How Influence Works

Wednesday, 05 December 2012 by

What is the state of the art today for identifying and marketing to consumers who have the most influence in the marketplace? Has the advent of enormous online social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, re-written the manual for influencer marketing? The answer – an emphatic ‘no’ – may come as a surprise to you. Read Ed Keller’s new article in the December 2012 issue of Admap. More >

By Brad Fay and Siobhan Counihan-McGee Keller Fay’s “Conversation Nation” project with the National Journal ( found that President Obama had the positive word-of-mouth momentum in the last two weeks prior to his re-election this week. Over the last weekend, in particular, President Obama reached a 2012 high with 61% of voters talking about him daily, versus 49% for Governor Romney. Super Storm Sandy initially reduced WOM for both candidates, but it came roaring back in the storm’s aftermath, particularly for the President.  The President’s edge is consistent with much of what we’ve seen since the beginning of the summer, with Obama leading for the most part in terms of WOM volume. Romney has drawn even with the president on occasion – shortly after the Republican National Convention in August,

“Dark Social: We Have the Whole History of the Web Wrong .” That’s the provocative headline of Alexis Madrigal’s fascinating story in the Atlantic. The premise is that most marketing people assume that the social web equals Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. This assumption leads to the belief that companies wishing to maximize their social visibility are best served by optimizing the posting and sharing that goes on via these sites, and you will be optimizing your brand for social. “Here’s a pocket history of the web, according to many people,” according to Madrigal. “In the early days the web was just pages of information linked to each other. Then along came web crawlers that helped you find what you wanted among all that information. Sometime around 2003 or

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Word-of-Mouth (WOM) about brands is as old as branding itself. We are social animals, hard-wired to share information about the things we like and that can make our lives better. Throughout the last century, in almost all parts of the world, the steady growth of the consumer society as fuelled the increasing presence of brand names peppered into everyday conversations More> Reproduced with permission of Admap, the world’s primary source of strategies for effective advertising, marketing and research. To subscribe visit © Copyright Admap.

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