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May 21, 2012
5 surprising things about word of mouth marketing
Social media marketing is still all the rage, but an important new book out from Ed Keller and Bray Fay reminds marketers where and how customers are actually talking about brands,services and companies. From their book, "The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace," here's 5 important things you need to know before putting that integrated marketing plan together:
- 90% of all conversations about brands happen offline. Ed and Brad's company Keller Fay has been tracking Americans' conversations, a new sample of 700 people every week since 2006, and have found that the majority of brand conversations happen offline: face-to-face (76%) and on the phone (14%). Online conversations only make up 8% of total conversations.
- Online conversations and offline conversations are not the same. Research shows that the people who talk about brands offline are different than the people who talk about brands online, especially in age. Also the types of brands dictate where most conversations happen: Brands that get the most online WOM skew toward those that offer uniqueness, and thus encourage people to express opinions as a way of signaling their own uniqueness and social status. Offline sharing had more to do with expressing emotions like satisfaction and excitement.
- It doesn't take high-tech, innovative products to get people talking. Keller Fay's TalkTrack research shows that products that consumers use in their everyday lives are the brands that get the most talk-value. Apple might have the coolest products but Coke products are the most ubiquitous.
- Traditional marketing methods still matter.The TalkTrack study finds that about 25% of all consumer conversations about brands involve one consumer telling another about an advertisement that he or she has seen. Another 30% of conversations mention retail displays, coupons, direct mail and public relations. Pretty old school, huh?
- Most word of mouth is positive. Keller Group's research shows that overall, only 8% of brand conversations are truly negative, and 66% of brand conversations are truly positive. Another 11% is neutral, and 15% is a mix of positive and negative. Also, positive WOM is more credible than negative WOM. When people hear something positive about a brand, 66% of them assign a high credibility rating to it, rating it 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10. Only 47% of people give the same credibility rating to negative opinions about brands.
BONUS: To hear more about the findings in the book, check out the video interview Ed Keller did with the Wall Street Journal.
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As much as we rely on SM to promote our business, when I look at my Referal business, most if it comes from clients who have called or texted their friends to say, "Take his call." SM = quanity. WOM = Quality
Nice piece, Jackie! I reposted on Facebook and Linkedin. I made similar points on my blog post yesterday on Idiro.com.
I just read an interesting post in the HBR Blog Network called "Three Myths About What Customers Want." The researchers found that only 23% of consumers in the study want to have a relationship with a brand and pointed out that customers most often interact to find coupons or discounts...similar to what you mention above. They also found that 64% of consumers didn't want a relationship with a brand. Those who did said that the relationship was based on shared values rather than the number of facings or interactions with the company.