Friday, July 25, 2008

WOM Marketing Stats To Share With Your Clients

Here are some great word of mouth marketing stats for you to use in a presentation, share with a client, or bust out with during a meeting to show your WOM marketing smarts. This list was compiled by The Fresh Chat blog and also inlcudes the research sources - how thoughtful of them!

If you were ever unsure of the power of word of mouth (WOM) consider these following facts:

  • Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases, according to new data from Publicis media network ZenithOptimedia. (AdAge, April, 2008)
  • According to a global Nielsen survey of 26,486 Internet users in 47 markets, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78% of the study’s respondents. (Nielsen, “Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool”)
  • Most word of mouth is positive. Across all of Bazaarvoice US clients, 80% of product ratings are 4 or 5 stars out of 5. Across all of Bazaarvoice UK clients, 88% of product ratings are 4 or 5 stars out of 5. (“J Curve,” Bazaarvoice and Keller Fay)
  • Online social network users were three times more likely to trust their peers’ opinions over advertising when making purchase decisions. (“Social Networking Sites: Defining Advertising Opportunities in a Competitive Landscape,” JupiterResearch, March 2007)
  • The two leading reasons people contribute content to social shopping sites are the need to feel part of a community (31%) and recognition from peers (28%). (IBM Institute for Business Value, August 2007)
  • Consumers trust friends above experts when it comes to product recommendations (65% trust friends, 27% trust experts, 8% trust celebrities). (Yankelovich)
  • 86.9% of respondents said they would trust a friend’s recommendation over a review by a critic, while 83.8% said they would trust user reviews over a critic. (Marketing Sherpa, July 2007)
  • When asked what sources of information they are “very likely” to consult before making a decision about their entertainment options, 62% named Web sites with user reviews as their top choice, even beating out a knowledgeable friend (59%). (Marketing Sherpa, July 2007)
  • 91% of US adults regularly or occasionally seek advice about products or services. (BIGresearch)
  • Adult Internet users surveyed chose recommendations from friends as the one type of promotion they consider most worthwhile. (DoubleClick)
  • Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals. (comScore/The Kelsey Group, October 2007)
  • 64% of consumers reported wanting to see user ratings and reviews, based on a study of 5,000 online shoppers. (Forrester, 2008)
  • 94% of UK online researchers use online customer reviews. (JupiterResearch/Bazaarvoice, January 2008)
  • 71% of online shoppers read reviews, making it the most widely read consumer-generated content. (Forrester)
  • Compared to a base group that didn’t read or contribute product reviews at all, people who read a review were 30% more likely to purchase a product and visitors who wrote a review were 80% more likely to convert, based on analysis across several Coremetrics clients. (Coremetrics, reported in BtoB, March 2007)
  • In an online survey of 4,000 consumers, 70% said they had done internet research on “everyday grocery products,” and 63% said they had done so for health and beauty products. (Prospectiv, 2007)
  • Among the 46% of respondents who had posted or planned to post reviews about their online shopping experience, 88% said those reviews either were, or would be positive. (Nielson, 2007)
  • Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers read consumer-written product reviews on the Internet. (Deloitte & Touche)
  • 70% of online consumers said they use the Internet to research everyday grocery products. (Prospectiv, 2008)
  • Of merchants who adopt customer reviews, 58% said improving customer experience was the most important reason for adding reviews to their sites, followed by building customer loyalty (47%), driving sales (42%), and maintaining a competitive advantage (37%). (eTailing Group, 2008)
  • By 2020, 84% of marketers agree that building customer trust will become marketing’s primary objective, and 82% agree that collaboration with customers will prevail over marketing. (1to1 Media survey of the 1to1 Xchange panel, April, 2008)
  • 11% of retailers reported a 20% or more overall increase in conversions as a result of adding reviews to their sites, 21% reported an 11% to 20% increase and 5% reported a 1% to 10% increase. (eTailing Group, 2008)
  • Ratings and reviews is the second most important site feature behind search and online buyers who cite ratings and reviews most useful site feature has more than doubled from ’05 to ’06. “Retail Marketing: Driving Sales Through Consumer-Created Content” says retailers who adopt ratings and reviews as a differentiator and retention strategy will gain market share. (Jupiter)
  • 42% of consumers said they prefer being able to find the answers they need online on their own if they had a question or wanted help while shopping online. (Harris Interactive, May 2007)
  • The share of traffic to question-and-answer Web sites has more than doubled from 2007 to 2008 (HitWise, 2008)
  • Yahoo Answers had 25.3 million visits in February 2008 (comScore Media Metrix, March 2008)
  • 42% of 1,179 online consumers surveyed have left a site without purchasing multiple products because they couldn’t get a question answered about one of the products in their shopping cart; 41% decided not to make a planned purchase because they couldn’t readily find a piece of information about the product or service. (JupiterResearch, September 2007)
  • Shoppers who browsed the site’s new “Top Rated Products” page, which features products rated most highly by customers, had a 59% higher conversion rate than the site average and spent 16% more per order than other browsers of products. (Bass Pro Shops)
  • Shoppers who browsed the site’s “Top Rated Products” page, which features products rated most highly by customers, had a 49% higher conversion rate than the site average and 63% more per order than other site shoppers. (PETCO)
  • Giving shoppers the ability to sort products within a category by customer rating led to a sales increase of 41% per unique visitor. (PETCO)
  • A large apparel retailer saw site-wide conversion rates increase by 90% (Q1 07 vs. Q1 06) just months after launching Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews. (Bazaarvoice customer case study)
  • MarketingExperiments tested product conversion with and without product ratings by customers. Conversion nearly doubled, going from .44% to 1.04% after the same product displayed its five-star rating. (MarketingExperiments Journal)
  • Conversion rates are higher on products with less than perfect reviews (less than 5 stars) than those without reviews at all, indicating that the customer feels that the product has been properly reviewed by other customers. (Burpee)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Making Your Video Go Viral

