By Ed Keller I have heard it said on a number of occasions that social media is word of mouth on steroids.  The argument goes like this:  Whereas face-to-face conversations only reach people one-on-one or one-on-several, social media allows people to reach hundreds and often thousands of people with a single post.  As a result, it has a far greater reach than word of mouth. I have been skeptical of this view, arguing that while social media is certainly a piece of the social influence puzzle for brands that deserves to be leveraged, it is just one piece among many.  And the premise that social media is word of mouth on steroids ignores the facts.  A singular focus on social media is misguided, in my view, as it can blind

Clout in the Real World

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 by

By Ed Keller Klout declares itself to be “the standard of influence,” and many marketers these days buy into the notion that when it comes to influence the action is mostly – or most importantly – taking place online. Social media influence is often called word of mouth on steroids. However, this belies the fact that the overwhelming amount of word of mouth influence – even among consumer influentials – still takes place offline, in the real world.  I was pleased, therefore, to see a CNN interview with Klout’s founder Joe Fernandez in which he acknowledged, “Klout measures your ability to drive actions online.  That doesn’t always reflect in the real world.” This is a point that has been made elsewhere, by others. For example, Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy and

By Steve Thomson, Managing Director, Keller Fay- UK The UK’s Marketing magazine this week posted an intriguing article outlining how Unilever was “shifting focus from social media to word of mouth”.   In fact, as the piece acknowledges, it’s not that Unilever is turning its back on social media as such, but that the global fmcg power is demanding more from it.  Unilever’s  Debbie Weinstein is quoted as saying “We are now looking to develop broader social CRM programmes and trigger advocacy through word of mouth.” – with outcomes such as ‘Likes’ being insufficient. Unilever is right to demand more from social media.  We’ve noted recent strong evidence that engagement levels in social media are very low for most brands, and that the primary driver of social media conversations is social

Ed Keller With this week’s Facebook IPO filing, a lot of big numbers are being bandied about:  An estimated $5 billion initial offer, and perhaps between $75 and $100 billion for the total market valuation. Facebook also represents big numbers to brand marketers: An audience of nearly 1 billion consumers, and the growing legions of brand fans – often tens of millions –marketers have accumulated on Facebook.  Social media pundits often liken them to an army of brand advocates, ready to engage on a moment’s notice. The only problem with this scenario is that it turns out most fans are quite unenthusiastic about playing this role.  After the initial click to “like” the brand, they rarely interact again with the brand on Facebook.  That’s the headline finding from a new Posted by Graeme Hutton Have you ever wondered how to maximize the word of mouth from your Super Bowl ad? The Super Bowl remains the most watched annual TV event in the United States – an average of 44% of all homes watched last year. It’s not so much a TV show as a major cultural phenomenon. Its ability to boost a brand’s word of mouth has reached almost mythical proportions ever since Apple’s 1984 commercial heralded the launch of the Macintosh computer. Let’s assume for one moment that we have a great ad, a creative asset that resonates well with the consumer. Is that enough? Our initial regression modeling suggests that besides a great ad, just maximizing the audience rating may not be enough. Critically, the quarter of

By Ed Keller I have written previously about a groundbreaking academic study that highlighted how fundamentally different online conversation is from offline word of mouth.  The headline finding from that research, released in late 2010 at a conference convened by the Wharton School and the Marketing Science Institute (MSI), was clear:  “Online data does not reflect well the offline behavior. Word of mouth is not channel neutral. One cannot automatically generalize the results from online to offline.”  This is particularly relevant in light of the fact that social media – despite its rapid rise to prominence – still accounts for less than 10% of all word of mouth. The authors of that research have now released a new working paper that sheds further light on the question of offline versus

The Drum Modern Marketing & Media Posted 26 January 2012 – 3:32pm | by Ishbel Macleod Consumer research on brand word of mouth (WOM) by the Keller Fay Group has found that Baileys Irish Cream had a 311% increase in conversations over the Christmas period, while there was an over 40% increase for Waitrose, John Lewis and Morrisons. The research found that in November and December, average daily brand conversations rose 12% compared with July-October, even in areas not associated with Christmas, such as healthcare. Keller Fay data suggested that while the John Lewis advert may have helped its WOM rating, which had a 43% increase, strong customer service and creative in-store merchandising also played a role. Steve Thomson, managing director of Keller Fay UK, said: “Brands which generated significant

Content-sharing not an end in itself

Tuesday, 24 January 2012 by

By Steve Thomson, Managing Director, Keller Fay- UK UK department store John Lewis hit an apparent bulls-eye over the Christmas season, achieving the kind of viral success with its seasonal TV ad that all marketing directors crave, with four million hits on YouTube.   Most brands today are desperately figuring out how to create content which is also shared widely and quickly. Is this a realistic strategy, or is it the marketing equivalent of hoping for a lottery win or X-Factor success, rather than setting your sights on a more attainable career plan?  Looking at the latest stats on what is being shared suggests the ‘lottery win’ analogy is the reality for many brands and categories – something obviously desirable, but you’d best not plan your life or brand strategy assuming

By Ed Keller As the trade press continues to focus on the year that was in 2011 and forecasts for the year to come in 2012, social media remains a hot topic of conversation. Two reports have come out recently making the case that email remains a big and effective part of the social story. In his keynote address to MediaPost’s Email Insider Summit, Tynt CEO Derek Ball noted that despite the growth of Facebook, sharing via email has gone up over 20% in the past 18 months.  “We call email the original social network because it really is social,” he says.  About a week later came a report in Marketing Profs that two-thirds of business leaders (68%) say they plan to integrate social media with their email marketing efforts

BY Fast Company Expert Blogger Ekaterina Walter Posted December 19, 2011 We know that our customers talk about us, brands. The average American consumer mentions specific brand names 60 times per week in conversations, according to the Keller Fay Group. And since most of them happen online and, frankly, it is easier to track them there, we understandably are in awe of social media that focuses on online conversations. We analyze and pay attention to online influencers and focus on numbers of fans and followers. But what we forget is that less than 10% of word of mouth conversations happen online. Keller Fay stats dating back to 2006 have consistently shown word of mouth conversations disproportionately happen offline in face-to-face and voice-to-voice settings. That 90% of all conversations Americans have