Digital Savvy Hispanics get and give advice

Transient

A great article on MediaPost's Research brief blog outlines the ways the Hispanic population is using digital media and technology in their lives. 

Click on over to see the whole post and the data, here is a juicy tidbit to wet your appetite:

Word of Mouth in the digital age is no longer neighbors talking over the fence, and Hispanics appear to be embracing digital means. While face-to-face remains the #1 way for them to give or seek advice about products and services, things like email, text and mobile are making their way on the list.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/181098/digital-savvy-hispanics-getgive-advice.html#reply#ixzz24NpySKhw

Moms Rule the web!

A recent article in the Atlantic outlines the power Mom's have in the blogoshpere.

You should read the whole post here, but here is a choice bit of information:

"Women are the major users of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Pinterest, and every social media site except YouTube. They are engagers. They are sharers. It is natural to a women's personality to say why she buys something and why she like it. Women love to share news about the bargains that they got. They love deals and they love to talk about it."

Influence illustrated

The folks over at social media today and Awareness pulled together an infographic from their recent whitepaper.

The whitepaper a great read and worth the time (if you have it). If you don't, the image can serve as your cliff's notes. Happy Reading!:

The other way to boost recommendations: (hint: Steve Jobs made billions with this)

It usually goes without saying that if you build a great product, you'll get your share of word-of-mouth recommendations. Seems pretty obvious, right?

The irony is tht there are a LOT of small and large brands out there who only give this lip servcie and don't live the mantra. If you truly want your product to be your marketing, you need to commit to a grea product and a great product experience.

Recent work by Temkin Group reveals some data to support this:

The most telling quote: 

Satisfied customers are not only more likely to recommend customers, but also more likely to purchase again from them in the future.

You should also check out their self assesment form to see how you are doing. Its a worthwhile excercise to get your team thinking about delivering great customer experiences so you can enjoy the power of word-of-mouth.


Brand advocacy in B2B businesses

If you havent seen B2B magazine's recent article on Word-of-mouth in B2B companies, you should check it out. Here are the highlights of the article:

  1. Identify your strongest customers by asking them how likely they are to recommend your products. You can use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) from Bain to determine the rating or use your own home grown system
  2. Once you have ID'd these customers, ask them to write a review about their experience with your products 
  3. Once they have written a review, ask them to share it (Facebook is the most popular way folks share these reviews).

Its a very instructive read and the article highlights one of the primary players in the Brand Advocacy space for brands, Zuberance. They have a great solution to create 'advocate armies', put them to work for you, and track the efficacy of your brand's activities.

Experienced Marketers Tracking Purchases from Social Marketing

Ok, so this is a week or so old, but after digging into this post from eMarketer called Experienced Social Media Marketers Add More Goals, Metrics, we found a couple nuggets we thought you should see. The gist of the article is that the more experience a marketer has, the more likely they are to track social channels.

From the below chart, we see that those using social marketing for more than a year are using it to track purchase transactions. Younger marketers are less likely to be concerned with tracking purchases.

A few things come to mind:

 

  1. Once they are using social channels, the more experienced marketers realize the power inherent in social media to get to the purchase, and thus seek for ways to quantify the effects of the social word-of-mouth channel. (30% of the surveyed experienced marketers are tracking purchases. None of the less experienced participants are tracking purchases.)
  2. It might be inferred that inexperienced marketers would seek to track transactions, yet don't yet know of simplified and turn-key ways to track social word-of-mouth. HINT: This is where RevenueNation steps in!
  3. Judging from the trend lines here, it might be assumed that the more experience a marketer has with social, the more likely they are to move even more dollars into the social channel once they are aware of it's efficacy.

 

What does it mean for word-of mouth advocates and marketers? It means that with each passing year, more smaller brands are going to become more experienced with social and begin to pour dollars into the channel due to both its effects on brand awareness and influence on purchasing decisions. Logically, this means more products that have been hiding beneath all the big spend marketing budgets are going to find creative ways to user social marketing to rise above all the noise and generate leads and purchases.

What do you think...are we going to see a big uptick in the number of smaller, less experienced firms that leverage social? Comment away below...

Small businesses love social media!

A quick snippet from emarketer's recent article: Social Marketing’s Benefits Rival Email for Small Businesses

The quote we like the most is this one:

Social media has quickly moved up the ranks of top marketing tactics among small and medium-sized business (SMBs). April 2011 research from Pitney Bowes indicates that by some measures of desirability, it’s in close competition with email.

In pictures:

What do we think this means in the broader perspective?

