Thursday, 7 January 2010

Brand advocacy via (e-)word of mouth can occur at any time...

Many Marketers are slowly beginning to get their heads around the power of word of mouth brand advocacy (or seeing every consumer as an OTT (Opportunity to Talk)).  Great!  And whilst it's easier than ever before to get some sort of handle on what consumers are saying via buzz monitoring / listening tools (of which there are many), it's still a real struggle for them to understand that you can't deliver predictable reach within a given time period like you can on TV.

Which is not to say that reach can't be achieved by Word of Mouth. Wrong. It's harder to predict and to be exact in the measurement but if you are stressing about that you've kind of missed the point.

Consumers will only talk about things that are relevant to them or they believe are relevant to their potential audience when it suits them. And they'll do it in their own way.  Which doesn't necessarily mean repeating what's written on the pack / voiced in the advert.

So to make the point (whilst I am on a snow-related blogging theme)... Yesterday I spontaneously posted this shout out about what I've called "snow chains for shoes" (which is not what they called them on the limited cardboard insert packaging) on Facebook...

Utterly genius product idea, from a brand called YakTrax,that I happened to have tripped over before I headed for the mountains at Christmas, found to be brilliant, and never thought I'd be needing to wear in London anytime soon.

So why did I post it!? Because I was happy to share my brilliant find with my friends, who equally might find them useful especially now that yesterday's snow has frozen and turned a lot of places into lethal skating rinks.  Yes,  I might get some vague intangible recognition / friendship brownie points from my friends for sharing but mostly I did it because I think it's a great product that deserves to be shouted about, and it was contextually relevant.

I also emailed a pile of people (mostly older people not on Facebook), so it was more than just a shout out in one channel to one audience.

Will YakTrax ever be able to attribute an actual value to my promotion of their products. Unlikely. Will they nonetheless have gained awareness from my action.  Certainly.

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