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Listen to me, I know what I’m talking about

If you are ever in London and want a great place to eat (and can get a table), try dinner at The Ivy. It is a beautiful room, the staff is friendly, and the food’s not bad! It’s one of those British institutions that has to be tried at least once. Convinced? Tempted? Want to know more? Well if you are, this takes me to the point of this blog. Word of mouth recommendations and the power of advocacy.

People talk about brands, categories and services all the time. Not just on social media, but in the real world, with their friends, families and colleagues. Which is why we were at The Ivy last week to present the latest research we’ve done for the inTV group of international TV channels on word of mouth, recommendations and influence.

The purpose of the research was to understand four keys areas:

Frequency of conversations (1). We wanted to know which brands and categories are being talked about across Europe. Tone of voice (2). When people talked about brands, did they talk positively or negatively; and how did that alter others people’s perception of the brand. And impact (3) – what, if any, effect did the conversations have on the purchase funnel.

Perhaps most importantly, who were the influencers (4) who could shape conversations about brands? Who are the connectors, “mavens”, sales people and champions who can transmit the message, become your advocates and influence others – and how do you reach them? Through a matched sample of international viewers and non-viewers, we conclusively proved the multiplier effect of reaching influentials through international TV channels. These people have more conversations, mention more brands, are more positive towards brands, are more able to influence others than non-viewers and more likely to push them through the purchase funnel.

The results are contained in the deck below, and were written up in Marketing Week. Some of the key highlights show that whilst the banking and finance sector has the most conversations, it has the least brands mentioned when people talk about brands. We can all take a pretty educated guess why the finance sector also has the most negative sentiment about brands, and it’s also clear that the finance sector needs to get closer to their customers and understand them before they can communicate and challenge the perception consumers have of them.

It’s also interesting to note than in the main, people do not talk negatively about other brands, sectors and products. Sentiment when discussing brands is overwhelmingly positive, and marketers should harness this conversation feeling, and provide consumers with ammunition to start and spread the positive conversation fire.

If you want to know which was the biggest brand on the survey (clue, it’s also healthy green fruit), which country the biggest car brands came from and how many champions there are in different sectors, take a look at the deck below.

And if you want to find a top restaurant in London, ask me. I’m a connector (talk to lots of people) maven (can provide lots of information) and sales person (I will convince you!) which is why I’m a restaurant champion. For your information, my favourite London restaurant is St Johns, but I also have a secret strange little Italian place hidden in the depths of South London that you will have to call or e-mail me for.

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