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May 08, 2008

WOMMA WOMM-U- Jeffrey Graham Keynote

By Simon Heseltine

Jeffrey_grahamWhen Li asked me to write on SMG I jokingly said to her that I'd make sure not to work 'blue'.  With that said, the first session of the WOMMA WOMMU conference that I'm covering was by Jeffrey Graham, the Executive Director of Consumer Insights at The New York Times. amd was titled "Word of Mouth: Marketing's Butt Crack"...  (ok, that was his alternative title, the one published in the agenda was "Using Word of Mouth as a Measure of Advertising Effectiveness").

Given that the most commonly used marketing objectives are branding, direct response and product trial, and that the most common measures of marketing effectiveness are direct response and branding, the interesting fact is that the most influential contact point is Word of Mouth Marketing.

So then the main question is then: If Word of Mouth is so influential, why is the budget and the measurement focussed on other areas such as traditional branding and direct response? 

Jeffrey then walked through why he believes this to be the case, or as he called it, his four butt crack making myths...Butt_crack

  1. You can't influence Word of Mouth
  2. You cant buy it in scale
  3. You can't integrate it
  4. You can't measure it - without measurement the spend goes to measurable forms of marketing

In order to put WOM marketing at the center of media planning, you need to understand media plannning, so he walked through a quick intro to media planning.

  • Determine objectives and targets - Demographics, Psychographics, buying behavior
  • Select the media channels - TV, radio, online, magazine, WOM
  • Develop a short list - Identify the appropriate target groups based on unique audience figures
  • Measure the results - Clicks, signups, sales, effectively some conversion metric.

But the important thing these days is to look at quality, effectiveness, and what drives conversations - the influencers.  These are going to be themes that are no doubt going to be repeated over and over through this conference

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