By Ed Keller “Big outside political groups with an unprecedented river of money had appeared poised to be pivotal players in the 2012 elections. So far, these super PACs are looking less than super.” That is the lead of a surprising story, “Super PAC Influence Falls Short of Aims” that appeared recently in The Wall Street Journal. Could this be true? Research by Keller Fay for the National Journal being conducted during this political season suggests, yes. Our Conversation Nation research, conducted continuously and published weekly, looks at the word of mouth dynamics of the presidential race. As the race heats up, media and marketing plays a big role in people’s conversations about the candidates. But it is the earned media –news coverage — that has people talking; ads themselves

By Ed Keller A recent article in the New York Times caught my eye. Entitled “The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy,” the article says there is a growing practice of authors who commission reviews for their books, rather than letting them spring up organically on online sites such as or It’s not just authors who crave positive reviews. The products and services from businesses of all sizes and sectors are now being reviewed online, whether on Amazon, or travel sites such as Trip Advisor or Expedia, or restaurant sites such as Open Table, or sites relating to local service providers, like Angie’s List and Yelp, or the many retail and manufacturers that offer online ratings on their websites. The growth of ratings and reviews makes perfect sense.

By Ed Keller With the Republican and Democratic conventions upon us, it’s an opportune time to take a pause and ask what the extent and nature of political word of mouth has been during the summer months. We at Keller Fay are tracking political word of mouth in partnership with the National Journal, which publishes a weekly feature called Conversation Nation. Our research provides an ongoing, daily snapshot of the volume and polarity of the American people’s word of mouth conversations about either President Obama or Governor Romney. Our study measures both offline word of mouth – which accounts for nearly 90% of all political WOM – as well as that which takes place online (~10%). Here are some of the key findings from the period from May 28th through

By Ed Keller First posted on August 17, 2012 What company doesn’t want its brands to be talked about? Every business person – from entrepreneur to CMO of a Fortune 500 company – is now coming to realize that social chatter is critical to a brand’s marketplace performance.  Ask your customers how they came to choose your brand and I am confident that the majority will say it was the advice of a friend or family member.  But how do you go about making your brand talkworthy?   That’s harder to determine.  And many marketers wonder whether they can create buzz even if they are a small business, or their product/service lacks sexiness, or their budget is limited.  The answer is yes. In The Face-to-Face Book, my coauthor Brad Fay

The Gift of Gab:  Women and Word of Mouth Advocacy First posted on By Ed Keller The gender gap is a perennial staple of political reporting, with women generally supporting the democratic candidate and men generally supporting the republican. Now it’s becoming a topic in social media circles as well, with recently reported statistics showing that women are far more active on social media sites, “racking up an astonishing 99 million more visits per month than their male counterparts” according to one widely disseminated infographic. Given that the overwhelming majority of word of mouth takes place offline, it’s important to look beyond these social media statistics to understand what’s happening in terms of the larger realm of real world conversations.  According to my firm’s research, which measures both offline

By Steve Thomson Managing Director, Keller Fay UK August 6, 2012 Today’s Mashable article about Olympics buzz highlights the shortcomings of social media measurement as an indication of buzz about…well, just about anything. Quoting Radian6 data, the analysis suggests that buzz in social media the US around the Olympics is around 5 times higher than here in the UK, roughly in line with each country’s populations.   If this was a reflection of true levels of conversation about London 2012, it would be astounding:  “buzz levels in the US match those in the host country, despite time differences of up to 8 hours!”.  This despite saturation coverage in all media and huge turnouts for all events. The reality is, of course, different.  The 3 million social media posts in the UK

By Ed Keller and Steve Thomson Posted on, Marketers need to be aware of the differences between online and offline word of mouth, write Ed Keller and Steve Thomson of Keller Fay. Ed Keller, CEO, Keller Fay Group Like much of the world, the UK is a brand-conscious society – brands play a big part in people’s lives. But people don’t just consume brands, they talk about brands all the time. Word of mouth (WOM) about brands is as old as branding itself, and people have always shared information about the things that improve their lives – or things to avoid. Keller Fay’s ongoing tracking of UK consumer conversations, TalkTrack® Britain, indicates that adults discuss around 11 brands in a typical day. That’s about half a billion brand impressions created

By Ed Keller July 31, 2012 There were two stories in the press about Facebook last Thursday that caught my eye.  The first was the story of Facebook’s first earnings report since going public.  Investor expectations were not met and the stock tumbled.  The same day, a new research study was released and reported with this headline:  “Customers Still Prefer Company Websites to Facebook Pages.” While the earnings story was widely discussed and has clear relevance to the investment community, the second story has important implications for the marketing community.  It helps to explain some of the challenges that Facebook faces when it comes to brand marketers, and is a timely and helpful reminder to that in a rush to engage socially with consumers, it is a mistake to focus

posted on July 18, 2012 By Brad Fay The fact is no medium drives offline conversation better than online marketing. In fact, our research shows that in 15% of conversations about products and 23% of conversations about services, somebody refers to something they saw online. Yet, a key mistake made by digital marketers is allowing the effectiveness of campaigns to be measured with just digital metrics like clicks, shares, and re-tweets. None of those metrics pick up the impact of offline behavior, such as word of mouth, which can be nine times more voluminous offline than online. So how does a marketer make sure marketing efforts work in both spaces? Here are five ways to maximize the impact of any marketing strategy. 1. Design Content to be Buzzworthy This

First posted on By Ed Keller July 25 2012 A new study reveals that you don’t need a big company advertising budget to drive sales—face-to-face word of mouth among friends and family drive more purchases than any other purchase influence. It’s an insight of vital importance to every small business owner. Just how important are personal recommendations?  They are the #1 driver of consumer purchase decisions at every stage of the purchase cycle, across multiple product categories.  That’s according to just released research that my firm conducted on behalf of RewardStream , a provider of viral marketing, social referral, social loyalty, traditional loyalty and engagement solutions for some of the world’s most esteemed brands. Here are some of the key findings from the research: Personal recommendations are the number