  • SMB Marketers realize the power of connecting with customers directly via social channels
  • SMB Marketers like the control of the channel and freedom it represents to realize their creativity
  • SMB Marketers are more likely to experiment with the channel to light small marketing fires to see what takes off
  • SMB marketers will look for simple uses of social channels to create buzz and awareness via online word-of-mouth marketing

What does this mean for RevenueNation Advocates?

  • There should be more interest from SMBs for services like RevenueNation 
  • There will likely be more cool new products promoted via social channels, and thus higher earning potential for Brand Advocates!

As always, feel free to chime in on the comments below!

Why Moms refer brands to others

Can't start this one without once again tipping the hat to eMarketer. They have their fingers on the pulse of WOMM and cover the trends brilliantly.

In an article posted today on why Moms recommend products they drill into the incentives that drive Mom'suse of word-of-mouth marketing. A very enlightening quote:

..moms love to trade information and engage in online conversations about themselves and their families. But moms say they would be significantly more inclined to refer a brand or product to friends when offered an incentive. Marketers can boost engagement and motivate moms to spread word-of-mouth about products by providing coupons, discounts, deals and other tangible financial rewards. 

Also, some other highlights:

  • if offered an incentive, nearly 66% of moms said they would be more likely to refer a brand or website to others.
  • The mom segment is made up of vocal, tech-savvy, price-conscious consumers who are an important purchase influencer for families and more apt to use incentives than the average consumer.
  • Moms are highly engaged in brand conversations and are keen on finding bargains and additional ways to save. Incentives, including coupons, local deals, discounts and product samples, serve as a powerful marketing tool to drive moms to discuss and pass information about products on to their network of friends.
  • With wide social circles and a high tendency to communicate and share ideas via word-of-mouth marketing, moms are extremely receptive to brand referrals and product recommendations from their peers.

Moms, like any other savvy internet citizen, will reward the brands that reward them. Just as with offline social networking, the network effect of having an influencer make a word-of-mouth recommendation to their networks of friends can have an exponential impact on who sees and buys a product.

Pretty soon we will have some tailor-made updates to the service that focus on this powerful group of Mommy WOMMers, and we look forward to making them successful!

Data: online vs offline word-of-mouth recommendations

A new article on emarketer today talks about a dip in the amount of word-of-mouth recommendations occurring online. In the article there are some very interesting stats (quoted):

Also of note:

  • "The digital channel used most for product discussions was mobile—when used for conversations, however, not text messages.
  • Only 35% of the overall population, and 56% of the young adult population, talked about products and services on social sites."

 Here also is a nice overview of the methods used in WOMM:

So why would we post about a seeming downturn in online word-of mouth when thats what we do? 

Well, we aim to change the downward trend by making it very easy and rewarding for you to pass recommendations and links to friends online. We maintain that the ease and simplicity that RevenueNation offers will contribute to massive growth in the use of trackable online recommendations over the next few years.

But How?

RevenueNation empowers our Advocates (users) by providing easy tools (our offer catalog, tracking links, and knowledge base) and real incentives (you commissions when your friends buy and you get discounts on the products you recommend). We also provide the tools to send (email links to friends, tweet links, etc) and track your recommendations so you can easily see how much you earn and how often your recs get clicked.

We look forward to helping reverse this trend so advertisers can more confidently use the online word-of-mouth channel and our advocates realize more economic and psychic benefits of using word-of-mouth for profit.

 

Who do you trust?

Gotta start with the quote on this one:

But the human element remains key to engendering trust. Internet users worldwide reported a nearly 50% increase in their trust of social network contacts giving product recommendations, and a 21% increase for microblog contacts.

Another doozy from eMarketer regarding who gives the most trusted recommendations. The smart folks over there pulled together some research about Word-of-Mouth and those that use it. Here are a couple other nice snippets:

Other research tends to support the traditional view that word-of-mouth from friends, family and other peers is still the most trustworthy way of getting information about products and services. Teen influencers toldKetchum in May that friends with their top source of information

and:

But Edelman’s “Trust Barometer” report for 2011 shows, for the second year in a row, an apparent decline in trust of a “person like me” (from 47% in 2009 to 43% in 2011) and a concomitant rise in trust for experts.

So the real question we all need to answer when we wade through our networks and daily reading is: who do we trust to provide recommendations? Perhaps for financial products, it make s sense to take a "pros" word, but maybe with such items as as smart phones and tablets, we are happier with personal recs from our friends? What do you think?

