User-generated Content and Word of Mouth Marketing

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User-generated content and word of mouth marketing provide a new opportunity to integrate with analytics and demonstrate value. What are the unique challenges of UGC and WOM?I’m a big fan of John Hagel’s blog “Edgeperspectives.” Some of the concepts he advances are particularly pertinent here, especially with respect to companies’ need to “adapt or perish…” The world of UGC and WOM is really about collaborative marketing – embracing your customers’ perception that THEY own your relationship with them. This is a significant hurdle for traditional marketers to overcome.There is no “I” in adapt. Conventional marketing attempts to:

  • Intercept: target and expose customers to your message wherever you can find them
  • Inhibit: make it as difficult as possible for the customer to compare your product or service offering with any other options
  • Isolate: enter into a direct relationship with the customer and, wherever possible , remove all third parties from the relationship

There are “A’s” however.

  • Attract: create incentives for people to seek you out
  • Assist: one of the most powerful ways to attract people is to be as helpful and engaging with them as possible
  • Affiliate: mobilize third parties, including other customers, to become even more helpful to the people you interact with
  • Analyze: as you are embarking on these new strategies it’s critical to have a compass. Analytics provides the critical insight needed into what’s working, what isn’t and where to optimize.

Put yourself in the shoes of the VP of eCommerce at a retailer that uses both UGC, WOM such as Ranking & Reviews and Omniture. What should be your top priorities, and why? What KPIs should you be monitoring regularly?I would first ensure that your UGC/WOM technologies are integrated via Omniture Genesis so that the business has clear visibility into strategy performance. There are many areas that one could focus their time, but if I were the VP of eCommerce, the two optimization priorities I’d focus on from the word “Go!” are:Popularity Optimization: Identify the contributors as well as the UGC that attracts the largest audience. The KPIs to keep a close eye on here include: number of views, repeat frequency and time spent on the site.Influence Optimization: Popularity is great, but it’s also good to understand the influence that specific contributors and content have on driving success. KPIs for the eCommerce VP here should be order participation, and revenue participation. What they may quickly learn is that one contributor’s reviews are more popular, but may generate fewer orders and revenue than a less popular contributor. They should craft strategies to better leverage influential contributors.Imagine our VP of eCommerce again – she launches a campaign that achieves 6% conversion. Great she thinks! Yawn. What about the other 94%?!! How can she go after those that responded but didn’t convert and identify more revenue opportunity? Through Genesis, the process to remarket to the 94% of non-converters with a targeted email are automated and this could include adding relevant product offers complete with UGC/WOM, Ratings and Reviews.

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