There’s a revolution happening in marketing today, the underpinnings of Social Influence – and, this time, it doesn’t have very much to do with the Internet. The really big revolution is happening at the intersections of social psychology, social network science, and neuroscience, all of which are suggesting new models for understanding consumer decision making. Two new books provide a road map:  Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler was published last year; and The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks was published this month. Both books tell us that people are ruled more by emotion than by rational decision making, and that all of us are far more influenced by

MediaPost Social media isn’t just social media platforms. That message was a core theme during at least one panel at the Advertising Research Foundation 2011 Think conference in New York on Tuesday. Brad Fay, COO of the Keller Fay Group, said the firm’s research, based on its TalkTrack platform — which Keller Fay Group says is the only continuous monitoring system of all marketing-relevant conversations in America — shows that some of the highest concentrations of social networkers are both in new and old media. “Facebook and Twitter audiences report themselves to be frequent recommenders in every category we look at,” he says. “We find that people 13 to 69 who are Twitter audiences offer 100 weekly brand mentions — they are very engaged in brands — versus 65 for

Our first dish on word of mouth in the Food & Dining category shared that Americans talk about food-related brands more than any other product category.  Fast food companies and packaged food brands have significant social currency.  Our second dish shared the differences that exist between which food & dining brands women talk about versus those men talk about. Our third dish focuses on Food & Dining Conversation Catalysts™.  Through its ongoing TalkTrack® study, Keller Fay is able to identify American consumers who regularly give more advice to others and have more credibility when they recommend a brand to their friends and family. Keller Fay has found that Conversation Catalysts™ represent less than 10% of the American population but they are up to two to three times more likely to

Entertainment mogul Peter Guber has written a new book, Tell to Win.  This is not a celebrity tell-all, nor a personal memoir of “my forty years as a mover and shaker in Hollywood” from this former studio chief of Columbia Pictures and Sony, and producer of Rain Man and Batman, among other positions he has held in major entertainment companies. Rather, it is a business book about the pathway to success and has won wide praise, from such divergent voices as Arianna Huffington and Forbes.  As of the time I am writing this, it is the #1 book on the Amazon best seller list, quite an unusual feat for a business book. There are two primary themes that Guber believes underlie business success, both of which are important and timely

We’re in the middle of our three-course meal sharing interesting research from a client-only Keller Fay TalkTrack® report about the Food & Dining category.  In our first course, we shared how active Americans are in talking about food & dining brands and which brands they most often mention.  For this dish, we’ll serve up the gender differences that exist and share how credible and actionable word of mouth conversations about food & dining brands are. Americans who talk about food & dining brands skew female.  According to Keller Fay, the male/female split is close to 50/50 for all marketing-related word of mouth conversations.  However, for food & dining brands, the split is 55% women and 45% men.  It’s clear.  Women are more active than men in engaging in conversations with

Dishing on Food & Dining WOM

Friday, 04 March 2011 by

The Food & Dining product category is one of the more interesting categories Keller Fay measures through its ongoing TalkTrack® study.  It’s interesting because brands in this product category range from quick service restaurants (QSR) to casual dining to grocery stores to packaged goods.  It’s also interesting because these are beloved brands that are highly talkable. Christine Cea, Unilever Brand PR Director, defines a talkable brand as one that penetrates the culture and becomes “…so seamlessly woven into the fabric of conversation that sharing brand-related information takes on the value of social currency.” Food & dining brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Kraft, and Subway all have social currency as evidenced by the Keller Fay statistic revealing nearly 60% of Americans mention a food & dining brand at least once every day

Social Brands: A Tale of Two Worlds

Wednesday, 23 February 2011 by

Monitoring consumer conversations that take place on social media is becoming increasingly prevalent.  Among the major benefits are that there is a lot of conversation that can be monitored in real time, and it is unstructured and authentic.  It has become a critical tool for PR/corporate communication practitioners and customer service organizations.   Companies which excel in quick response have gained competitive advantage.  Best Buy’s Twelpforce is an excellent case in point, and was awarded top honors (the “WOMMY Grand Prix“) by WOMMA for the best word of mouth campaign of 2010. But when it comes to the use of social media as a market research tool, there remain important, but generally unexplored, questions.  Yes, as the world’s largest focus group, or mass ethnography, there is a treasure trove to be mined. 

Being Recommendable is Powerful

Monday, 21 February 2011 by

Last week we shared Keller Fay TalkTrack® data showing which retail brands are more talkable and thus, more valuable. The value of being talkable cannot be understated for the simple reason that the more talkable a brand is, the more recommendable a brand becomes. The Retail category is full of talkable brands from department stores to discount retailers to specialty shops.  Keller Fay research shows conversations Americans have, both offline and online, about retail brands is more likely to contain a recommendation than the all-category average. Americans have strong opinions about retail brands they recommend and those they don’t.  The following chart illustrates how much more likely a conversation about a retail brand will include a recommendation to “Buy It or Try It.”  The chart also shows how retail brands

Retail brands make the American economy hum.  The retail industry contributes about $4.0 trillion dollars to the US economy and is responsible for nearly 12% of all US employment [source]. According to an Interbrand 2010 study, Walmart, for the second consecutive year, is the most valuable American retail brand as measured by its financial strength and brand equity.  Target moved up from being the fourth most valuable retail brand in 2009 to being the second most valuable brand in 2010.  Best Buy (#3), Home Depot (#4), and Walgreen’s (#5) round out Interbrand’s top five most valuable American brands. The Keller Fay Group compiles a similar list of retail and apparel brands.  However, Keller Fay’s list is not based on being financially valuable but rather, being highly talkable.  Walmart tops Keller Fay’s list

Each week we all see trade press stories outlining the latest and greatest ways that marketers are using social networking technologies to connect better with consumers.  One story last week jumped out to me, both because of the headline, and also the source. “Razorfish: Facebook, Twitter Don’t Make Customers Feel Valued” wrote MediaPost, followed by this lead:  “While marketers have flocked to social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, consumers still don’t view them as important ways to engage with a brand, since they don’t meet their expectations.  Most people still prefer to connect with brands through more traditional methods, such as email, company Web sites or word-of-mouth.” To reach this conclusion, Razorfish surveyed consumers and asked them to prioritize what was important to them when engaging with a brand, and

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