Last week we discussed Dan Greenberg's article, "The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos" that he posted on TechCrunch late last year. He gave an impressive list of things his team does in order to make their clients' videos go viral. Our discussion about whether or not it's ethical to promote a video using these tactics started with the deck below....

Towards the end of our discussion we all agreed that our work doesn’t stop with adding a video to YouTube and crossing our fingers it goes viral, there is much more work to do beyond that. We also agreed that we wouldn’t feel comfortable promoting our clients’ videos with some of the shady tactics that Dan describes.

In order to help us develop a 'menu', if you will, of viral tactics for our clients to choose from we've decided to develop our own video and viral strategy using all the tactics we feel are ethical and smart to make our video go viral. I am now going to open this post up for Video Ideas - please post your ideas in the comment section below!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Global Warming, I Has It

If you like LOL Cats and care about the planet, you are going to lurve
Global Warming Hates Kittens

Cleverly disseminating global warming information, these little kitties have one request:
“Save me from global warming!”

Also qualifying for the “Peculiar Green Post” award is Puma’s collection of shoes representing endangered species.

Now, go forth and be green.

T-Minus 9

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Developing a Social Media Plan For Your Business In 5 Steps

Just read this article and it sounds a lot like what Emil and I presented at the Seattle Podcamp Unconference a few weeks back. We spoke about 3 steps: Listen, Engage, Build a Relationship. In the article below they included "Preparing" and "Measuring" and offer up a bunch of new websites for doing this. All add these new sites into the PR Resources section this week!

Check it out here:

T-Minus 10

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Put Some What? Where?!

In an industry where words are everything, we spend a lot of time counseling our clients on exactly which ones to use. When trying to cultivate or support an exact brand image, every word, phrase or punctuation choice is important. Good slogans or taglines support brand recognition and adoption, while bad slogans earn scorn and ridicule from the masses (particularly from those of us in the industry) before passing quickly from our minds.

Good ones are:
GE –We bring good things to life (memorable, succinct, conveys powerful brand messaging about the type and quality of products as well as what they enable)
UPS – What can brown do for you? (underscores their cornerstone value proposition of service, while solidly tying the brand to their logo for added recognition)
Nike – Just Do It (encourages the athletic mindset of “get out there and play or run or race or train or…” and appeals to the spontaneous side of us all)

Bad ones are:
Easily forgotten

On a recent vacation I found myself enjoying a “Pig in a Puppy”* at King’s BBQ in Kinston, NC where I saw signs for their Oink Express food delivery service. Being a fan of the “Pig in a Puppy” and being very interested in learning how to get one delivered to me at home in Seattle, I began flipping through the brochure. Unfolding it all the way, I learned that their tagline (I kid you not) is:

“Put Some South In Your Mouth, Ya’ll!”

Once I got over the misspelled colloquialism and a big case of the giggles, my mind immediately began evaluating the tagline for its validity in driving brand recognition. And while at first, it definitely makes me chuckle, I think it’s a great tagline for King’s BBQ’s Oink Express:
The rhyme is memorable but not obnoxious, it includes a call to action, highlights their key offering of southern food, closing with “ya’ll” lends credibility to their claim of expertise in southern food and endears them to the target audience and the (probably unintentional) double entendre adds intrigue and edge.

So with the combination of good food and a creative tagline, the Oink Express gets two snouts up from me. Next time you’re craving hushpuppies, collard greens or banana pudding, you know who to call for some south in your mouth.

*A “Pig in a Puppy” is a chopped pork barbecue sandwich, where the pig is placed in between two slices of a very large hushpuppy, rather than a bun.

T-Minus 11

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

T-Minus 12

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Tapping Into Americans' Faith in Innovation

One of the toughest issues facing consumers these days is rising gas prices. The people are angry…very angry!

