With the NBA playoffs just getting started, it’s an opportune time to see how word of mouth for the league is faring this year versus last, and which NBA teams are the most dominant when it comes to word of mouth. Among NBA fans, word of mouth levels are up considerably this year versus a year ago.  Starting with an off-season spike in conversation when LeBron James announced “the decision,” the NBA began its season with higher levels of word of mouth and has sustained that advantage for most of the NBA season.  By late March, more than 10% of NBA fans were talking about the sport on a typical day, up more than 40% from a year ago.  This is according to Keller Fay’s TalkTrack®, a continuous study of

We’ve already established how the most talked about technology brands use continuous innovation and heavy up-advertising to spark conversations with customers and between customers.  We’ve also shared the importance of marketing to Technology Catalysts&#153 (i.e., talkative influencers) when trying to capitalize on the word of mouth opportunity for tech brands. Let’s take a deeper dive into who Technology Catalysts&#153 are, where they talk, and how much influence they truly have in driving word of mouth conversations about tech brands. According to Keller Fay data, Technology Catalysts&#153 are mostly male and either young or middle-aged.  46% of Technology Catalysts&#153 are under the age of 30, and 30% of these influencers are between the ages of 40 and 59.  On average, they work in executive/professional jobs and are college educated. The typical

Where Conversation Catalysts™ go, brands are sure to follow.

Brad Fay and Lauren Hadley of Starcom MediaVest presented at the recent ARF 2011 Re:Think conference in New York city on March 22, 2011. Click here to view the presentation.

Technology products ranging from electronics to computers to software contribute significantly to the US economy.  Sales of HDTVs, iPods, Tablets, Laptops, and Games not only contribute to the economy, they also make a significant contribution to everyday conversations Americans have. According to Keller Fay’s ongoing TrackTrack® study, 40% of Americans have at least one conversation every day with someone, either person-to-person or online, about the Technology product category.  The most talked about technology category is Computer Hardware products, which includes laptops, tablets, and other computer devices.  Consumer Electronics products, including smartphones, MP3 players, and e-book readers are the second most talked about technology category.  Gaming Consoles, Video Games, and Computer Software round out the top five most talked about technology product categories. To bring the technology product category to life,

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