Getting People Talking
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Getting People Talking
Word of Mouth
The Debate To paraphrase George Orwell:-All consumers are not created equal
It seems that consumers are not an amorphous mass whom we can blanket bomb with commercial messages that they will all meekly respond to, as traditional advertising models would have us believe
Instead, there are some consumers who will pick up on information and pass it on to their social network thus acting as powerful brand advocates, or influencers
Word of Mouth Marketing is an attempt to harness this people power and make it work for advertisers and their brands, but how can media be part of this?
Summary of FindingsThe need for Word of Mouth has risen as the belief in traditional forms of advertising have declined
Word of Mouth is all about TRUST-When people feel vulnerable-When theyre going through changes in lifestage-When they need advice about something from an expert but someone they know, not an impersonal advisor
Certain consumers are more likely to be conveyors of WOM-These people are known as Influencers about 10% of the population-However Influencers are generally different for each category
Summary of Findings The Internet, particularly the rise of User Generated Content, has played a fundamental role in the move towards WOM marketing
However, magazines can also play a part in generatingWOM-They are seen as close and trusted friends-Editorial viewpoints are often taken as the readers own-Magazine readers are also more likely to be among the 10% of Influentials who generate WOM
Contents The Spread of Word Of Mouth (WOM) - And the rise of the Internet
Why is WOM so important?
Influencing the Influencers
WOM Marketing - How Media can be used to propagate WOM
In the BeginningAbout 350,000 years ago, Hominid hearing apparatus was tuned to hear sounds made in speech for the first time
Today, Word of Mouth is instrumental in 83% of purchase decisions
Why Do We Talk?Before we could write, the only way for humans to communicate was via speech
So for hundreds of thousands of years, talking was our most important social connector- Information danger, food, water- Social history, love, kinship, enmity
Word of Mouth today fulfils the same role- Provides people with information- Reinforces social bonds- Builds on oral tradition
How Does Word of Mouth Work? Spontaneous sharing an experienceI went to an amazing restaurant on Friday night
Prompted speaking in response to a needIf youre looking for a new buggy, Id recommend the Maclaren
Secondary relating experience of another personIve never tried it, but my mum has and she didnt think it was that great
What Propagates WOM? Family
Different Types of WOMWord of Mouth is deemed to be all communication which takes place about brands on a Consumer to Consumer basis-This can be split into two main types: Buzz and Advocacy
BUZZ - Talking about something new, cool, different, provocative - Something to be passed on to gain social currency- This can have a positive effect on a brand but not necessarily lead to sales
ADVOCACY- Focused on the brand and its merits (positive or negative)
This is more likely to have a greater short-term sales effect
Why Is WOM Most Important?Lifestages
Transition = Point of Vulnerability = Need for new information
Why Has The Role of WOM grown?As life becomes more complex and choice proliferates, people are relying more than ever before on recommendations - WOM now 1.5 times more important now than it was 25 years ago
89% of women believe recommendations by friends and family70% of women learn about new products or services from another woman
Recommendations Make People Feel Confident And Keep Them Connected
WOM Growth Where do you get most of your informationabout new products and services?
Internet 2.0The internet has caused a seismic shift in peoples ability to find information and communication with each other
The next phase of web development Internet 2.0 sees the consumer taking control:-Blogging-Community sites like MySpace and Face Book-User generated content as on You Tube or Flickr-Chat Rooms and Forums for consumers to comment on anything and everything!
