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

WOMM is #1 source of local business recommendations

Search Engine land published the third installment of their Local Consumer Review study. Its a great read and offers some interesting insights into WOMM. We highly recommend any marketer reads this study.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 77% of respondents said they had shared a recommendation through word-of-mouth in the past year
  • men use a greater number of channels for their local business recommendations than women (1.53 vs. 1.33)
  • Women are more likely than men to have shared a recommendation by word-of-mouth (78% vs. 74%)
  • Men are more likely to have shared via Facebook (34% vs. 32%) and Twitter (12% vs. 7%)
  • When citing reasons for recommending businesses, women are more likely than men to hone in on reliability and professionalism (68% vs. 62%), friendliness (50% vs. 39%), the existence of a special offer (46% vs. 27%), and a unique and original experience (44% vs. 25%)
  • Consumers seem to be increasingly influenced by offers. This year, 2 in 3 said they would be more likely to recommend a local business to people they know if the business has a good value offer or discount.
  • Also check out the chart below to see how the genders responded to incentives for receommendations.

Cage Match: Pinterest v. Facebook

As always, Giga Om is on the money with a nice comparison of the two hottest social platforms. The highlights:

  • Pinterest users spend WAY more but dont hang around much after they buy.
  • Facebook users spend much more time on the site

The infographics do all the work:

 

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!

Synopsis: Online Female Influencers 101

When you are talking about folks who influence purchase decisions via word-of-mouth marketing, no conversation is complete without talking about female influencers. These ladies have the power, energy and influence to get people excited about what they recommend and they do it because they genuinely enjoy helping out and being known as an expert.

Once again, emarketer has pushed out some very interesting data from AOL and Bovitz Research Group in an article called "How female influencers communicate online".

Some quick highlights for your skimming pleasure:

  • The smallest groups overall were the most active online and contributed the most to online word-of-mouth.
  • Social expressionistas, which make up just 8% of the online female population, were overwhelmingly the most likely to say that they use the internet as a way to express their views and that they interact online with people like themselves. (According to AOL, the social expressionista “defines herself as using the web to connect with others and to express her views, her art, and her projects.”)
  • Other groups, like shopsessives (7%), businesswireds (15%) and alpha trendsetters (13%) liked spreading the word about brands more, but the research suggested they were somewhat less likely to do so on the web.
  • Social expressionistas' love of spreading the word online translates to a love of social networking sites. Nearly nine in 10 social expressionistas said social networks were their favorite type of site, 13 percentage points above the next group, alpha trendsetters. Social networks are vital to them as the location where they interact with like-minded people and express their views.
  • According to the report, the best way for marketers to encourage buzz among social expressionistas is to make them part of a dialogue and give them the opportunity to play with brand assets and use them to create their own content

 

So what does this mean for marketers and influencers? Pretty simple, actually:

To harness the power of the female influence voice, you need to get them access to your product, give them them means to promote easily and quickly, and to get them over the hump, you should consider giving them some additional incentives for talking product...things like discounts or commissions on sales are always effective.

Marketers, feel free to reach out to us if you want to set up a campaign.

Ladies, you are always welcome as a RevenueNation Brand Advocate. Click here to sign up for the beta...

 

Some Data on Connected Moms

We love smartphone-toting Moms here at RevenueNation.  They are very influential and are very well respected by their peers when it comes to recommendations of products...

The folks at eMarketer have some data about connected Moms from Baby Center that we think the RevenueNation would be interested in seeing:

  • Nearly six in 10 moms have a smartphone, vs. 50% of all internet users. Overall, 62% of mom respondents told BabyCenter they use the mobile internet regularly, up from 22% just two years ago.
  • Mothers were significantly more likely to access games, social media and health information, and somewhat more likely to check the weather, listen to music or shop via mobile.
  • Moms were below average on accessing content like maps, productivity tools, and financial and business information, suggesting they’re sticking to activities to help—or help occupy—their families.
  • Activities like these lead smartphone-owning moms to spend an average of 6.1 hours a day with their phone, compared to 2.5 hours among moms with only a feature phone.
  • smartphone-owning moms considered ads with coupons (55%) or that featured nearby deals (34%) most appealing 

Here is a synopsis of what Moms are up to on their phones:

What brand marketers expect from their social followers

Another good one from the folks at eMarketer. They pulled together some data from a research shop regarding the expectations brand marketers have regarding their social followers:

According to a July 2010 survey of social media marketers by Millward Brown and Dynamic Logic, the most valuable aspects of social media brand fans go beyond anything with an immediate monetary value. Increased short-term and long-term spend on the brand were the bottom two results.

At the top of the list were the fan’s value as a source of insight and increased loyalty overall. Advocacy and engagement were also important to at least three-quarters of respondents.

Whats most intriguing is the third line of the following graphic. "An increased chance of advocacy/recommendation". To us at RevenueNation, this is the sweetspot. We think that every brand -- large or small -- will eventually create strategies and tactics to build and monitor their own online Word of Mouth marketing just like they do for search and display.

Obviously, we don't feel that just having a facebook or twitter page is a strategy in and of itself. We think brands should engage in consciously designed and architected word of mouth campaigns leveraging dedicated tools set up expressly for this purpose (ahem: RevenueNation).

As we roll our product out of our test phase, we look forward to engaging directly with brands and advertisers looking to their online Word-of Mouth programs just like they run SEM or display campaigns: simply, accurately and with tools to monitor their efficacy.

If you are an advertiser interested in participating in our beta, click here. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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!

Social Media More Influential Than Paid Media In Influencing Car and Tech Purchases

 

It's no secret that we believe that recommendations and word-of-mouth are a big influence on purchasing decisions, so we love it when data is published that backs up our thesis.

