WOM Campaigns (word-of-mouth marketing) as Drivers of Revenue

WOM Campaigns - social conversations

WOM Campaigns – social conversations

Ad spending budgets continue to be under scrutiny as BTL (below the line) marketing and advertising strategies like buzz marketing or word-of-mouth marketing – more specifically well planned and executed WOM campaigns – keep proving to be cost-effective and extremely successful drivers of revenue.

WOM is still a relatively small sector, but it is growing fast. Spending on word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing from 2007 to 2008 rose 14.2% to $1.54 billion, and is expected to hit $3 billion by 2013, according to a report based on extensive WOM research from PQ Media.

By category, consumer package-goods marketers spend the most on WOM campaigns. Other leading product categories are food and drink, finance, business-to-business services, electronics, telecommunications and retail.

Why the surge in WOM? The number-one way that consumers make decisions is through word of mouth. Brands realize that consumers are willing to engage with them in conversation, and they realize that they have no choice but to participate if they want to be a part of the consumer decision making process. And WOM campaigns bear huge buzz opportunities across media platforms, both online and offline. Research shows that by far most (over 90 percent) of the brand-related WOM conversations that take place occur in the offline space. Increasingly, the goal of what brands and ad agencies do is to generate word of mouth.

According to research, some 3.5 billion brand-related WOM conversations take place daily in the U.S. And because clients are interested in knowing what’s being said about their brands, they have started to listen to the online conversation more frequently. There is also a direct correlation between advertising expenditure and word of mouth. As a matter of fact, word of mouth can be seen as an early measure of ad effectiveness and, across the board, the area that is most highly associated with sales lift is word of mouth because intent to buy reveals itself in word of mouth.

word of mouth offline

word of mouth offline

These figures are an eye-opener for a lot of people and they highlight the importance for brands to understand the full range of opportunities they have to listen and engage in conversations with consumers. There are many different ways and places to stimulate WOM including, for example, the workplace, leisure areas or in-store (not just supermarkets but gyms, malls, and even parks) as well as through traditional and emerging media channels. Clearly online is a major opportunity but it is not the only one to consider.

it's the journey

it’s the journey

Buzz Marketing Twitterrific ideas

Finding a car parking space at Christmas time is an intimidating and sometimes insurmountable task just about anywhere in the world, and to help people with this Mercedes-Benz created a buzz marketing Twitterrific idea: “The Tweet Fleet” by tapping into the “Park Assist” feature. Mercedes-Benz Park Assist can automatically detect empty car spaces near you as you drive, so what if they could take that feature and provide it to anyone looking for a parking spot at Christmas?

Well, they did, and a fleet of new Mercedes-Benz cars travelling around Stuttgart in Germany, automatically tweeting empty car spaces with geo-tagging to ensure that anyone following can not only find out where the empty spaces are, but can get directions directly to them. All rigged together via an Arduino board and the Mercedes-Benz Park Assist feature.

Twitter Humor ;)

Twitter Humor 😉

attitude in life

attitude in life

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

Smartphone user experience: A Latina’s Perspective

As most of you know, a few weeks ago and thanks to a recommendation from my dear friend and colleague Julito Varela (@julito77) I was named Verizon Brand Ambassador. As a marketing strategist and technologist I was so excited to get to test cool gadgets I could hardly wait to begin.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer's heart.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart.

The Droid Razr 4G LTE arrived one day at noon and I took my time to open it so I could savor every part of the smartphone user experience. I wanted to capture every detail, every impression I had with the product and the service. But in order to give some you some perspective on my evaluation, let me share a bit about me.

I was a loyal Verizon Wireless customer for 11 years. The quality of their network was always what kept me with them. “Can you hear me now” was a reality for me. And then I had to choose a smartphone. I did try the original Droid and found it so hard to maneuver. I need to clarify that I am a super geek and at one time in my career I used to build LANs and WANs with my bare hands – patch panels would become pristinely organized in my presence and my networks never went down! I found the people at the Verizon local store so focused on the number of apps instead of what I wanted to know (how to use the smartphone to make a call, et my mail, etc.) that I gave up and went the Apple way. The glorious iPhone was only held by AT&T and, as a plus, I would achieve compatibility with all my Macs. I have missed the quality of the Verizon Wireless network and I actually do have to stand by a window so as not to lose the connection when I talk. The rest, I will have to say, I am very pleased with, as I find AT&T’s plans are more affordable and my experience with their customer service as outstanding.

A few months ago, my iPhone decided to go swimming and I had to take its beeping corpse to the Apple store. Deciding to take advantage of the situation (I already had to purchase a new unit) I got myself an iPhone with Verizon. I couldn’t hear anything now. I got so many dropped calls, Verizon sent out an engineer to check on the signal levels. The verdict: We need to build a new tower for you to get coverage with us. Please go back to AT&T.

I always wondered if the problem was with the network or the handset. And maybe it’s a mix of both. In my opinion, my new Droid Razr 4G LTE should help in putting this to the test.

The Droid Razr has a stunning packaging so neatly designed to match the advertising, it truly touched my little marketer’s heart. When I opened the box there was the thinnest, coolest looking smartphone I have ever seen. About two thirds of the iPhone. It was also huge in dimension. It made me think that people with large hands would appreciate this – not so much small hands people. I’m average, so I can go either way. I started reading the manual to set it up as, in my opinion, this smartphone is not as intuitive as an iPhone. And I started the charging process.

The results of the test will be unveiled on my next post early next month!!

