Reevoo prove that independent consumer reviews drive sales

May 28, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement | Leave a Comment
Tags: social media, word of mouth, roi, reevoo, consumer reviews, sales

Yesterday’s WOM UK espresso briefing got to the heart of what every brand and marketer wants to know: can word of mouth really drive cold, hard cash?

According to founder and CEO of independent consumer site Reevoo, Dr Richard Anson, the answer is most definitely yes. With the wealth of data from Reevoo itself and their many partnering brands and retailers (such as Kodak, Sharp, Sony, Dixons, Tesco Direct and many more), Richard was able to demonstrate direct links between reviews and sales, as he explained how Reevoo leveraged trust, transparency and impartiality for business benefit.

Richard also shared the insight that Reevoo users seem theoretically willing to share their email addresses with others wanting to talk to them further – a surprising finding considering the prickly debates around online privacy – and that retailers are actually using the reviews to change their activity – reassuring proof that they’re treating word of mouth as more than a lip-service dialogue.

Check out his deck and let us know your thoughts; the packed audience of WOM UK members was certainly full of questions.  One interesting issue raised was whether one damning review could negate a torrent of positive ones; Richard promised to try and do some clever reverse-engineering of his data to see if he could track a trend. There was also a discussion around how to integrate peer-to-peer reviews offline, with suggested tactics including generating them at point of sale via receipts, and photographing barcodes or products themselves to access user generated metadata.

It was great to see the conversation around word of mouth move from the why (which Richard had amply proved) to the how, and there was a sense that this was the tip of the iceberg in proving WOM ROI.

Want more? Be sure to book now for our next event with Mark Earls, author of HERD, on 10th June.

“Word of mouth agencies and clients need to start talking money”

April 30, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research | 1 Comment
Tags: barak libai, CRM, Measurement, roi, social media, social networks, WOM, word of mouth

This week, Professor Barak Libai gave WOM UK members a glimpse into the future of WOM measurement and ROI as he presented his latest research and thinking on the value of consumer conversation.

We were delighted that Professor Libai, Marketing Professor at Recanati Graduate School of Business, Tel Aviv University, and award-winning researcher on the economics of WOM, narrowly escaped ashgate to present to the brands, agencies, fellow academics and students who piled into Grey’s London offices.

He began with establishing the importance of CRM in the past 20 years, and the need to start seeing the value of WOM in CRM terms, focusing on both customer lifetime value (CLV) and social value, and the lifetime and social values of people’s wider networks.

While Professor Libai admitted that there are still big holes in our knowledge of exactly how value creation is achieved through WOM – “we don’t necessarily know how, but we know that before and after, something happened that led to sales” – he also emphasised that the volume of data we now have access to is enormous, and is leading to a revolution in quantifying individual and social contributions.

His own work in simulating social networks to investigate how and why brands WOM spreads, using models from biology and anthropology, prompted questions from a crowd eager to know how accurate these trials could be, and how soon we might see more scientific approaches to measurement.

Professor Libai’s own international perspective also led to a discussion about rates of uptake in different countries, and the session ended with a quick delve into the tricky area of measuring offline WOM before everyone got stuck into the free wine and some relaxed networking.

With Dr Robert East in the audience bringing his perspective to bear on the research, and a real variety of attendees, this was the sort of event we love – challenging, thoughtful and with a real community feel. Big thanks to sponsors Royal Mail and Grey.

Next up, on the 27th May, Richard Anson, Founder and CEO of Reevoo, talks about the value for brands of independent review sites online – make sure you pre-register now.

WOM UK April Thought Leadership event: Professor Barak Libai on ‘Assessing the value of customers’ word of mouth’

April 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment
Tags: barak libai, event, Measurement, Research, roi, social media, WOM

Book now for the first of our great free spring events on Tuesday 27th April, which brings renowned WOM researcher and speaker Professor Barak Libai all the way from Tel Aviv to London to give his latest insights to WOM UK.

The event is being held at Grey, The Johnson Building, 77 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JS from 4.30pm, with the presentation at 5-6 and relaxed discussion, drinks and networking extending until 8pm. It’s essential to pre-register with Julian to reserve your place (WOM UK members get priority).

Assessing the ROI that results from customers’ word of mouth is a key challenge many marketers face today, especially given the plethora of word of mouth programs and social media investments by firms. However, most measures used are simplistic and do not necessarily capture the complex way in which social interactions turn into monetary gains. In ‘Assessing the value of customers’ word of mouth’, Prof. Libai will present the basic approaches to value customers’ word of mouth, highlight some major limitations, and discuss new approaches for understanding the “social value” of customers.

