Monday, February 2, 2009

Word of Mouth Spread - February 2nd Class

Hello everyone, here are my notes for today's class.

Today we had Steve Knox from Procter and Gamble’s Tremor division talk to us about Word of Mouth Advocacy over conference call. Steve has worked there for 31 years and ran Tremor for 8 years. Tremor is the world’s largest consumer research division in the world.

There is a misperception about where social word of mouth is taking place.

Actually, only 15% of conversations are happening digitally (digital is a small portion of social media), 85% of conversations are conversations, phone calls etc. I found this to be an eye opening statistic as I believed most conversations now happen over text, emails, and online websites such as Facebook. This made me realize that for our group projects, we need to do more than just set up Facebook groups, or send out emails.

Steve also talked about the product adoption curve which shows different groups of users ranging from innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards. P&G targets “Connectors” (10%-15% of consumers) who are trend spreaders which is different from trend setters. Spreaders tend to use the keyword “we” and setters use “I”. A connector talks to 20 to 25 people daily vs. 5 people on average.

You can identify connectors through research in usage behaviors, and demographics.

There is also a difference between the messages consumer wants to hear vs. share. These two are ALWAYS different.

Buzz Marketing (amplification without advocacy) does not drive business results. Advocacy (need to use) vs. Amplification (easy to talk about) and you need advocacy to have effective advertising.

So when do we share ideas? When there is a “disruptive equilibrium” (this razor is so good, I don’t need lotion – Venus Breeze). Consumers talk about brands two reasons:

1. It’s cool

2. I have information that can help you

To spread word of mouth advocacy, Brand Foundational Truth, Disruptive Equilibrium and Buzz Tactics must all be connected.

For more please visit: or

Next, we talked about word associations and how we can redefine “negative” words associated with our cause. An example would be changing the word “death” to “end of life” or “peaceful journey”.

Strategically, this allows people to freely spread ideas and be more comfortable listening and talking about subjects which may make some feel guilty.

Most people who want to “do something” are associated with anger. Fear, Anger, Guilt, Empathy, or Happiness are drivers for action (in that order).

Rest of the class, we met with our PODs for PET Labs to discuss how we can encourage action and word of mouth spread for our causes.

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