How Social Commerce leads to Advocacy Based Marketing (ABM)

Every company today is headed for a Brave New World of eCommerce – and that is the world of Social Commerce. Almost a year ago, July 23rd 2008, Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook Connect, which gives any website the power of a social network like Facebook right there on its own website.

So what you say?

Facebook Connect provides 4 very important features:

1) Trusted Authentication – meaning it uses your Facebook account to authenticate your profile
2) Real Identity – meaning it taps into your real identity information from anywhere on the web
3) Access to your Friends – meaning it allows you to stay connected to your friends anywhere Facebook Connect is offered
4) Dynamic Privacy – meaning your privacy settings travel with you to external sites using Facebook connect

What this all means is that as eCommerce sites start to implement Facebook Connect and some already are – you will be able to access your profile and create conversations with your friends around an individual purchase!

Example – Lets say you would like to buy the new iPhone 3Gs – you look the Apple Store and see they have implemented Facebook Connect (again this is just an example). You see several of your friends are online and open up a chat with your buddy Jim who always has the newest Apple device and ask him if the new 3Gs is for you. He unequivocally says yes and you decide to make the purchase.

This scenario illustrated the power of a new era of what we will call Advocacy Based Marketing (ABM). If a brand can see and understand that you are a strong positive supporter of the brand and that you are making referrals about the product – they should be reaching out and engaging with you (Jim in the above example). Perhaps they will even offer you and your followers/friends (Twitter/Facebook) a special discount or a peak at the next version before the launch to get the viral buzz going.

All of this will lead to a new era of digital commerce in the next 24 months – Are you ready?

6 comments to How Social Commerce leads to Advocacy Based Marketing (ABM)

  • Mark Floisand

    Good post, Paul. It will be interesting to see how many people then become affiliates, and start collecting a commission on their "advocacy" to their friends.

    Mark Floisand

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Mark – great point – it implies there will be an Affiliate model that could grow out of this – wow will that be a nightmare to track at first ;0

  • Randall Beard

    Paul–Good post. Jeremisah Owyang from Forrester wrote an excellent whitepaper on this topic. I think one of the most important implications is that "recommendations from friends and family," already the single most important marketing touchpoint, will become even more important due to portability. Effectively, your friends and family will travel with you across the web, as you said, and their ratings, assessments and feedback will be easily accesible as consumers traverse the web and interact with products and services. Marketing organizations will need to account for this and architect new programs which put much greater emphasis on these important influencers. My take on all of this is at:
    Randall Beard

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Randall – thanks for commenting – I will check out your post on the topic as well!

  • Scott Rowe

    What amazes me is how fast Facebook Connect is gaining traction. Microsoft, Yahoo and OpenID have been around for a while but not have had widespread acceptance. If Facebook can achieve that, they could become and individuals centralized account.

    Where this may fall flat is in the Gen Y group. Research has shown that they have no real long term allegiances to current web services. If Facebook changes drastically and users feel that it is not in their best interests, they will simply find another option. Do you remember the negative publicity Facebook received when they changed their terms of service?

  • Paul Dunay

    @ Scott

    Its a really good point – if we see the youth market head for the doors on Facebook that could be a major stumbling block

    we have seen a bit of this already with the youth market saying Facebook isnt cool when their mom and grandma are on it!

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