Concerns about Facebook Word-of-mouth ads

 

As you all know back in early February, the folks at facebook launched a word of mouth ad unit. Its great verification of the WOMM channel and its efficacy for sure. But we are skeptical for a few reasons:

 

  1. Facebook pushes a recommendation into a feed of friends (not genuine)
  2. Facebook makes all the money and doesn't share it with you!
  3. There is benefit only to the marketer and not the individual in the circle of friends who's profile is being used to serve the promotion

 

While we are big fans of facebook and the platform, we question the privacy concerns here...as does the author of the article:

While the media have been reporting on the new strategy, users so far haven’t been informed of the development, as they were with the recent layout change to profile pages. And some feel that without offering an opt-out option, Facebook still hasn’t learned its privacy lessons.

This move is a great verification for WOMM, but at ReveneuNation, we don't believe they went far enough...

At some point bigger firms will get the message about making sure folks are compensated for their time, recommendations, and attention. Human signals are just too valuable to ignore because they cut through the clutter.

NOTE: Don't get us wrong, we understand that facebook is free and that we pay for it by seeing ads...

2011 Digital Marketing Outlook: Earned media warming up...even more

Lets start off with a stat from the recent emarketer article about earned media:

24% of agencies plan to significantly increase unpaid or earned media investments in 2011

(A quick reminder: Earned media is any media that allows the customer to become the sales channel where the result of the media investment is conversation between consumers and brands. Think Word-of-Mouth-Marketing). See below for clarification:

This is a large number...one quarter of all agencies will spend significantly more on earned media. One quarter of agency spending is a non-trivial amount of revenue coming to our humble channel. This is great news to those involved in the RevenueNation... we are in the earned media business!

The data is just another point of justification that the online word-of-mouth marketing channel is a large part of marketing's future (and that all of the RevenueNation brand advocates are on the bleeding edge of a movement that is reaching full force!)

We look forward to the continued journey!

The Do Not Track list and the future of marketing

Today, Google released a Chrome browser feature which will allow users to opt out of tracking cookies. A quote from the post:

Today we are building on this work, and that of others, by allowing you to permanently opt out of ad tracking from all companies that offer opt-outs through the industry self-regulation programs. Keep in mind that once you install the Keep My Opt-Outs extension, your experience of online ads may change: You may see the same ads repeatedly on particular websites, or see ads that are less relevant to you. 

So now those consumers that "opt in" to "opt out" are going to see ads that are potentially less relevant to them. Bad for the ad networks, for sure. But I doubt many consumers really care... at this point most of us are banner blind anyway!

But why are we writing about this subject on the RevenueNation blog?

Simple: Personal advice from a trusted source will always cut through the clutter. Accordingly, advice through word-of-mouth will become even more important to those who get that advice (be it the brand or the purchaser). 

Technology will always strive to find the "holy grail" of the perfect pitch and timing for every consumer itch, and we will all reap the rewards of such advancements. But, until we find marketing's Holy Grail, well have to rely on good old fashioned human intelligence to tell us what is good, bad, relevant, or a waste of time.

This is why we come to work in the morning. Our goal is to empower you to participate and profit in the online conversation.

Liking a Brand Versus Being a Brand Advocate

While brands should be thrilled when individuals "like" them on Facebook, they need to be aware that the act of liking by an individual is not an act on the brand's behalf. It's an act by the user to illustrate more about themself and the brands they associate with and enjoy.

Consider the following quote from a recent eMarketer article about the "The Thin Line Between Liking a Brand and Liking Its Social Marketing":

Consumers who “like” a brand as a means to their own self-expression are by definition brand advocates, and the earned media potential for marketers among these enthusiasts is high. But marketers must remember that a desire for marketing messages—even those that include a good coupon or exclusive offer—is not why everyone is connecting.

Users aren't signing up for brand spam or a series of unsolicited messages and brands shouldn't get too cocky with a "like" action. The real gold in social media and word-of-mouth is a proactive recommendation of a product or brand from one friend to another. These recommendations are expressions of belief and require energy exerted on behalf of one individual based on their passion or interest in the brand. Such passion results in word of mouth marketing accounting for 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.

In essence, the "like" is an expression of who the liker is and the profile they want to project, no more. What marketers seek (to contribute to the bottom line) is that individual's proactive recommendation of the brand or product. RevenueNation facilitates these recommendations with our simple system so that brands can benefit from the millions of word-of-mout interactions each day.

 

 

The Power of word-of-mouth keeps Molokai Green

 

This is very cool. Blue Planet Foundation ran a word-of-mouth campaign that saved Molokai $6.5 Million! This is a great example of how word-of mouth marketing can make the world a better (and greener) place. Check out these stats:

The residents save $200 per swap, based on the life of the bulb. Do that calculation during this three-month engagement with the community and this translates to a savings of 17 gigawatt-hours of electricity. What's more, it prevents more than 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide from ever being emitted.

