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Posts Tagged ‘the guardian’

The Guardian’s new Word of Mouth database identifies influential people

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

This morning I hosted a WOM UK Espresso Briefing where The Guardian’s commercial director Chris Pelekanou and ad planner Katherine Miall unveiled their new Word of Mouth database. By combining existing thinking around what makes people influential with their own piece of qual and quant research, they have developed a communications planning tool in the form of a database which allows companies and advertisers to understand the type of people they will want to target to ensure their content is rapidly and widely spread. Check out their presentation below.

It’s understandably oriented towards showing advertisers that Guardian readers are a particularly influential bunch, but Chris and Katherine hope that it will become integrated into media planning, helping advertisers to identify who will carry their message best.

There were two big questions raised by this for me. One was: but do these influential people trust advertisers – or each other? The model is based around pushing brand-created content, while social media is moving towards UGC. How keen are these socially savvy trendsetters to be seen pushing corporate messages? Chris’ intelligent response was that many influencers simply see brand content as one other piece of information – to be tested and repurposed, but to certainly form part of their melting pot of influences. It’s a good point, but there’s more work to be done investigating this, when so much research tells us of our increasing mistrust of advertising as consumers.

The other was: can they prove that this spread of content actually leads to action? These people are influential in repurposing and disseminating your message, but how influential are they in actually getting you a sale? Are there particular traits of character or behaviour that make their information make others act upon it?

You can see full details of their methods and findings here. It’ll be interesting to see how the model is adopted, and I’ll be keeping in contact with Chris and Katherine to see how it develops. We’ll keep you updated…

Essential WOM events from The Guardian and Emmanuel Rosen

Monday, September 21st, 2009

There’s a lot of buzz around word of mouth marketing, but many businesses and agencies are crying out to be educated on what this industry is really about, what it can do for them, and how they can get involved. That’s why I’m delighted to announce a couple of London-based upcoming events organised by WOM UK which will give two exciting and accessible perspectives on the WOM landscape as it stands.

First up on 8.30am Wednesday 30th September, The Guardian present their new word of mouth research study and communications planning tool that provides a practical framework for identifying influential people. Kicking off with breakfast and lasting until 10am at Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, it’s an easy chance to squeeze in some learning, as well as some networking with top WOM practitioners, at the start of your day. Free to all; email julian.ferguson@womuk.org to sign up.

Then on 8.30am Wednesday 7th October, Emmanuel Rosen talks about ‘The Anatomy of Buzz (Revisited)’, the newly updated version of his WOM guide which topped the bestseller lists in 2001 and became an instant international classic. Drawing on his own experiences in high tech as well as hundreds of interviews with consumers, researchers and marketing executives, Emmanuel will discuss proven techniques for stimulating buzz. It’s another morning session lasting until 10.30am at Ogilvy & Mather, 10 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14 4QB. Free to WOM UK members, £10 for everyone else; email julian.ferguson@womuk.org for a place.

As sponsors, we’ll be attending, blogging and fuelling discussions, so come along and say hi.