Suddenly anyone can get their voice heard and air their opinions to millions of others-Advertisers want to harness this power -(And try and steer it to their benefit)
Why Is WOM So Important?Trust for big businesses is at an all-time low- And this includes their advertising
Consumers are more ad-savvy than ever they are no longer passively waiting to be told which products to buy- Brand choice is huge & often overwhelming- Media fragmentation and consumer control means they are also more easily able to edit out advertising theyre not interested in
Advertisers must find new ways of connecting and engaging with their consumers, and new channels through which to speak to them
The Road to WOMWORD OFMOUTHMARKETINGNeed for BreakthroughGrassroots VehicleNeed for Remarkable Brands /Contagious IdeasNeed for Influential ConsumersMass Marketing Less EffectiveLow Credibility of Conventional AdvertisingEstablished Brands / BusinessModels Under ThreatNumber of Choices / BrandsUpLow Credibility of Conventional AdvertisingTuning OutWant Authenticity, intimacyRemarkability, edge Rise of Word of MouthHeterogeneous ConsumerDistribution ConcentrationPace of Technology FasterLess Time, Attention, Trust
Media EnvironmentMarketplaceConsumerFragmentation & CostRise of InternetDifferentiation LowFinancial PressureGlobalisation
The Decline of TrustGrowth in WOM occurred during mid-90s
This coincided with a period when consumers lost trust in large organisations:- Government- Businesses- Brands
Instead they turned to family and friends as trusted sources - Offer advice based on personal experience- NOT marketing spin or hype
Why Do People Trust?
A Person Like Me
Influencing the Influencers
AlphasandSneezers: Influencing the InfluencersTraditional Advertising ModelCommunicationAudienceConsumers are Passive Receivers who are served blanket advertising
AlphasandSneezers: Influencing the InfluencersNew Advertising ModelCommunicationAudienceReach Opinion Leaders and they willpass the communication on to Opinion Followers10%90%
Law of the FewConsumers arent a collection of isolated individuals but a community of interconnected people
Brand perceptions shaped by many influences- Advertising- Word of Mouth- User imagery (aspirational people using product)- Observed behaviour (watching how others do things)
Paid for communications cant reach everyone- Instead influence the influencers and their position in the hierarchy will help to position the brand in others eyes
Who Are the Influencers?Who theyre NOT:- Most affluent- Best educated- Elected officials- CEOs of major corporations
They ARE:- The 10% most actively engaged in social and cultural dynamics of their community
They are twice as likely than average to be asked their opinion on products and services
They are also different for every category- Only approx 5% of people are Pure influencers in every walk of life. The rest are influencers in 1, or maybe more categories
Word of Mouth Marketing
Todays marketing world is broken. We must accept there is no mass in mass media. We must always remember the consumer is Boss Consumers today are less responsive to traditional advertising they are embracing new technologies and making purchase decisions in environments where marketers have less direct influence.
Emergence of WOM As a Marketing ToolEmerging marketing techniques being used currently, or intended to use in next 6 monthsSource: MPA
WOM Marketing How to make it work:
Make it mutually beneficial
Give them a reason to talk
Empower consumers to share experiences
Implementation of WOM InfluenceThe InfluencerProductInnovationBrandAmbassadorsReferralProgrammesProductSeedingGet aCauseListen toFeedbackMeasure
How To Engage Consumers With WOMKeep it real and/or simpleBe relevant and memorableBe personalBuild a customer journeyProvide support / expert adviceGain trustProvide brand experienceBuild connectivityAbove all, show respect, and listen to feedback
The Honesty ROI: Honesty and Relationship, Opinion and IdentityHonesty of Relationship- Be open about any relationship between marketer and endorser
Honesty of Opinion- Never tell consumers what to say
Honesty of Identity- Disclose identity of origination of any communication
Research shows that being open about involvement in WOM marketing leads to better results than deception
Targeting the Influentials
Targeting Influentials WOM in individual categories varies amongst different consumer groups.
The PPAs Targeting Influentials study identifies who the Influentials responsible for generating it WOM are and how different product categories .
Then having identified the Influentials, what do their media consumption habits suggest might be an effective way of engaging with them?
Identifying the InfluentialsThinking about the following product area, where do you get MOST information about products and services?
% AgreeingSource: BMRB Omnibus Survey/PPA Targeting Influentials 2008Clothes Category
Identifying the InfluentialsDo you talk to lots of people about a category? (Connectors)
Do you know a lot about the categor