How to people learn about brands? Read more.

How to people learn about brands? Read more.

#infographic #Brand Experience #mobile #Word of Mouth #research #marketing

Are you serious about incentivizing WOM?

A lot of companies and brands will willingly sing the same song as Jack Morton’s New Realities 2012 research: word-of-mouth (WOM) is the most powerful form of advertising. But is your brand really serious about incentivizing WOM among your customer base? Fab.com, a daily deals site focused on design, has taken an aggressive approach showing that it is deathly — dollars and cents — serious about its peer-to-peer recommendation engine.

Through the option presented to users in this menu panel on the site, Fab.com offers users $10 credits every month just for sharing their purchases on Facebook and their usernames (not even their real names) on the site. Clearly, Fab.com is finding out, and putting money behind, what EventBrite, GE and Rubbermaid have issued studies showing: Socializing commerce can lead to some serious ROI.  
Yet, there are still generally two schools of thought when it comes to incentivized WOM:
  1. Consumers aren’t stupid. They get that when you ask them to “like” something on Facebook or rate a brand on Yelp, they are acting as your company’s best (and free) source of advertising. They expect to be recognized (compensated) for helping you out.
  2. Your brand should be good enough that people want to rave about you. Compensating them for their efforts makes the WOM illegitimate and consumers know when their friends are essentially acting as paid spokespeople for your brand.

Emerging somewhere in between is a more fluid, less black and white way of asking consumers to spread the word. We’re not talking about a pay-per-review program that’s going to lead to a Belkin-like horror story. Fab.com is part of a new crop of sites that are finding ways to reward customers for embracing a broader social layer over their entire shopping (and yes, buying) experience. In other words, it’s a new crop of brands that have made the decision to invest in its consumers’ brand experiences, instead of spending on pushy messaging that consumers tune out.

In a world when sites like Fab.com are willing to pay up in a big way to get consumers talking, marketers have to start asking themselves some big questions. How serious is your brand about making its WOM engine work harder for your marketing objectives? How will you create a brand experience worth talking about?

#WOM #fab.com #word of mouth

Give consumers something to talk about!

There’s a fantastic piece in Ad Age by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy called “The Human Element”. My favorite point comes from a chart that contrasts “the old way” of social strategy with “the winning way”: in their POV, “old” is trying to “go viral,” and “winning” is “give consumers something to talk about”.

Give consumers something to talk about.

I couldn’t agree more. So much of the clutter and noise of our time is brands and people just going for viral. The best and most engaging content, conversations and (in Garfield and Levy’s view) relationships come when brands really try to give people something to talk about.

Giving people something to talk about is a hallmark of the best experience brands.

It’s also a point that’s driven home in new “2012 New Realities” research Jack will release on 25 January that comes from talking to consumers in the US, Brazil and China.  Watch this space for more!

#Ad Age #Bob Garfield #Word of mouth #New realities

Customer service + social media

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) is going to be publishing a book called Best Practice Guidebook for WOM in the Contact Center.

In the interim, WOMMA shares some useful tips » http://allthings.womma.org/2011/02/08/integrating-social-media-and-customer-service-via-the-contact-center/

#word of mouth #wom #customer service

Live from Las Vegas and the WOMMA Summit

Later on today I’m speaking at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association Summit in Las Vegas (wish me luck) but here are a few choice tidbits consumed so far:

  • The Kitchen Sisters of NPR fame gave an outstanding keynote on storytelling this morning. Needless to say there were a lot of food stories — including a great one about King’s Candy (I got a free sample… yummy)
  • Attended a great session about how Ben & Jerry’s extended their long-running in-person summer sampling program (kicked off by Ben and Jerry themselves in 1986) with social media. Cool stuff (and I got a coupon for free ice cream… love that)

#womma #word of mouth #ben & jerry's #kitchen sisters #npr #king's candy

Ad Age Hot Brand Beats by Dr. Dre grows organically

It’s great to read in Ad Age about the success of Beats by Dr. Dre, the high-end headphone line, following a marketing strategy bringing a great product to consumers through influencers and word of mouth (think celebrities seen wearing them and all the cool kids falling in line behind them).

Personally, having purchased what feels like a thousand pairs of poorly-made ear buds that last a month and deliver a poor audio experience, I’m a fan. 

#beats by dr. dre #influencers #word of mouth #ad age