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Word of Mouth Versus Key Influencers

This post is a special Make a Referral Week guest post featuring education on the subject of referrals and word of mouth marketing and making 1000 referrals to 1000 small businesses – check it out at Make a Referral Week 2010

This summary of an article from the December issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (good luck finding the issue online because I couldn’t) says that common word-of-mouth advertising by regular folks is more powerful than “key influencers.” Which is to say that sucking up to A-list bloggers may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. It seems like it’s bad day for celebrity endorsements.

James Coyle, assistant professor of marketing at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, Elizabeth Lightfoot of CNET Networks, and Ted Smith and Amy Scott of MedTrackAlert conducted the study by surveying website visitors, conducting in-depth reviews, and analyzing website usage patterns. Said Coyle:

“We find that trying to track down key influencers, people who have extremely large social networks, is typically unnecessary and, more importantly, can actually limit a campaign or advertisement’s viral potential. Instead, marketers need to realize that the majority of their audience, not just the well-connected few, is eager and willing to pass along well-designed and relevant messages.”

I agree. I think that most key influencers are pompous, insecure jerks who take themselves way too seriously. And I say this knowing that you can rightfully accuse me of being one of them. The marketing lesson is this: Create something great, sow fields (not window boxes), “let a hundred flowers blossom,” and pray that “regular folks” will spread the word.

Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of nine books including Reality Check, The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way.

Author of Word of Mouth Marketing Visits Referral Week

This post is a special Make a Referral Week guest post featuring education on the subject of referrals and word of mouth marketing and making 1000 referrals to 1000 small businesses – check it out at Make a Referral Week 2010

Marketing podcast with Andy Sernovitz (Click to listen, right click and Save As to download – subscribe now via iTunes

Andy SernovitzAndy Sernovitz, founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and author of Word of Mouth Marketing chatted with me for this special episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

    We covered a wide range of topics related to Word of Mouth Marketing such as:

  • The difference between referrals and word of mouth
  • How word of mouth happens
  • How to create word of mouth campaigns
  • Simple examples of small businesses word of mouth success

The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited

Anatomy of BuzzBuzz is all around us and as hot a marketing topic as there is going, but for a recent episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I caught up with Emanuel Rosen author of the national bestseller The Anatomy of Buzz (Doubleday, 2000) and “The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited (Doubleday, 2009).

Rosen’s first book was a favorite of mine before it was cool to acknowledge the power of word of mouth buzz and most everything that’s been written since can cite him as an influence.

Prior to writing these books, he was VP Marketing at Niles Software where he was responsible for launching and marketing the company’s flagship product EndNote which spread to a large extent by word of mouth.

Rosen uses a great deal of research to support his positions and one of my favorite little factoids taken from his research is the finding that 30% of negative buzz comes from people who have never owned or used a product or service. Well, that certainly helps make the case for why you better focus on making some good noise.

    In this podcast we discuss:

  • Just what the heck “Buzz” marketing is
  • How to find the “Buzz” to your business
  • How to balance and integrate “Buzz”
  • How to measure word-of-mouth marketing
  • And the ethics of word-of-mouth marketing

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

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Talking Word of Mouth with Andy Sernovitz

This is a special podcast as part of Make a Referral Week 2009

Andy SernovitzAndy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. chatted with me for this special episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

Andy shares a wealth of information on his blog DamnIWish and is offering Make a Referral Week participants 25% off his one day Word of Mouth Crash Course held monthly in Chicago (Use this discount code: THANKSDUCTTAPE)

  • We covered a wide range of topics related to Word of Mouth Marketing such as:
  • The difference between referrals and word of mouth
  • How word of mouth happens
  • How to create word of mouth campaigns
  • Simple examples of small businesses word of mouth success

iLinc Web and Video ConferencingThis episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by iLinc – Web and Video Conferencing that’s easy to use, affordable and powerful enough to make your online meetings really come alive.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]