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The Influentials

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The Influentials

  1. 1. The influentials
  2. 2. Ed Keller Jon Berry There's a group of people, who are responsible for driving trends, influencing mass opinion and, most importantly, selling a great many products. These are the Influentials, the early adopters who had a digital camera before everyone else and who were the first to fly again after September 11. Like Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point), these authors are keen to point out a common phenomenon and spin it for the edification of marketing executives. Their assertion is that 10% of Americans determine how the rest consume and live by chatting about their likes and dislikes
  3. 3. The new study furthers Roper's theory that 10 percent of the adult population influences buying and lifestyle decisions for the rest of Americans, mainly through word-of-mouth recommendations. • The Roper Reports identifies quot;influentialsquot; as Americans who participate in three or more of these activities: attend a meeting; write or call a politician; serve on a committee; serve as an officer of a club or organization; write a letter to the editor; attend a rally or speech; belong to a group influencing policy; make a speech; write an article; and hold or run for public office. Sadly, that's only 10 percent of us. • The Influentials uncovered a new trend toward trusting word-of-mouth recommendations. In 1973, 53 percent of Roper survey respondents said advertising and 67 percent said word-of-mouth were among the best sources for new ideas and information on consumer decisions. A 2003 survey liked advertising about the same (50 percent) but absolutely loved word-of-mouth (92 percent).
  4. 4. The influentials ... Some discoveries • Influentials, more than the general public, think live performances are more meaningful and exciting than watching performances on TV; • They think cultural activities are as important for a community as parks; • They think the government isn't spending enough to promote culture; • They think enjoying cultural activities is a necessity, not a luxury; • They choose where to live based on access to culture; • They're among the first to go to a cultural event; • And they like being on the cutting edge of cultural trends.
  5. 5. Reaching influentials to create effective word of mouth. Tip #1. Have something worth talking about Word of mouth marketing works only if a product is new, high-performing, unique, fun, exciting, surprising, delighting to customers, or otherwise worth talking about. It's only these remarkable elements about your product or service -- as seen from the point of view of the consumer, not just you or your management -- that work effectively with WOM. Tip #2. Say it to the right people Word of mouth is most effective when spread through customers who are engaged with your product or category, have large social networks, enjoy positions of trust and confidence among people in their networks, and enjoy expressing their opinions. By targeting the right people, you increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your campaign. Tip #3. Test your WOM Just as marketers have honed techniques over the years to test advertising and improve ad effectiveness, WOM campaigns can be tested as well. Does the story appeal to influencers? Do they believe it's worth repeating? Does it come in portable quot;talk bytesquot; that are easily remembered and communicated to others? Tip #4. Choose the right channel strategy Consider all forms of potential communications channels -- PR, advertising, new and traditional media, direct marketing, customer relations management, product sampling, word of mouth agents -- as triggers of effective word of mouth. Choosing the right channel strategy is dependent on targeting the right people with a message designed to motivate conversations. Tip #5. Measurement will improve your effectiveness As with any marketing campaign, measurement is essential to planning effectively and maximizing results (not to mention justifying budgets). It's also important for providing the feedback you need to fine tune your results. Make sure you have a measurement system in place that will permit mid-course corrections in your targeting, messaging, and channel choice
  6. 6. Fifty Percent of NYTimes.com Registered Users are Influentials-R-, According to RoperASW Study The RoperASW study of 2,430 NYTimes.com registered users found that 50 percent meet the criteria for Influentials, defining characteristic of Influentials is an active interest in politics. Ninety percent of NYTimes.com Influentials said they were likely to vote during the 2004 presidential election. NYTimes.com Influentials are also more likely to support campaigns financially: 62 percent are very or somewhat likely to contribute to a political campaign in the next year versus only 25 percent of Non-influentials. Forty-four percent of NYTimes.com Influentials said they would start to focus on the candidates and issues during the first quarter of 2004, and 20 percent said they would do so in the summer of 2004, during the Republican and Democratic conventions.
  7. 7. quot;Influentials are avid consumers of various media sources - newspapers, television, Internet - and they have a powerful multiplier effect, spreading the word across their network when they find something they want others to know about.quot; When asked, quot;Which, if any, of the following have you done in the past 12 months? (select all that apply),quot; NYTimes.com Influentials stated they have: -Voted 82% - Written or called any politician at the state, local, or national level 71% - Sent an e-mail to a company, government agency, or other organization to express my views 70% - Attended a public meeting on town or school affairs 52% - Served on a committee of a local organization 48% - Made a speech 46% - Written a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine or called a live radio or TV show to express an opinion 45% - Served as an officer of a local club or organization 41% - Attended a political rally or speech or organized protest of any kind 39% - Written an article for a magazine or newspaper 27% - Worked for a political party 19% - Held or ran for political office 2%

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