NEW YORK: Shoppers in the US mention brands over 3bn times a day, new figures show. Internet company Google and specialist consultancy Keller Fay polled 3,000 adults, and found a majority were “highly likely” to buy something after hearing positive feedback from a trusted source. On receiving favourable reports in this way, 28% of the sample displayed a strong level of purchase intent, and 26% had already bought the offering in question. The study estimated there are 2.4bn conversations involving brands each day, incorporating 3.3bn “mentions” of specific goods and services. A 94% proportion of all interactions still take place offline, with 82% happening face-to-face and 11% on the phone. By contrast, the internet – including social networks, forums and blogs – took just a 5% share on this metric.

With the meteoric rise of social networking, marketers can be forgiven for thinking that word of mouth equals social media. This is wrong on two counts. Firstly, the overwhelming majority of word of mouth still occurs offline, not online. This is not an indictment of social media, but rather a reflection of just how large the volume of face-to-face word of mouth is. Because offline WOM is harder to measure, it’s often discounted. But that’s a mistake. There are important planning and evaluation implications that stem from this, and we have discussed them previously. The second problem with thinking WOM equals social media is that the role of the internet in word of mouth extends far, far beyond social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and FourSquare. The things people see

In his keynote speech to the Advertising Research Foundation’s recent media conference, New York Times columnist David Brooks talked about key themes from his new book, The Social Animal, that relate to marketing.  He told the audience of nearly 700 that he believes the primacy of emotion is one of the three most important “foundations” coming out of scientific inquiry in the fields of neuroscience and psychology.  “Emotions are central to how we think and to the wiring of the fibers of the brain,” he said. At the same conference, I presented a paper with MediaVest’s Emily Vanides on the topic, “Conversation Triggers:  Sparking Conversation with Advertising and Media.”  Consistent with the point made by Brooks, our research shows that strong emotional content is key to people’s desire to pass

Word of Mouth and the Internet

Monday, 20 June 2011 by

New research from Keller Fay and Google reveals new information on word of mouth and the Internet.  Click here to see the video.

With the buzz surrounding word-of-mouth marketing on the rise, there has been a greater effort to track and analyze this phenomenon. At the ARF/Advertising Research Foundation’s Measurement 6.0 conference in New York on Monday, word-of-mouth research was high on the agenda. Evaluating and quantifying the dynamics of consumer conversations was the topic of a joint study conducted and presented by Ed Keller, CEO of Keller Fay Group and Emily Vanides, VP connections research and analytics at MediaVest. Their research was based on Keller Fay’s TalkTrack methodology that measures conversations online and offline. Using a diary-based survey program, respondents kept track of their conversations and later reported them in an online survey. Some of the findings were quite surprising. Positive experiences (75 percent) are more likely to generate word of mouth

I’m certain I’m not alone in my thinking of social media as a platform to scale word of mouth (WOM) marketing. People participate in social media to interact with friends and like-minded strangers about things that interest them. Social media marketers engage their customers in ways that encourage them to spread the word. Viola! Everyone is talking about brands. Well, that may not be what’s happening. Compared to offline, there’s very little WOM being generated on social media. What’s going on and what does this mean for our social media strategies? This week’s The Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience Measurement 6.0 Symposium included a session on WOM with Ed Keller of Keller Fay Group and Emily Vanides of MediaVest. Conversation Triggers commenced with the accolades for WOM I expected. Vanides cited

Tech talk needs to keep it real

Thursday, 26 May 2011 by

We know that consumers the world over – and we really do mean the whole world these days – love to talk about new technology and technology brands. Long gone are the days when tech talk was limited to enthusiasts waxing lyrical, plus nervous forays from more mainstream consumers making a big-ticket purchase. Many would regard the launch of the Apple Mac as the turning point – but we must remember that much of the word of mouth was stimulated by that commercial and other intensive marketing activity.  Now, it’s queues outside the stores, the world’s media are ready to spread the word for you, and of course ‘ordinary’ consumers are spreading it even further and faster. For sure, the generation gap has not disappeared altogether – Keller Fay data

Yes, the weather, football, and – in recent days at least – the Royal Family.  But, through Keller Fay Research, we know that most Brits like to talk about the products and services they use, and the brands they love and hate. Social media is facilitating many of these conversations, of course, but word of mouth (WOM) about brands is as old as branding itself, and it has not gone away as a primary medium of conversation.  So in the UK (like the US and most probably other countries), we know that the overwhelming amount of brand-related discussion continues to take place offline – at home, in the office, on the bus, and at the school gate.  As Mark Ritson recently noted, it may be somewhat naive to expect consumers

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

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.