Talktrack study proves the power of word of mouth in brand promotion
The TalkTrack study, funded by Starcom MediaVest Group, News International and ESPN, is the first ever comprehensive word of mouth study in the UK.
It found that the average consumer mentions brands in 10 conversations a day. Most conversations take place face-to-face, but the internet is still an important influencer of word of mouth. Media and marketing, especially advertising, play a key role in driving word of mouth brand advocacy.
TalkTrack, which tracked more than 14,000 conversations by 2,500 people in May 2010, now delivers a clear understanding of the nature of brand conversations, detailing who, what, when and where they are taking place, allowing brands exclusive access to valuable information across many sectors.
It found that, despite conventional wisdom, 81% of brand conversations actually take place face-to-face, with an additional 11% on the phone, and just 7% online. However the study still shows the internet to be crucial in the mix of media driving word of mouth brand advocacy. In fact, the study found that 47% of brand conversations mention media of some kind, with the internet leading the way (15%), followed by TV (13%), newspapers (5%), magazines (4%), radio (2%) and posters (1.5%). It also shows that where online is mentioned, consumers are more likely to seek further brand information – 30% are ‘highly likely’ as opposed to 20% when the internet is not mentioned.
From a marketing perspective, TalkTrack discovered that advertising is still the number one driver of brand mentions (17%), followed by programming/ editorial (11%), websites (10%), POS (8%), promotions (5%), social media or online reviews (4%) and direct mail (4%). Additionally, the study discovered that 67% of conversations that contain a media or marketing reference also include a recommendation to buy, as opposed to 51% without these mentions, and the young and educated are more like to reference media or marketing.
Added to all that, the study identified an influential group of brand advocates, officially named Conversation Catalysts™ by Keller Fay, the specialist company that conducted the research. In all, around 8% of the community falls into this group, a group more likely to earn over £55k per annum, be degree educated and have a professional occupation. Conversation Catalysts™ will usually have a social network twice the size of the average consumer; they mention twice as many brands per week and are twice as likely to give advice.
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