Happy Purim everybody!!

Verizon Wireless Ambassador ProgramClaudia “Havi” Goffan

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Wireless Ambassadors’ Program and have been provided with a wireless device and three months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product. All the opinions expressed and experiences shared on this post are personal and not Verizon’s or anybody else’s.


envy is ignorance imitation is suicide

envy is ignorance imitation is suicide

Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011

by Target Latino

The year is coming to an end and we decided to look for advertising campaigns in Spanish or created by Latino Ad Agencies that we consider to be the very best of 2011 and share them with you. Here is our list of the five Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011:

Best Latino Advertising Campaigns 2011

#5 – Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

Finísimas Campofrío humorously bets on the re-incarnation theory on its new advertising campaign. It features two frogs that explain the pros and cons of being human while they jump across a freeway packed with danger. Marcelino is the reincarnation of a government attorney and is highly concerned with his previous life health while his new friend becomes fascinated by the possibilities of being human that he commits suicide against a truck’s windshield. This campaigned broadcasted nationally and had digital, social media and movie theater and international versions.

Young frog: Flies!
Old frog: Flies… ush, bummer!
Young frog: What do you expect? We’re frogs…
Old frog: Frog, speak for yourself, this is my reincarnation, my name is Marcelino, and I used to be a government lawyer.
Young frog: What do you mean, “you were human”?
Old frog: You are born, and they give you a slap in the ass, you need to learn English so you don´t become a “loser”, you control your calories, triglycerides, intestinal transit and kapoom!
Young frog: what a chump!
Young Frog: (If I were a rich man song tone)
If I were a human, I would grow a mane and name myself Brad… To Vegas I would move and I would get a Chinese tattoo even if I don’t know what it means…
If I were a human, I would become the driver of the beach volleyball women’s team from Sweden, creative, hippie, anything not to have to work!
Young frog & Snake: I…would buy a chihuahua, a water bed and a mega ham platter… I would fall in love a looooooot!
(Spanish Guitar sound)
Old frog: Goodbye figure!
VO: You never know what you will be in the next life
Man: Hmmm… and I was living in a Pond!
VO: So take good advantage of this one, Campofrío Finissimas
Pigeon: If I were human…

Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

Campofrio Finisimas: A very original and humorous way of advertising ham.

NEXT>>  #4 H2oh! Drink by BBDO Argentina – Cannes Lions 2011 Gold winner

integrity quote

integrity quote

The story behind the Benetton WOM Campaign

Benetton, Italy’s largest clothing company, launched yesterday, November 16, 2011, a highly controversial Word-of-Mouth (WoM) campaign. They coupled this campaign with the launch of their newly founded advocacy group for tolerance, the Unhate Foundation.

The story behind the Benetton Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Campaign

The campaign content included a film promoting Unhate.org, love and tolerance; photo composite posters and wall video projections of Presidents Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez lovingly locking lips; and, social media activity including the Kiss Wall where users can upload images of themselves kissing and are randomly paired up with others thus mimicking the main campaign theme. Other featured kissing pairs include President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao; the Pope and Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, the Imam of al-Azhar mosque in Egypt; the leaders of North and South Korea; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy, president of France; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Benetton Unhate Campaign – CNN Interview (subtitled in English) – Claudia Havi Goffan

The campaign was inspired by a kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German communist leader Erich Honecker in 1979. And this is just the first part of the three-part campaign. Benetton has a history of controversial advertising. Their campaigns that started on 1991, showed a black horse mating over a white one; a collage consisting of genitals of persons of various races; a priest and a nun about to engage in a romantic kiss; and the most famous of them all, a bloodied, unwashed newborn baby with umbilical cord still attached, which was featured in the reference book Guinness World Records 2000 as ‘Most Controversial Campaign.’

The White House stated that no advertising is allowed to use President Obama’s image while the Vatican condemned the campaign as well. The company’s deputy chairman, Alessandro Benetton, decided to remove it from all publications after complaints and an explanation that the campaign means not hating, and that embracing a loving attitude that can have a positive impact in the world.  The campaign is on every news site, blog, channel, all over the world. A true word-of-mouth marketing success.

The cost of such campaign via regular media purchasing methods would have meant an automatic dismissal amongst the management ranks of Benetton whose revenues had dwindled in the last quarter in Europe, where the company gets up to 80% of the total revenues. Their forecasted margins for the next few quarters look even bleaker with the expected increase in raw-material costs.

Shock tactics do work in advertising, and even though we haven’t heard much from the United Colors since their contentious ads and world take-over of their brand as one of the 90s’ most known and fashion forward, we know that Benetton has built their foundations on advertising equality and has come up with another genius concept here. We are sure there are already people reaching for their phones to complain. This is a love it or hate it campaign. Their target market is very clear though. The urban young who wants to break with stereotypes and change the world into a better and more loving and accepting place.

Benetton WOM Campaign - Obama & Chavez Poster

Benetton WOM Campaign – Obama & Chavez Poster

We all know that the worst thing that can happen to a brand is not to be mentioned. Benetton got more than its share of mentions this time. All that we have left to see is their financials at the end of the next couple of quarters to see if it really paid off. And we believe it will.


By: Claudia “Havi” Goffan – President Target Latino – CNN en Español Interview – November 16th, 2011.

Watch the CNN Footage with Full Coverage of the Un-Hate Campaign

Interview with CNN Coverage of the Un-Hate Campaign in Spanish


speak the truth

speak the truth