by: Stefan Kolle
As I pointed out in my previous post, in my opinion we are measuring the wrong things in marketing, and many of us are still living in a delusional world of measurability. Let me take this discussion into the realm of Word of Mouth (WoM).
Right now, I have no indication whether someone visiting my webpage, or viewing my TV ad is responding positively to it – the occasional clickthrough aside. I don’t even know if he or she is actually watching, or the TV is just on in the background, or the webpage that she spends 10 minutes on is actually in the background to a Youtube video. And perhaps most importantly – I don’t know in how far it actually matters that THIS particular person is watching my ad right now, instead of sitting outside with her friends sharing experiences about brands they interacted with. Which one would be more impactful? Let me state the obvious – active WoM, i.e. someone talking about me to their friends, co-workers of family, has a far higher impact on behaviour then any disembodied advertising.
And now add the next layer – does this person MATTER? In other words, is she an influential? Will she indeed be talking about her positive and negative experiences – and if she does, will others listen? There is an interesting corollary between the propensity of people to share their experiences and how many people they know. So IF she is likely to talk, she will even do so to ever more people.
Let’s add yet another layer. WoM and loyalty research (including NPS) tends to focus on actual buyers of a product. But this leaves out some important factors, such as whether someone voluntarily bought or not. In other words – I bought that car only because my company has a corporate agreement with this brand. I have no personal affection with it. How will this influence my emotional stance towards this brand? The other way around – I am the biggest fan of this brand – but I can’t afford it (or am not yet of car-buying age – let’s not forget the power of 16 year old boys in the car selling process). So I’m a major advocate for the brand – but because I’m not actually a buyer you don’t count me?
If I try to add all these elements into an overview, it looks rather crowded – especially given my limited graphic talents J But take a look at this arrangement I made of (totally fictional) data. If I knew all these additional data, I could start fine-tuning my WoM efforts in a very powerful way.
So - any brand or agency out there that wants to explore this further? Let's talk. We might change the world a little for the better.