Key conclusions drawn in the study include:
• Participation in an organized word-of-mouth marketing program does not undermine the effectiveness of word-of-mouth communication.
• Disclosure has practical business benefits. It does not interrupt the “natural” flow of conversation.
Key findings include:
• For approximately 75% of the conversational partners it did not matter that they were talking with someone affiliated with a marketing organization. Instead what mattered was that they trusted the agent was providing an honest opinion, felt the agent had their best interests at heart, and were providing relevant and valuable information.Article by Northeastern University Professor Dr. Walter Carl as published on Newswise (1/18/06).
• None of the key outcome metrics were negatively affected by the agent disclosing their affiliation. In fact, the number of people a person told after speaking with a word-of-mouth marketing agent actually increased when the conversational partner was aware they were talking with a participant in an organized word-of-mouth marketing program.
Wednesday January 18, 2006 - 08:20pm (EST)