Word-of-Mouth in the Age of the Web-Fortified Consumer

Nielsen BuzzMetrics :: White Papers

logo_nbzmAlthough influenced or stimulated by traditional marketers and marketing activities, online word of mouth is nonetheless owned and controlled by consumers, and it often carries far higher credibility and trust than traditional media, especially as media channels become more fragmented and less trusted.

Consumer-Generated Media (CGM) describes a variety of new and emerging sources of online information that are created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers intent on educating each other about products, brands, services, personalities and issues.

Ninety percent, in fact, have used an Internet search engine to research a product or service (Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, December 2005).

CGM_ Influencers
The Internet is significantly amplifying the power of brand apostles and owners, affording them many more venues and “megaphones” for sharing their views with others. This underscores the critical importance of companies and brands managing and nurturing customer segments.
The Value Profit Chain (Heskett, Sasser 01/03)

CGM_ Trust
Consumer-Generated Media consistently outranks other ad vehicles on the “trust” factor
. As word-of-mouth platforms grow and traditional tools lose impact, the measurable propensity of a customer base to recommend products and services to others will be regarded as the single-largest measure of brand equity.
Source: 2004 Forrester/Intelliseek Research

CGM_ Vehicles
CGM vehicles are quickly evolving to higher-impact, multi-media formats. Digital photos and online videos are beginning to dramatically raise the stakes for brand/corporate reputation.

A Marketer’s Quiz: Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Identify who’s speaking
  2. Identify and Flag Key Issues
  3. Deepen Relationship Marketing Efforts

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Consumer-Generated Media (CGM) 101 free of charge.

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