Word of Mouth Marketing Offline and Online

From toothpaste to travel, there’s one thing that influences purchase decisions more than any other source: word of mouth. We like to talk. And while we talk a lot about the usual stuff, our friends, family and careers, we talk a surprising amount about products and services.

word of mouth internet marketing infographic

  • Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) – Any business action that earns a customer recommendation through building preference and delivering experiences.
  • Speak it – One of the most important aspects of WOMM is paying it forward through recommendations made both offline and online.
    • In America Everyday: 3.3 billion brand mentions in 2.4 billion brand-related conversations
    • 9 in 10 word of mouth conversations about brands occur offline.
    • The typical American mentions specific brand names 60 times per week in online and offline conversations.
  • Like it – When individuals talk about a given product or service the majority of the conversations are positive. Odds are, if someone’s talking, it’s a good thing.
    • 66% of all brand-related word of mouth conversations are “Mostly Positive”
    • 8% of brand-related word of mouth conversations are “Mostly Negative”
    • The average online review is 4.3 stars out of 5.
  • Hear it – Consumers are always interested in hearing about new and interesting products. Before making a purchase, consumers pay attention to what people are saying about it.
  • Driving Forces of Purchase Decisions:
    • 54% Word of Mouth
    • 47% Information from a website
    • 42% Email sent by a friend
    • 31% Online review
  • The Most Influential Element Driving Purchase Decisions Today is Word of Mouth

  • Offline Credibility – 59% of Americans believe offline (face-to-face or voice-to-voice) word of mouth to be highly credible.
  • Online Credibility – 49% of Americans believe online word of mouth is highly credible.
  • Service Profitability - 55% of consumers recommend a company because of its customer service.
  • Experience Profitability – 27% of consumers would pay 15% or more to receive a superior customer experience.

Word of Mouth Marketing is as important as ever in both physical and digital channels. Despite advancements in technology, traditional band interactions and conversations continue to be a significant factor in influencing consumers.

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Socializing Your Brand – A Brand’s Guide to Sociability

Being social online is fast becoming critical to being a world class brand. Technology alone does not make a brand social. The reality is that internal strategy, planning, cohesiveness and comfort in the digital space must come first if brand sociability is to come at all.

Weber Shandwick partnered with Forbes Insights to survey nearly 1,900 senior marketing/communications executives with digital responsibility in 50 countries worldwide to identify what makes brands social — and how.

Why brand sociability matters?

  • Global brand executives attribute 52% of their brand’s reputation to how social it is today. They project it to be 65% in three years
  • Global brand executives think the rewards of social media outweigh the risks by more than a 2-to-1 margin.
  • One-third say quality of online presence or engagement is a prime driver of corporate reputation.
  • A large majority of global executives believe their brand’s sociability is not yet “world class.”

social brand inforgraphic

9 Drivers of World Class Brand Sociability

  1. It’s not the medium — and it’s more than the message. World class brands are much more likely than the average brand to create original content. 45% of them create content specifically for social media purposes, compared to 28% of all global companies. World class brands depend upon much more than just the medium to make themselves social.
  2. Put your brands in motion. World class companies do more than experiment with social media tools. They apply their tools in more social ways than the average global company. For example, they are 44% more likely to offer brand-related mobile content, 43% more likely to participate in “check-in” apps, 41% more likely to do proximity marketing and 40% more likely to have their own branded YouTube channel.
  3. Integrate or die. World class organizations are much better integrators of brand personality — they are nearly twice as likely as other organizations to have a consistent brand personality across all social and traditional media channels and are much more likely to include a social media element to their traditional print or broadcast messaging.
  4. Make social central. 61% of world class brands have a dedicated social media strategist or manager, vs. 41% of all global brands. “The most important thing we can do is to centrally plan social media activities across all channels to amplify key messages.” — Global Executive.
  5. Listen more than you talk. World class companies fine-tune their messages to customers and integrate what is on their fans’ minds into their brand stories. Nearly twice as many world class brands have changed a product or service based on fan recommendations compared to the average global brand.
  6. Count what matters — meaningful engagement. World class brands place more weight than other brands on their number of contributors when measuring social media effectiveness. Social contributors are ranked #1 by world class companies but #6 by other companies as a key metric.
  7. Think global. Executives managing world class brands consider global reach as important as customer service as a driver of corporate reputation while the average global executive ranks global reach last. “Our social branding goals involve a very firm commitment to increase the recognition of the company’s globalization.”— Global Executive.
  8. Go outside to get inside. World class companies are nearly twice as likely as average global companies to engage outside support to enhance and measure their brand’s social performance.
  9. Be vigilant. To protect their social brand integrity, world class brands are always on high alert. Compared to the average global company, they are 85% more vigilant since Wikileaks has been in the news and are 58% more likely to be concerned about privacy violations.


