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Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers into a Powerful Marketing Force by Rob Fuggetta

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Chapter 14

Advocacy Moves CE Boxes

When Charlie T., a carpenter from New Britain, Connecticut, recently bought a new flat panel TV, he did what millions of other consumers do each day. He read consumer reviews about flat panel TVs on BestBuy.com and Amazon.com. He also talked to friends and neighbors about what flat panel TV they bought and why.

But Charlie ignored the TV ads, print ads, and Sunday magazine inserts. “I didn't pay much attention to any of that,” said Charlie. “I did my homework on my own.”

Charlie ended up buying a 53-inch Samsung flat panel TV. Since he's delighted with it, he's now talking it up to his friends and has even written a review about it on Amazon.com. (He gave it four stars.) Charlie's now a Samsung Advocate.

Advocacy's Influence Grows in CE

Brian Wallace, VP Strategic Marketing at Samsung, says advocacy has always been highly influential in consumer electronics (CE), but today advocacy is more powerful than ever because social media and other technologies have boosted its reach and immediacy. “Back in the day, a word of mouth recommendation would reach 10 or 20 people,” says Wallace. “Today, thanks to social media, word of mouth recommendations reach thousands to millions of buyers,” he says.

Advocacy's importance also has increased in CE and other industries because it accelerates purchase decisions. “For many consumers, buying a smartphone is a high-consideration purchase decision. These types of purchase decisions can take weeks or months. But ...

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