A discussion on the tactics and strategies that can be used in some of the most competitive market sectors on the web (ie gambling not video games!).

Chair: Richard Gregory

Nick Garner (Unibet)

James Lowery (Latitude)

Nick kicks off the session by talking about word of mouth marketing and how it is often undervalued. In our word endless conversations are going on around a range topics. A brief history of this is provided. In today’s environment we get information from a wide range of sources.

Nick goes onto talk about Ubinet and the number of employees it has and its geographical spread. Employees are thinly spread all over the world, so Nick asks how they get so many international customers. He goes on to talk numbers which we don’t have to hand at the moment but he does mention the high cost of acquiring new customers. So in essence word of mouth is a cheap and powerful approach for them.

12 awesome WOM facts:

– 67% of all consumer decisions are primariry influenced by word of mouth

– 93% of customers identify WOM as the best, most reliable source about ideas and information on products – up 26pts vs 25 years ago. Nick tells us how this is becoming more powerful online.

– 74% of people hearing a personal, negative recommendation were influenced to buy another brand. This shows the power of reviews.

– Only 3.4% of face to face WOM conversations are stimulated by a marketing organisations promotional activity (Journal of Services Marketing)

– 1 out of every 7 social conversations are word of mouth based (Northeastern University)

– 44% of consumers claim to avoid buying products that overwhelm them with advertising. You spam people, they walk away

– 90% trust their spouse, 65% trust their friends. Only 27% trust manufactures, Only 14% trust advertisers. Shows the importance of social circle

– Where does word of mouth happen? Answer: everywhere. With Whom? In your family 88.9%, in your social network 77% etc

– 500 – 1500 is the number of weak ties we have in our lives (colleagues, associates etc). – easier to reach people than ever before

– The composition of your customer base involvement: 20% – referrers – 10% – Advocates – 1% – Zealots

– As of 2006 77% of WOM is face to face

– 7,500 number of committed, talented word of mouthers you would need to send your message with, so that every single Canadian would hear about it in 12 weeks

– WOM ‘memes’ spread like a virus. A graphic showing the spread of the MRSA virus. Provide interesting and powerful content.

How can you do WOM?

5 T’s of WOM

– Talkers

Find people who will talk about you. Fans, existing customers, friends, bloggers, employees etc

– Topics

Give people a reason to talk. Behave properly and provide great service, special offers, cool product, great ad etc

Doing things. Build up a knowledge base and provide it to people.

– Tools

Help the message spread faster and further. Eg. tell a friend, viral email, refer a friend etc

– Taking Part

Join the conversation. Nick is interested in social CRM’s and goes on to talk about there importance. Tactics include reply to comments, post on blogs, join discussions, answer emails etc.

– Tracking

Measure and understand what people are doing. Check out Jim Sternes book on Social Media Metric. He talks in particular about the different KPI’s.

Spend you time on looking after your customers and they will do the selling for you.

——— End of Talk ———-

James takes to the floor and begins talking about expanding and understanding your audiences. Many sources of deomgraphics data including hitwise. If you know who is of most value to you, you can target them. Finding these can be achieved through social media conversations and a whole range of channels. You can then use this to build more meaningful/useful content.

Where do your costumers come from? Which sources convert best? Tracking this data is crucial as you can do more with these channels and types of customers. Once you find them you should build much richer pages.

What do customers want from your site? You need to understand what works best for them and what provides the best long term value. Life time engagement is much more valuable. Also look at what times of year, day or week customers convert best.

Post blog posts inline with your customers reading/browser habits. This is inline with the caffeine update as posts get indexed extremely quickly these days.

——— End of Talk ———-