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7 Tips for Social Media Marketing from DELL

social media dellIn a recent interview with Clickz, Rishi Dave, executive director of online marketing for Dell’s Public and Large Enterprise Business Unit talk about some of Dell’s success online including B2B social media marketing outreach.

His global responsibility is to implement public and large enterprise marketing strategies for Dell.com, social media, communities, and Dell’s Premier portal, discussed seven of the main tenets (philosophies, goals, attributes) of Dell’s social media approach:

  1. Start with your goals and strategies overall.
  2. Develop a content strategy to support your goals.
  3. Identify and listen to existing conversations.
  4. Empower and encourage your internal organizations to participate.
  5. Create and cultivate conversations and communities where your customers and employees are.
  6. Incent participants to create, and share great content.
  7. Measure your success and adjust your strategy.

Much of Rishi’s insight is universal and of course can be applied to any social media marketing effort. If you want to hear more from Rishi you can follow him on Twitter @rishiatdell.

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Social Media Age Demographics for Facebook and Twitter

In researching how different age groups interact online, this well designed infographic explains user demographics for two of the world’s most popular social networks: Twitter and Facebook.

social media age demographics chart

Who Uses the Social Web?

- Most online interaction takes place on the social web (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) Here’s the age distribution across the social web:

0 – 17 : 15%
18 – 24 : 9%
25 – 34 : 18%
35 – 44 : 25%
45 – 54 : 19%
55 – 64 : 10%
65+ : 3%

Millennials: The Future of the Internet:

- Millennials, born between 1978 and 1994 (currently ages 16 – 32), were the first generation to be “raised” on the Internet and represent a substantial portion of Internet users. The millennial age cohort is expected to be as large, if not larger than the baby boomer generation.

How are Millennials Using the Internet?

75% – Created a social networking profile
62% – Used wireless Internet away from home
20% – Posted video online of themselves
14% – Use Twitter

23 Minutes – The average time millennials spend online each day.
59% of millennials get their news online.

Average Age of Social Network Users

  • The Average Social Network User is 37 Years old.
  • The Average LinkedIn User is 44 Years old.
  • The Average Twitter User is 39 Years old.
  • The Average Facebook User is 38 Years old.
  • The Average Bebo User is 28 Years old.

Facebook User Breakdown by Age:

13 – 17 : 11%
18 – 25 : 29%
26 – 34 : 23%
35 – 44 : 18%
45 – 54 : 12%
55+ : 7%

Age-Based Behavior on Facebook:

  • Teens has twice as many friends than users aged 30-40.
  • Teens make almost 3x as many wall posts as users aged 30-40.
  • Users in their early 20′s list the most activities in their profile of any group.
  • Younger people express more negative emotions, and swear more than older users. They use more personal pronouns and possessives (“I”, “My” etc.) and talk more about school.
  • Older people write longer updates, use more prepositions and articles, and talk more about other people, including their families.
  • Users aged 27 and 28 have the most uploaded photos, with an average of 510.
  • Users in their 40′s upload about as many photos as those in their 20′s, but are tagged in photos 281% less.

