OCTOBER 14, 2011 – While promoting a product through word of mouth may seem like an activity that is beyond marketers’ control, Derick Jose argues on the BeyeNetwork that analytics and other forms of market research can give companies a better idea of how consumers influence each other.
“A firm understanding of the drivers of word-of-mouth behavior sets the stage for increasing the revenue contribution from the digital platforms,” Jose writes. He says that many companies are trying to make deeper connections with customers and get them to be more responsive, and they are turning to social media and other digital platforms to do so.
Three of the main drivers of word-of-mouth (WOM) behavior are email referrals, posts going viral on Twitter and friends making recommendations via Facebook, Jose explains. He adds that these have been made more powerful thanks to reliance on digital media, the level of trust consumers grant to those they consider friends, and the fact that once a platform has gained the status of trusted source for the buyer, he or she becomes more likely to be influenced by the brand.
Once a company has created a social media presence and has reached out to consumers, it needs to be able to track the effectiveness of those efforts and calculate its return on investment. How many sales resulted from one Facebook fan commenting that he loved a product? How many consumers converted to a brand because someone they follow on Twitter wrote a 140-character post praising the company? These are questions that may be answered by conducting market research and analyzing click-through metrics, page views and other measurements.
Being able to first gather and then sort through all the data a company collects on its various customer demographics is critical to informing campaigns and marketing strategies down the line.
“Big Data is here to stay and if you are going to tackle it head on, you need an understanding of everything that happens before, during and after every interaction,” stated digital analyst Ross Jenkins, the analytics and innovation vice president at RAPP New York. “At the end of the day it’s not about delivering a report – it’s about using data to differentiate the way we communicate with consumers.” He made the comments in a statement announcing the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, an event that will be hosted by Rising Media in New York from October 17-21.