Increasing Awareness and Reputation of Merck S.A. Portugal through Employee Advocacy

  • Heidi SonneEmail author
  • João Guerreiro
  • Bruno Wohlschlegel
Conference paper
Part of the Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science book series (DMSPAMS)


Merck KGaA is a global science and technology company, focusing on the healthcare industry, life science, and performance materials. Merck in Portugal is a relatively small subsidiary with a midsized office employing approximately 114 employees. Merck S.A. Portugal focuses mainly on the healthcare market. As the company went through a major transformation in 2016, it created a need to communicate on a low-cost basis and, in an efficient way, using digital as its main channel. The current paper shows the implementation of an employee advocacy strategic plan as a solution to digital communication. Employee advocacy is a new communications concept derived from employee social media usage and employee word of mouth. It has been noted that employee networks are wider than company’s own and employee word of mouth is more trustworthy. Before the tool could be implemented, a research on what motivates employees to commit to brand citizenship behavior was performed. Findings revealed that in the case of Merck S.A. Portugal employees, individual internal drive and brand knowledge are factors affecting willingness to share on social media. Based on the results, a series of internal strategies were applied on- and offline.


Employee word of mouth Employee advocacy Brand citizenship behavior Social media 


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heidi Sonne
    • 1
    Email author
  • João Guerreiro
    • 2
  • Bruno Wohlschlegel
    • 3
  1. 1.Product Manager Merck Group SALisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)LisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Head of Mid-Europe Merck KGaADarmstadtGermany

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