This little tidbit comes to us from the folks at research firm S. Radoff Associates. This is a direct quote from Sandy Radoff herself:

“While offline word of mouth plays a significant role in large-ticket item purchases, the impact of online word of mouth from consumer reviews, blogs and social networks has consistently increased over the past five years,” remarks Sandy Radoff, President of S. Radoff Associates.

...and some of the numbers:

The study traces a direct relationship between brands’ presence in social media and their sales. Consumers are four times more likely to point to social media sources influencing their car purchases made in the past year than paid media (21 percent vs. 5 percent). Social media has been more influential than paid media for technology purchases as well (26 percent vs. 7 percent).

We applaud the study and the publication of it so more marketers realize the power of online word-of-mouth marketing...and reach out to us when they want to talk!

ATTN Marketers: "most brand-related chatter, both online and offline, is positive"

Thats a direct quote from this emarketer article about how word-of-mouth is viewed favorably by consumers Here are some other great pullouts:

"positive buzz carries more weight with consumers, according to research from Keller Fay Group."

"the firm found about two-thirds of word-of-mouth brand references were “mostly positive.”"

Two-thirds of study respondents thought positive word-of-mouth was credible... Positive information was also more likely to be passed on to others, more than twice as likely to get people to look for more information, and had nearly four times the chance of pushing consumers to make a purchase."

"Children’s products and food brands tended to get the most positive mentions, while net advocacy on behalf of companies in the telecommunications, financial services and healthcare industries was lowest."

"The Keller Fay research supports findings by women-focused marketing and communications firm Harbinger, which reported a greater motivation to share good brand experiences than bad ones among female internet users in North America" 

Safe to say we agree with the above and look forward to the forthcoming interest in this channel. We are here for you, marketers! Also, marketers, click here for a great presentation from the Keller Fay Group regarding the VALUE of word-of-mouth conversations

Why marketing "the cloud" is good for word-of-mouth marketers

The current mainstream trend of using "the cloud" (in this case used as consumer web-services) in marketing messages to let folks know they can get their stuff backed up and accessed out on the interwebs (Microsoft and others) is helping generate awareness for the power of the web to make anyone's life more easy and relevant.

By getting folks in the mindset of using the cloud more as a part of their everyday workflow, people see that the real value of the cloud (the internet) is more than the utilities of cloud storage, backup, etc. The mainstream is seeing the social benefit from the mindset shift towards leveraging the wisdom of the crowd in the cloud to share, network, and get recommendations from folks they interact with in "the cloud".

By making cloud services socially efficient, more and more are seeing recommendations and associated links become their primary driver of purchase decisions. For marketers, this change in behavior from machine recommended (search engines) to human recommended (social) creates a marvelous opportunity and a large responsibility.

Brands that wish to leverage this change will need to be more transparent, less 'markety' and will have to learn to harness the wisdom of the crowd in the cloud by properly incentivizing and empowering the crowd with tools to share their thoughts and recommendations with friends. The benefits will be huge for those that adopt and accommodate this trend.

As a business that was founded on the principal that online word-of-mouth recommendations will power more purchase decisions than traditional marketing, we look forward to the coming future where brands and customers alike can benefit mutually from transparent and "liquid" product recommendations in the cloud.

44% of Social use is for customer acquisition/customer Loyalty

More recent eMarketer research bearing out the fact that more brands are looking to Social Media to increase their customer acquisition efforts. The data points to the fact that 44% of Social Media activity is for acquisition or loyalty.

These goals are certainly on our minds as well. We believe that the use of personal recommendations should be very rewarding for both brands and those who recommend them. RevenueNation is setup so that Brands can easily and safely setup word-of-mouth campaigns that empower our brand Advocates to share brands and receive benefits for doing so.

The net result for the brand is "free" impressions...in that even if the link to the product isn't used to buy, the brand receives a very relevant impression via the recommendation. If the recommendation is used to buy, Brands get a sale, the recommender gets a cash benefit and the Brand builds loyalty as their discount is extended to the person that recommended the brand.

So you see the RevenueNation solution is both a customer acquisition and a brand loyalty solution for smart advertisers that recognize the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Clearly there are more of these smart marketers every day, as the eMarketer data illustrates:

 

If you are one of these small or large brands looking to simply setup an easy way to leverage the power of word-of mouth marketing, click here and we will get right back to you with details

 

 

 

The Role of Influencers in Online Word of Mouth Marketing

A March 2010 eMarketer article cites some great data from a research report called “The Influencer: A Consumer Voice with Legs,” a white paper from ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting. The net-net is that influencers seek to influence others using any media format and they generally recommend products in areas they are interested in.

A couple quotes from the eMarketer article:

The report described influencers’ desire to participate in word-of-mouth as “inherent,” and noted that influencers often restricted themselves to talking about only those product categories that were personally important to them. For example, a new child gets moms interested in the baby products category, and they go on to become passionate advocates within that category.

Most fascinating is this excerpt from eMarketer:

Social media marketers may hope to get influencers on board as online brand advocates, but most word-of-mouth still happens offline.

We feel that the heavy weighting to offline recommendations is a result of the lack of tools that allow influencers/brand advocates to EASILY make online recommendations to friends using direct links to the products they feel strongly about. We also feel that if influencers see a monetary benefit to recommending the brands they are passionate about, that they will be more active online and be more loyal to the brands they do recommend.

Our above bias is the reason why we created the RevenueNation program and our mission is to provide simple tools help empower and engage these influencers to more actively recommend brands online. 

We look forward to the years ahead as RevenueNation helps Word of Mouth brand advocacy explode online.