Andrew Crysell, Managing Director, Ramp Industry
Word of mouth is a much sought-after marketing effect but the reality is that it is hard to generate. Content can create the traction to start WOM, although it is often started with cynicism and humour or negative commentary.
The challenge for marketers is to find your audience, give them content and create a WOM effect. Knowing the motivations of your audience is key.
The audience is changing from a deferral society (where we defer to people in powerful positions) to a referral society where decisions are made collectively [which I also heard here]
The “rewards” from sharing help to enable our survival – base human desire.
Before starting on a WOM campaign, you need to understand your brand and its ‘permissions’. Is this an appropriate method for your brand. WOM works well when it can provide useful, entertaining or authentic experiences for the audience.
Case study of C4 youth ‘tribes’ – Townies, Trendies, Indie Kids. And The Guardian where they track 16 networks of friends.
This sort of research is useful because of the Hawthorne Effect when an audience engages in research the feel invested into the brand.
Knowing your influencers is important – again it varies by sector. Andrew used the acronym ACTION to identify key characteristics of influencers.
- Ahead in adoption (not necessarily early adopters)
- Travelers – geography and digitally
- Information Hungry
- Exposure to Media – disproportionate
There are 6 types of connectors including owners, role models and category experts.
When using influencers, consider whether it is better to use an expert hub or a social hub to distribute your information.
By joining up influencers to the broader audience, this gives them social currency and the opportunity to strike a ‘status bargain’ with the brand.
By delivering informally this allows the audience to re-shape the content to its own purpose.
Examples include Ikea Finland who found their furniture adoption was affected by snobbery in certain postal districts of Helsinki – so they built a ‘snob map’ of the city which changed as more sales were made into each district. And Magic who used their ‘good mood’ branding to start the good mood film series online wiht user generated content. PS3 set up a blog just for hard core gamers 2Three Speech” which did not include PR messages. 250,000 monthly readers.
He also suggested that Net Promoter Score was the key ROI measure for these campaigns – but didn’t offer any metrics to prove the case.