Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Court Market Mavens for Social Media

Compared to other internet users, the category of opinion leaders called market mavens are notably more likely to recommend for or against your store as a place to shop. According to results announced this month from a survey conducted by social marketing company BzzAgent in collaboration with University of Rhode Island, 73% of these brand advocates tell others where to shop. This figure was 59% for internet users overall. (Registration on the BzzAgent site is required to download the report.)
     Positive word-of-mouth helps convince people to shop at your store, and market mavens are particularly effective at broadcasting positive word-of mouth. Market mavens are a special type of opinion leader. Rather than considering themselves expert advisors on only certain retail products and services, market mavens counsel others about the whole shopping experience and go on to recommend specific stores.
     Consumer researchers at University of Pittsburgh and University of Arizona have used questionnaire items like the following to identify market mavens:
  • People ask me for information about products, places to shop, or sales.
  • I like helping people by providing them with information about many kinds of products.
  • If someone asked me where to get the best buy on several types of products, I could tell him or her where to shop.
Here are a few ways to identify market mavens in your community:
  • Ask your staff to be aware of customers who offer suggestions for improvements. This is one trait that distinguishes market mavens from customers who only ask questions, give praise, and give criticism.
  • Regularly ask your customers who recommended they shop with you. When you start hearing a name repeatedly, you may have spotted a market maven.
  • Team up with other local retailers to exchange information on market mavens. Research at University of Mannheim and University of Texas-Austin finds that market mavens aim to keep current about all sorts of retailers.
     Once you contact market mavens, offer them samples and other gifts, including the gift of taking at least some of those suggestions for store improvements. Give them recognition, and encourage them to exchange ideas about your store across the full spectrum of social media channels. The BzzAgent/Rhode Island study finds that more than 60% of them agreed with the statement, “It’s important that people view me as a good source of information.” The figure for internet users overall was only 24%.

Click below for more:
Build Buzz with Market Mavens

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