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Journal cover: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Online from: 1986

Subject Area: Marketing

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Customer advocacy and the impact of B2B loyalty programs

Document Information:
Title:Customer advocacy and the impact of B2B loyalty programs
Author(s):Russell Lacey, (Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA), Robert M. Morgan, (Department of Management and Marketing, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Citation:Russell Lacey, Robert M. Morgan, (2009) "Customer advocacy and the impact of B2B loyalty programs", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 24 Iss: 1, pp.3 - 13
Keywords:Customer retention, Loyalty schemes, Relationship marketing
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/08858620910923658 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to explore linkages between committed customers and their willingness to serve as advocates and investigate the moderating influence of B2B loyalty programs toward supporting customer advocacy behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach – A model was developed to assess linkages between customer commitment and an assortment of customer advocacy behaviors, including sharing information, marketing research support, word-of-mouth referrals, and increasing repatronage. The model was tested on 248 agricultural business clients of a chemical manufacturer using confirmatory factor analysis. Multi-group analysis was conducted to assess hypothesized B2B loyalty program membership effects.

Findings – The findings suggest that customers with stronger levels of commitment are indeed more willing to contribute as customer advocates. Surprisingly, B2B loyalty program membership shows no significant moderating effects on the tested model.

Research limitations/implications – The tested model provides an expanded view of customer advocacy. Researchers are advised to regard this work as a starting-point for expanded hypotheses development of future customer advocacy models.

Practical implications – The study considers the potential for how business customers can be further engaged to serve as advocates and thereby help improve the firm's marketing performance. However, when loyalty program membership is firm-determined, marketers should not expect that the program will enhance customer advocacy behaviors toward the sponsoring firm.

Originality/value – Since much of the previous work on customer advocacy has been based on anecdotal evidence, the study advances the relationship marketing literature by providing empirical evidence for the multi-dimensional view of customer advocacy behaviors and further argues that customer lifetime value (CLV) encapsulates customer advocacy.

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