Even more compelling:

Based on a survey from 300 homes, 60% of participants exchanged bulbs and reported a decrease in their energy bill (about $10 a month). Each participant swapped an average of 15 bulbs. Nearly 90% of the participants felt that the program was effective.

As we all know the power of word-of-mouth is undeniable. The simple sharing of a compelling idea with those in our networks can get folks to act. With RevenueNation, you have the power to easily use online word-of-mouth to let folks know about your products or other brands you really love. And because these recommendations come from someone they trust (you!) , your friends will take action and you can reap the rewards!

Please feel free to submit your own success stories as they happen, the rest of us will want to hear what you did and how you got folks to take action!

Mckinsey's views on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

McKinsey recently published an article on measuring word of mouth marketing. Its a great read on the power Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) has on purchases. We found the following paragraph notable:

Indeed, word of mouth1 is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions. Its influence is greatest when consumers are buying a product for the first time or when products are relatively expensive, factors that tend to make people conduct more research, seek more opinions, and deliberate longer than they otherwise would. And its influence will probably grow: the digital revolution has amplified and accelerated its reach to the point where word of mouth is no longer an act of intimate, one-on-one communication. Today, it also operates on a one-to-many basis: product reviews are posted online and opinions disseminated through social networks. Some customers even create Web sites or blogs to praise or punish brands.

Such research and praise coming from such a trusted source tells us more brands are seeking ways to leverage WOMM. RevenueNation seeks to offer easy tools for brands to leverage WOMM with a simple, turn-key solution. By empowering our RevenueNation brand advocates to share and recommend brands and product to their followers and networks, Brands benefit from effectively crowd-sourcing recommendations to trusted and trained Brand Advocates that seek out relevant areas to suggest products and services. 

As we continue to build out our Nation of Brand Advocates, we hope to provide more insight and data on just how effective this marketing channel is at generating purchases!


Thoughts on The Value of Brand Advocacy

 

A recent series of articles have come out to define a cash value of a brand's fans. The numbers are interesting to look at:

 

  • Digital consulting firm Syncapse and research company Hotspex have come up with an empirical formula that puts an average value of $136.38 on the Facebook fans of the site’s 20 biggest corporate brands. (emarketer)
  • Social media management company Vitrue also attempted to put a dollar figure on Facebook followings. That study examined impressions in the Facebook newsfeed and their earned-media value to arrive at a figure of $3.60.
  • Syncapse and Hotspex calculated the earned-media component of a fan’s value nearly twice as highly, at $6.79.
  • More than one-half of Facebook fans said they are more likely to make a purchase for at least a few brands, and 67% of Twitter followers reported the same. (emarketer/Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate)
  • The power of earned media gives a further boost to brands: 60% of respondents claimed their Facebook fandom increased the chance they would recommend a brand to a friend. Among Twitter followers, that proportion rose to nearly eight in 10. (emarketer/Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate)

The interesting points here stem from the power of social media to engage a brand with its fans and provide measurable value. We maintain that the RevenueNation methodology amplifies these activities further, as RevenueNation allows our Brand Advocates to leverage social media to use word-of-mouth to recommend brands and products to friends and followers--thus leveraging social media's power for the highly coveted coveted word-of-mouth marketing channel that brands seek.

Eventually, we will put together research to show how effective our RevenueNation Brand Advocates recommendations are for our advertisers!

 

Some thoughts on 'me media', the new personal publishing paradigm

All of us are publishers now that we contribute to the web with social media tools like Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. Since we all have friends and we all are experts in something, we naturally have ideas to share. In sharing, we advocate ideas, thoughts and even products or services. This type of word of mouth marketing is a very powerful means to move product, so many marketers are seeking a way to gain access to influencers like you who have something important to say.

As you know, Revenue Nation seeks to help us everyday publishers make a little money advocating products, services, and brands we love. Revenue Nation feels that if we are all going to make recommendations to our friends, and those brands benefits, we should get a little somethin' for the effort. So we have kept our model simple to help folks monetize the content they contribute to the web.

Think of us as an easy button for amateur web publishers like you, me and folks who spend time networking and contributing to the web. When we roll out the service, you'll be able to learn how to promote your own business or promote and advocate 3rd party products for profit (we also will provide discounts to our users when they buy products from advertisers in our portfolio). We'll provide you with all the tools necessary to setup and monetize your online activity and we will provide a catalog of offers you can promote while you interact on the web.

We are looking forward to our launch...and we hope you are as well. Please stay tuned here for more news!