Harnessing the power of “buzz” for media planning and channel optimisation

There’s a lot of buzz about word of mouth. And whilst it has always existed, the proliferation of new online platforms means
that the current consumer generation has broader social networks than ever before, creating countless opportunities to share
information and spread word of mouth recommendations. In addition, fragmentation and multiplicity of buying options have given consumers an unlimited selection when it comes to the products and brands they choose. The upshot is that word of mouth is playing an increasingly significant role in the lives of consumers and as such is becoming progressively more valuable as a
communications channel.
Most of us know that word of mouth communication has tremendous potential, but the challenge for media planners is in
harnessing its growing power and influence in such a way that it delivers real commercial impact. This paper aims to
demonstrate how the influence of word of mouth ‘Champions’ can increase the reach of communication messages and extend
the buzz potential of media channels, in particular print. This new approach considers not only the people that can be reached
with a marketing campaign, but also the extension into the people they themselves can reach, and seeks to place a real value on this which can then be used to inform media planning decisions. The paper will also illustrate how the same methodology can be applied on an international basis, using 10 European markets as an example.

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