Word of Mouth Advertising Now Measured by Simmons
Simmons Market Research Bureau announced today the release of the Tipping Point Segments, which identify each Simmons respondent by his or her influence on word-of-mouth advertising.
Inspired by the concepts outlined in Malcolm Gladwell's best-selling book, The Tipping Point, Simmons has identified four segments of the U.S. population that are primarily responsible for the spread of word-of-mouth advertising. These four groups of individuals can be profiled based upon their media usage, brand consumption, spending habits, leisure activities, demographics, psychographics and opinions, in order to gauge which media vehicles and messaging advertisers can use to target them for the maximum effect.
Simmons added questions to its Spring 2003 study to enable classification of respondents based upon their proclivity to influence the spread of information and trends. The four segments Simmons has identified - Connectors, Mavens, Salesmen and Innovators - are distinct small groups that work together to ultimately stimulate word-of-mouth influence. Simmons has established a powerful and accessible link between word-of-mouth and traditional mass media advertising. For example, clients can now examine the Tipping Point segments based upon their television viewing behavior using Simmons' television BehaviorGraphics(tm). These Tipping Point targets can be tracked on a daily basis via the BehaviorGraphics(tm) link to Nielsen Television Ratings. Examining the Tipping Point segments within the context of BehaviorGraphics(tm) enables clients to identify which television programs afford the most successful multi-modal advertising opportunities.
Finally, the big boys are going to measure what has been happening for years. The power of word of mouth is far under rated and today is more powerful than ever with the proliferation of the Internet, mobile phones, video phones and weblogs. It's no wonder why movie studios put all their eggs in the opening weekend basket. If the movie sucks, everyone will know about it two minutes after it starts. Measuring how this happens and how it can be affected by advertising will become a key element in a company's marketing programs.