By Ed Keller In Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson talks about the seven industries that Steve Jobs revolutionized:  personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, digital publishing, and retailing. As we approach Thanksgiving and “Black Friday,” the most important day in retail, let’s consider how the Apple Stores changed business retail, which is the topic of Chapter 29 in the Jobs biography. It’s easy to forget how dismissive experts were when Apple decided to enter the retail business in 2001.  “Maybe it’s time for Steve Jobs to stop thinking quite so differently,” wrote Business Week.  Of course, the Apple Stores went on to achieve record breaking success, despite such doubts, because they had a mission that was about more than providing a place for transactions with customers.  Jobs envisioned the

By Ed Keller Imagine you have an important marketing investment decision to make, and you have what you think is clear and compelling evidence. Then, you subsequently learn that in fact you are overestimating the impact of your investment by as much as 40%. You’d be pretty upset. This is what may be happening today as marketers seek to understand and quantify the impact of their social media investments, according to a new analysis by MarketShare. It is one of several thought provoking points put forth by Pat LaPointe, EVP at MarketShare, in a recent piece in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) about the relationship between “traditional” and “social” media. Business investment in social media is on the rise, a statistic most recently reinforced by a survey released recently

by Ed Keller At a conference earlier this year, an executive from Facebook declared that social networking sites like Facebook deliver “word of mouth at scale.”  He went on to say, “This is what marketers have always tried to bottle up.  The social web is finally allowing us to do that. This is word of mouth on steroids.” The notion that social media is word of mouth on steroids is a comment I frequently hear others make, as well. Last week, I came across an article documenting “The 100 Most Engaging Brands on Facebook” for the month of September.  At first blush, the numbers appear to be impressive, indeed.  Topping the list was Facebook itself with 53 million fans, followed by Coca-Cola (34m), Disney (28m), Starbucks (25m), and Red Bull

Word of Mouth Infographic

Thursday, 20 October 2011 by

Thanks to WOMMA for creating this infographic on “The Word and the World of Customers:  Word of Mouth Marketing Offline and Online.”  We at Keller Fay are pleased to see our research featured, along with others.

Showing Emotion is the New Black

Thursday, 06 October 2011 by

by Ed Keller At a recent event in Seattle sponsored by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, Heather Oldani of McDonalds told the audience, “For brands, showing emotion is the new black.”  It resonated with the audience, and was one of the most tweeted takeaways from the event. Oldani’s comment was a continuation of thoughts she had shared in September when she was the keynoter at the PR News Platinum Awards luncheon.  At that event she explained further: “Listening, having a conversation, and building long-term relationships are all key traits that we as humans possess and employ at various times.  However, it hasn’t been until recently that the idea of connecting these ‘human elements’ to brands has been made. Ella Luna from IDEO declared at a recent design forum here

By Ed Keller Two research studies about the importance of word of mouth in China came to my attention recently. One was by Initiative and the other by TNS. These come on top of a 2010 article in the Harvard Business Review on “The Power of Word of Mouth in China” by two McKinsey consultants who say, “Physical or virtual, word-of-mouth is an essential brand-building tool for companies in China.” To gain a better understanding about word of mouth and social media in China, I had a discussion with Asit Gupta. After 17 years with multinational companies like Procter & Gamble, British American Tobacco, and DDB Advertising – in India, Russia, UK and Greater China — Gupta recently started Advocacy, a word of mouth marketing company in China,. Advocacy is

The new television season is upon us, and the trade press has been abuzz, not only about which new shows will thrive and which will die, but also about social media and so-called social media ratings. Senior TV executives are joining the conversation. Some see social media as a powerful amplifier and “the connective tissue that links everything together.” Others take a more tempered approach, saying, “Social media is a driver of buzz and engagement, but it’s not the core driver of revenue or ratings.” What has been completely missing from the discussion is that when it comes to social conversation about TV shows, the action is still overwhelmingly offline, not on social networking sites. In fact, more than 80% of conversations about TV shows take place face-to-face, whereas only

The CEO of Zappos Tony Hsieh has 1.8 million followers on Twitter. In many marketing circles, he is something of a Twitter god, using the Twitter feed to promote Zappos and his way of thinking about business (as expressed in his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose) to his many followers. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw a TV interview with Hsieh, in which he said he dislikes the term social media. In fact, he dislikes it so much that anyone who uses it around him at Zappos owes him a dollar. It’s not just the use of the term social media; it’s the whole idea of it. “We have never had a strategy for Twitter or Facebook. . . So many companies are chasing

Banks and bankers have not had a good press over the last few years, with politicians, media commentators, and the general public seemingly having little good to say about them. For other financial services brands the picture is not quite so dire, but even so, brands in this sector appear to be tolerated rather than loved. Brand relationships are strictly platonic. Added to that, who wants to talk to friends about boring old banking and insurance brands?  So surely there must be very little positive word of mouth in this sector? Well, it’s true that financial services comes towards the bottom of the list of categories which people talk about – but not the very bottom.  29% of Americans had a conversation about this category in the past 24 hours,

Life in the Fast (Food) Lane

Tuesday, 12 July 2011 by

Today’s teens live in the fast lane – school, homework, extra-curricular activities like sports or band, a social life, and in many cases a part-time job take up much of their time.  They are on the go from early in the morning to late at night.  And often fast food is the quickest and easiest option to fuel their fast-paced lives. Recent Keller Fay research from TalkTrack®, our ongoing study of what people are talking about, both online and offline, shows that teens are also highly likely to talk about fast food, or QSR (Quick Service Restaurants):  20% of QSR WOM is among teens age 13 to 17.  And for some of the more popular brands, teens account for more than one-quarter of those talking about them (Burger King, 27%;

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