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 August 26, 2011 Frito-Lay, Harley-Davidson and CVS are among the brands which have most effectively engaged female consumers in the US during the last year, a study has found. Women at NBCU, a division of NBC Universal, used search data from Compete, social media statistics from New Media Strategies and in-person word of mouth analysis by the Keller Fay Group to build an index ranking 500 advertisers on this metric over 12 months. Frito-Lay set a new record for generating the most “likes” on Facebook in 24 hours, adding 1.5m fans of both genders, partly thanks to creating a branded farm on Farmville so players could make healthy “virtual goods.” It also live streamed a Flavour Kitchen event in Times Square, providing cooking demonstrations and tips for busy mums,

MediaPost News August 3, 2011 Regardless of what channels deliver the information, nearly 50% of consumers 18-54 say they are very likely to purchase items based on word of mouth. That’s according to new research from Microsoft Advertising, in conjunction with the Keller Fay Group, which collected 24,724 interviews from respondents ages 18-54 throughout 2010. So, how do marketers influence those conversations?  “The answer is by reaching the right social audience,” according to Natasha Hritzuk, director of ad sales research and analytics at Microsoft. “If you’re putting your brand messages in front of individuals that don’t talk and share, that’s not going to help your word of mouth,” added Hritzuk.  “You want to go beyond platforms to build real relationships with consumers who are social and likely to speak favorably

For more on Keller Fay and Google research: click here.

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%;

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