Professor Barak Libai , currently on the marketing faculty of  the Recanati Graduate School of Business, Tel Aviv University, was also Visiting Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management from 2006-2008, and has a Ph.D. in Marketing from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prof. Libai’s research deals with the economic value of customers’ word of mouth, and relevant questions he examines include how different is customer  lifetime value when word of mouth is taken into account; what is the ROI of word of mouth programs; and how advertising effectiveness measurement should take social effects into account.  His research on the economic consequences of customers’ word of mouth has won prizes from The Marketing Science Institute, The American Marketing Association, the International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Service Research, and ESOMAR.

This is bound to be a lively evening of thought leadership and networking, and we look forward to seeing you over a few beers. Big nod to Grey and Royal Mail for generously sponsoring the event.

Has Dr Robert East shown us the future of WOM measurement?

January 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research | 2 Comments
Tags: dr robert east, Measurement, net promoter score, social media, WOM, word of mouth

Wednesday morning’s espresso briefing event certainly drew a big crowd – and a host of questions. It wasn’t surprising, as Dr Robert East’s presentation on the limitations and alternatives to the famous WOM measurement tool Net Promoter Score was provocative and persuasive in equal measure.

As Professor of Consumer Psychology at Kingston University, Dr East has long applied rigorous academic thinking to the contentious world of WOM metrics. He began by looking at the actual impact of positive and negative WOM for brands, something that NPS ignores. His research showed that measuring levels of sentiment is also more complex than it might initially seem, as detractors and promoters may not be as wholeheartedly glowing or derogatory as we assume.

He next moved on to look at the American Customer Satisfaction Index, another popular measure, and questioned the validity of ‘satisfaction’ as determined by the survey – highlighting such important points as the fact that satisfaction is proved to have little correlation with customer retention, and is only one of the causes of WOM.

By proposing a new methodology that takes into account these discrepancies and subtleties, Dr East showed that there could be a way of producing a much more reliable and effective measurement. This was very well received, and prompted a lively debate, with most of the questions circling the perennial problem of measuring essentially emotional and complex data quantitavely, and how to incorporate the differing value of different types of WOM. The issue of offline monitoring was also raised, with Dr East suggesting that examining individual industries and passion groups was the best starting point for gaining deeper insight. Check out the full presentation below.

What is certain is that this is an area that will be central to the growth and strength of the WOM industry in the next few years – and that an injection of funding is badly needed to investigate new systems large-scale. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for Dr East in securing further funding, leave a comment below or get in touch.

Exclusive download of WOMMA 09 Summit materials

January 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Case studies, Events, Measurement, Research | Leave a Comment
Tags: Research, social media case studies, wom uk, womma, word of mouth case studies

Last November’s Summit organised by our US partners WOMMA was one of the most exciting industry idea-sharing and -storming sessions of the year; a collision of brand case studies, new research and trends and academic debates that sparked some deep investigation into where word of mouth marketing currently stands.

WOM UK President Molly attended and posted an overview of what went on, but we’re delighted to announce that all WOM UK members can now download the decks presented by the keynote speakers, along with live videos from the general sessions,  from the WOMMA Member Center here.

All you need is your WOMMA library username and password, provided to every WOM UK member when they join. If you’ve lost track of yours, email Julian and he’ll send it over. And if you don’t have one? Well, joining WOM UK could be just the New Year’s resolution you need…

January Espresso Briefing: Dr Robert East on moving your WOM measurement beyond Net Promoter Score

December 10, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Events, Measurement, Research | Leave a Comment
Tags: consumer behaviour, net promoter score, professor robert east, social media measurement, wom uk, word of mouth measurement

We’re going to kick off the New Year with a corker of an event. At 8.30-10.30am, Wednesday 27th January at Guardian News & Media, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU, Dr Robert East, Professor of Consumer Behaviour at Kingston University, joins WOM UK to discuss: Net Promoter Score is a popular WOM measure but are there better alternatives?

Net Promoter Score is a popular WOM measure for assessing the performance of the brand/company. Along with satisfaction measures, it does predict sales growth. However NPS has several deficiencies as a measure; in particular it fails to measure negative word of mouth. With increasing interest in predicting sales, profits and equity gains, we need customer metrics that do a better job at predicting customer behaviour. In this lively morning event, Dr East will be asking:

  • Why does NPS have shortcomings as a measure for WOM?
  • What are the alternatives and why are they better?
  • What are the implications moving forward?

Dr Robert East is Professor of Consumer Behaviour at Kingston University and directs the Consumer Research Unit in the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is one of the world’s most authoritative and respected leaders in word of mouth, brand switching and loyalty. He is the author of numerous books and articles on consumer behaviour and his research on word of mouth has been pivotal in improving our understanding of the importance of WOM.

All our Espresso Briefings are FREE and include breakfast and networking. To register for a place please email [email protected] – members get priority booking.

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