Word of mouth marketing – how does it really work?

Our project investigates how information about products and services spreads through social systems.

Following a network perspective, we map and visualise the flow of online and offline word-of-mouth (WOM) as part of a series of real-life WOM marketing campaigns. This enables us to measure the return on investment that these campaigns can deliver, using a custom-built Facebook application as well as qualitative interviews.

MGSM - Word of Mouth Marketing

During the project we aim to answer research questions such as:

  •  Who do people talk to and who do these people in turn talk to?
  •  How many different friendship groups do they belong to?
  •  How do interactions within and across groups differ in terms of conversation content, communication channel, frequency and influence?
  •  Does context determine who is selected as a conversation partner, what is said and how the recipient of that message responds?
  •  How do online and offline interactions influence each other, and are they converging?
  •  Do standard campaign metrics measure the true reach of “multi-generational” transmission of WOM?

If we better understand the answers to these questions, it will lead to better marketing practice.

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