Twitter User Breakdown by Age:

13 – 17 : 4%
18 – 25 : 13%
26 – 34 : 30%
35 – 44 : 27%
45 – 54 : 17%
55+ : 9%

Age-Based Behavior on Twitter:

  • 85% of users 18 – 24 follow friends.
  • More users aged 18 – 24 follow celebrities (54%) than follow family members (29%).
  • Teens don’t user Twitter as much as adults because the service is more about connecting to contacts and brands than interacting with friends.
  • Since more adults already use Twitter, more adults are inclined to try it out, so it remains primarily an adult network.


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Google Advertising Calls to Action

I was recently the target of a clever advertisement for Google’s comprehensive display advertising offerings via LinkedIn. Compelled to click through, the dynamic ad compared 2 buttons side by side, with separate calls to action asking you to simply vote for your favorite. Once you submit your choice the interactive ad displays real-time results on Americas favorite button choices. The results were pretty straightforward but interesting nonetheless to see the preferences in calls to action across the United States.

Google Start Now Call to Action ButtonGoogle Learn More Call to Action ButtonGoogle Buy Now Call to Action ButtonGoogle Contact Call to Action Button

Close the sale with calls to action

Google Adwords Small Business Center states that “ads work better when you tell the reader what they can expect to do (or what you want them to do) when they reach your site. Phrases like “Buy Now,” “Save More,” “Sign Up Today,” or “Learn More” are called “call to action” terms, because they tell the reader plainly what you want them to do next.”

Rich media ads have been around for several years, and have provided a powerful canvas for creative expression, driving greater interaction and response. Until now, rich media ads were small portion of total display ad impressions, but last year they grew by 66%. And now, HTML5 ads bring the same interactivity to people who browse the web from mobile devices such as iOS and Android devices. By 2015, we expect that 50% of all display ads will be rich media ads.

The answer is dynamic advertising.

A dynamic ad is a single ad that runs everywhere but each impression is customized to the viewer. It displays the best combination of visuals for each viewer, including the best headline, copy, images, featured products, shopping locales to buy from, and more. Our data show, dynamic ads get twice the clicks and triple the ROI.

Google Dynamic Ad Stats

Imagine you own a popular coffee chain in Denver that you want to promote. On Monday afternoon, it’s warm and 80 degrees in the city. You run a display ad campaign online that offers Denverites a discount coupon for an iced cold latte, with a searchable map embedded in the ad to show local branches, and a real-time feed from people who have tweeted publicly about your newest flavor. That evening, a cold front rolls over the Rockies. Your ad automatically and dynamically adjusts to present a photo of a hot, steaming cup of hot chocolate in front of a warm fireplace, together with a home delivery number and an offer for free marshmallows.

Display advertising really is at the heart of what we’re doing at Google these days. 99 percent of our top 1,000 clients are now running campaigns on the Google Display Network and YouTube. And last year, they increased their spending on display advertising by over 75 percent. Over 66% of ads on the Ad Exchange are now bought in real-time. On the mobile front, AdMob network now receives more than 2 billion ad requests per day, having quadrupled over the last 12 months. As you know by now, we’re investing significantly to make this better for users, advertisers and publishers

Google Display Network

These innovations are happening in 2 major areas:

1. Media solutions: websites, videos or mobile, no matter where your consumers are, you can build a comprehensive plan to reach them with Google.

2. Platform solutions: Agencies and enterprise class buyers can build a comprehensive display ads operation with our exchange, demand side platform and ad serving solutions.

Once you click through to Google’s landing page on creating more engaging dynamic ads, the stats from Dynamic logic prove it’s place in advertising budgets for a long time to come. With the largest global network on the planet, Google reaches 80 percent of Internet users worldwide. Google claims that, “there’s a perfect ad for everyone.” I’m interested in hearing your comments on how you currently are or plan to leverage Google’s display advertising offerings to target and optimize your marketing message.

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