Matt Morrison explains why social media is inherently marketing resistant

October 29, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Events | 3 Comments
Tags: influence, porter novelli, social media marketing, word of mouth

There was a sense in the room, at our WOM UK espresso briefing yesterday morning, that Global Head of Digital for Porter Novelli Matt Morrison (aka @mediaczar) was saying what many marketers are secretly realising but few are brave enough to admit: that pushing brand messages in social media doesn’t work.

WOM Espresso 1

After the packed room of agency professionals, brand execs, academics, and interested civilians had had their fill of coffee, croissants and networking, Matt explained the different ways in which PN have attempted to model the influence of individuals in social media in order to push brand messages – and just how inadequate those models have proved to be.

In his presentation (embedded below), Matt looked at the elements that make someone influential in a network – their popularity (otherwise known as reach), their betweenness (how central they are in connecting others), their homophily (how they flock together with likeminded folk) and their susceptibility (how persuadable they are) – and demonstrated how PN created visual maps of influence for key individuals. However, he also discussed how impossible it is in practice to truly track our influences. Most social media campaigns simply result in an unsustained and isolated  ’hiccough’ of activity thanks to the inevitable clash between brand self-interest and the motivations of their customers.

This isn’t to say the conclusions were entirely bleak. Matt agreed that an ethical and authentic word of mouth approach, which puts the messages and needs of the consumer before those of the brand, and relies on listening and co-creation rather than one-way broadcasting, is both effective and inspiring. The problem is instead the reluctance of brands to value this approach, or invest the required budget in a fully sophisticated WOM strategy.

The takeaway message was that education is essential – brands must understand what truly effective and consumer-focused word of mouth means, and costs, if they are to have any meaningful engagement in social media. Until then, many agencies will get away with cheap, pointless viral campaigns that give WOM a bad name. For me, it was an empowering endorsement of WOM UK’s mission to provide education and professional and ethical development.

This is what we love to see in our espresso briefings – provocative issues and challenges aired in a safe space where those interested in WOM can illuminate and debate what’s really happening in the industry. Look out for November’s espresso being hosted by Face, and come along to hear Dr Martin Oetting on November 18th if you want a taste of just how powerful WOM marketing – done the right way – can be.

November WOM Thought Leader event: Dr Martin Oetting discusses The Ripple Effect: Driving word of mouth with empowerment

October 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Events | 4 Comments
Tags: martin oetting, social media marketing, the ripple effect, wom uk, word of mouth marketing

On 5pm Wednesday 18th November join us for our monthly WOM thought leadership event when Dr Martin Oetting will present ‘The Ripple Effect: Driving word of mouth with empowerment’, followed by discussions and networking over a glass of wine.

martinAcademics have been researching word of mouth since the 1950s, yet few have tried to find out how to actually stimulate it. Having studied the past 60 years of WOM research, Dr Oetting made the fascinating discovery that companies can create ripple effects if they treat customers and consumers like their best employees – empowering them and making them part of the marketing process. Combined with the tools of the social web, from Facebook to blogs, this becomes a powerful recipe for marketing in the 21st century – and Dr Oetting will show you how.

Martin Oetting is partner and Chief Research Director at word-of-mouth marketing network trnd (Munich/Barcelona). ‘Ripple Effect’ is his doctorate dissertation, newly published by Gabler (Science), and you can read a recent interview with him at SocialMediaBiz here.

In line with the social, conversational spirit of WOM UK sessions, the presentation will be FREE TO ALL and take place from 5-6.30pm with discussion and networking continuing afterwards over a glass of wine from 6.30-8pm (and really inspired individuals are welcome to join us in a local pub after that!) The event is being held at Grey, The Johnson Building, 77 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8JS, and we’d like to thank Grey for very generously sponsoring the event.

Pre-register with [email protected]. WOM UK members get first refusal, so hurry – this is one not to be missed.

Member profile: Steve Barton of OgilvyOne and Advokator

October 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Member profile | Leave a Comment
Tags: ogilvyone, social media marketing, steve barton, wom uk, word of mouth marketing

Welcome to our new series of Member Profiles blog posts, intended to give you an insight into who’s behind the association and what they’re currently up to. These are the people who are leading the educational and ethical agenda of WOM UK, and who provide ongoing talks, workshops and consultancy for our members, so come along to our next event and say hi.

steveFirst up is Steve Barton, the ex-President and now Treasurer of WOM UK who has been central to the establishment and development of the association. Steve grew up in Rocky River, Ohio, and graduated from Brown University in 1984 with a degree in Organisational Behaviour and Management. He arrived on the international marketing scene in 1990 when OgilvyOne transferred him from New York to London, and since then, he has managed international communications and developed award award-winning strategies for a number of blue chip companies; Microsoft, Save the Children, Compaq, IBM, Kodak, VSO, Holiday Inn, Kellogg’s, Unilever and Zurich Inusrance are just a few.

Steve blends strategic insight with entrepreneurial drive. He has successfully started up a number of communications agencies in London, including Jones Mason Barton Antenen, Leonardo (for Leo Burnett), and Keevill Barton Kershaw. Steve returned to Ogilvy in 2008 as Global Brand Partner on the Zurich Insurance business. He is also a director of word of mouth marketing company Advokator and a Non Exec Directory for digital agency Maynard Malone.

He is a regular keynote speaker and chair at conferences around the world on such topics as word of mouth marketing, digital and direct marketing. He runs workshops at corporate events for the likes of Royal Mail, IBM, Orient Express Hotels, and Celerant Consulting. And he can be seen regularly in the media – Campaign, Marketing, CNBC Money Wheel, BBC2 Working Lunch and Skynews.

You can catch Steve speaking at Media140 in London on Monday 26th October; hear him talking about his presentation at AudioBoo. He’ll also be attending our next WOM UK Espresso Briefing on Wednesday 28th October, where Porter Novelli are presenting on Social network analysis: approach and case studies. All our briefings are free, so click here for full details and to register for a place – there’ll be plenty of time to talk WOM over a coffee and croissant before the briefing with Steve and the other WOM UK crew.

OK, so it’s a bit of a WOM UK sales pitch

October 14, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Posted in News | Leave a Comment
Tags: Ethics, membership, professional development, social media marketing, wom uk, word of mouth marketing

We’ve just produced a shiny new one-pager outlining the membership benefits and levels of WOM UK, so it seemed only fair to bring it to your attention. Seriously, if you’re interested in the word of mouth industry and you haven’t yet joined the agencies, brands, data bureaux, research firms, academics, and social media movers and shakers already taking full advantage of our professional and ethical development resources and events (see our list of current members here), you’re missing out on a very vibrant scene. We’ll help you stay at the frontline of the marketing revolution, and this is definitely the time to get involved.

Download our PDF below and email [email protected] to ask any questions, sign up, and make sure you’ll get everything you need out of WOM UK.

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