The Wall Street Journal discusses the aggressive marketing strategy used by companies such as ExxonMobil. By painting themselves as part of the solution to our growing energy crisis, oil companies have come under harsh criticism from Greenpeace and other environmental groups.

Don’t shoot me, but higher gas prices may help us in the end because money may be the only motivator which will actually result in a behavior change. How else are we going to get people to drive less, invest in hybrid cars and generally consume less?

$5.00 gas…here we come.

Monday, July 7, 2008

T-Minus 13

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

FriendFeed Is In. Twitter is Out.

Last month Twitter was all the rage, this month it's Friendfeed (Think Twitter on steroids) - what will it be next month? I read somewhere that there are only about three months in an Internet year, which means that by the time I finish this post... nevermind. With technology advancing as fast as it is on the internet and news being thrown at us from every which way it's hard to keep up with it all. This blog post is my attempt to provide you with some more information on FriendFeed and why it might be worth your (or your clients') time to check it out. What makes Friendfeed so hot right now? It's all those Millennials, or those otherwise known as Generation Y. I actually am a Millennial myself so I know a thing or two about it. We are masters of multitasking - texting, emailing and IMing all at the same time is second nature to us. We are digital natives seeking instant gratification where ever we can find it. We live online, it's how we stay connected to friends, peers and other's like us. It's others like us that we're interested in. Enter FriendFeed

According to FriendFeed's site they "enable you to keep up-to-date on the web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing. It offers a unique way to discover and discuss information among friends. " "On FriendFeed, you and your friends contribute to a shared stream of information - information that you care about, because its from the people that you care about." If I didn't know any better, I'd think they were talking directly to me and perhaps, just maybe, the 75 million other Millennials out there.  So lets say you are currently blogging and are active on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. FriendFeed will allow you to create a feed for all of these online services in one place and share your content from all these sites with your friends and others. Check out this article on PRWeek that talks about how PR professionals can utilize FriendFeed for their clients. 

So where is FriendFeed headed? The same place Google, Facebook and any other self-respecting social search site is headed. According to Steve Ruble, all of these sites will "build businesses around social contextual search advertising" which will allow me to search for content created by my peers, people I trust. Danny Sullivan calls this, Search 4.0: The Human Factor. This basically means that search engines, like Google and FriendFeed, will be serving up data custom-tailored to you. 

Keep an eye on FriendFeed, many predict it will replace Twitter. I'd love to hear your ideas for using it to interact with consumers and reporters.

United at Seattle's Unconference

It was a time of firsts. It was my first time at UW. It was Seattle’s first Podcamp. It was Sydney’s first time spending more than 5 minutes in the same room as me. It was also the first time that certain agencies ever heard of us. We did PR for the Dalai Lama, you might have heard of us?
Anyways, Sydney and I recently attended an unconference at University of Washington. Although I have reason to believe that the term "unconference" is only used so that event organizers don't actually have to do much in terms of structure, it turns out that there are some merits to it. If someone expressed interest in learning how to distribute podcasts, they needed only to ask and an impromptu session would be organized on the spot. It was a very cool way for people to get exactly what they want from the event, while still maintaining some semblance of order.
We presented an overview of Do’s and Don’ts for blogger engagement, which we basically boiled down to Listen, Engagement, Relationship. Although we had to scrap our School House Rock theme song and dance that would likely accompany this presentation, it still went down without a hitch. Our presentation can be found here.
Other agencies were present and talked on a variety of similar subjects as well. Unfortunately, given the nature of the “unconference” it was impossible to see everything, but some highlights from other presentations are below:

A preso on twitter and why you should use it

Social Media and PR

Communication in an Always-On World

T-Minus 18

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.

Ad Agency Nerdgasm

When Cyberdyne isn't ignorantly plotting mankind towards destruction via Judgement Day with its creation of Skynet, they need to drum up some new business just like the rest of us. I mean, its not like creating Terminators and flabby Arnold look alikes is gonna be able to sustain business forever. That's why they use ads like this one, to show you that they too are Building Our Future...Today! Too bad nobody ever told them that their money would be better spent making terminators that can write press releases, track and engage blogs, and search and destroys bad rumors.
This is actually the genius side project of ad agency GiantIdeas, who have an ongoing series of Geek Ad Wednesdays where they mock up ads for fictional mega-corporations from various movies and shows such as Lost, Bladerunner, Terminator and Jurassic Park. It does an excellent job of showcasing their creative talent and technical skills as well as highlighting their sense of humor and personality. Something to consider as we wrap up our marketing materials for the office and continue looking into other creative ways to show ourselves off to the local Cyberdynes.
Who wants to help me host a podcast interview with the Joker about how he's always been so successful at promoting his brand identity.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

T-Minus 19

The unofficial countdown to my wedding.