers who recommend specific brands and retailers to their friends and family, are an increasingly valuable resource for marketers today as social media and digital platforms have helped to increase the reach and timeliness of word-of-mouth recommendations, the companies noted. According to a 2010 McKinsey Quarterly study, word-of-mouth was the primary factor behind 20-50 percent of all new purchase decisions.

“Social media can have a powerful influence on consumer behavior, but many marketers develop social strategies and campaigns based on ineffective data and insights,” noted Matthew Keylock, senior vice president, media partnerships, dunnhumby. “Now that behavioral shopper insights can be applied to social marketing, marketers can earn a greater return for brands and apply insights from social advocacy campaigns to inform future planning in other channels, both on and offline.”

The dunnhumby-BzzAgent research, the first joint research initiative the companies have undertaken since dunnhumby Ltd. acquired BzzAgent last May, was presented on Tuesday, June 12 at the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) Audience Measurement Conference in New York, the companies explained. To obtain a detailed analysis of the dunnhumby-BzzAgent study, please visit or

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