Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Getting a handle on WOM through focus groups

Though the usefulness and applicability of focus groups continues to be debated, one market researcher contends that they are an excellent tool for understanding how word-of-mouth works. George Silverman's article, How and Why to Research Word of Mouth outlines a methodology for uncovering the WOM process including the source, sequence, and content of messages.

In other WOM news, I found an article from Pittsburg's Post-Gazette.com that gives a good overview of how modern WOM marketers use technology to track buzz, and it describes the history of the company BzzAgent (Marketing: 'Word of mouth' enters 21st century). BzzAgent, by the way, is an interesting company and I recommend reviewing their site as well as how it works. I think the company has some lessons to teach about how we can engage our own patrons and support them in spreading the word.

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