Measuring Word-Of-Mouth

The New York Times looks at the power of word-of-mouth today. While every brand desires this supposed state of marketing nirvana, very few know how to accurately track the activity.

“The majority of word-of-mouth happens in areas devoid of microphones or cameras or any other means of actually tracking conversations,” said Jamie Tedford, senior vice president of media and marketing innovation for Arnold Worldwide, an advertising agency owned by Havas. “It’s the biggest challenge in the industry.”

The article goes on to explain that Kelley Fay Group, new word-of-mouth research firm, is “attempting to demystify chatter in the offline world.” Keller Fay asks people to keep a diary of conversations that mention products or brands and later asks them to recount details. Six months and more than 18,000 people later, Keller Fay is marketing its data to companies as a unique window into consumers’ heads.
On average, Keller Fay finds that people discuss about a dozen brands each day.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.