Medical Branding & Marketing Blog

90% of Conversations Still Happen Offline and Other Lessons from "The Face-to-Face Book" 0

Posted in the Category 'Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM)'

Ashley Libby
Brand & Marketing Strategist | Principal & Founder, The Anca Group


In September, I read and reviewed THE FACE-TO-FACE BOOK by Ed Keller and Brad Fay of Keller Fay Group for the WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) Book Club.

This book is a MUST READ for marketers, advertisers, small business people, corporate leaders, non-profit organizations, and everyone in between. It seems that we have started to think that the world became social with the advent of Facebook and other social media networks. WRONG. Humans have always been social. We are inherently social beings. We have ALWAYS conversed, shared, related, and told stories.

And we still do, today, in 2012, face-to-face.

Sure, many conversations happen online. Online social medial networks provide a new channel for word of mouth to occur. But online only accounts for 10% of conversations happening today.

Skeptical? I am telling you, read The Face-to-Face Book. Not only do Keller and Fay have data to support it, they will teach you how to spark face-to-face conversations about your brand and to use offline conversations to fuel brands.   

If you need further reason to pick up the book and read it, here are my two main takeaways:

TAKEAWAY #1: People are hard-wired to be social – to connect with, learn from, share information, knowledge, opinions, and experiences with, make recommendations to, and influence one another. And they do so in large part in the real word, through face-to-face conversations. Brands that realize and appreciate this, put people at the center of their business and strategies, engage people socially, and start and become part of real world, positive conversations that lead to recommendations and purchase will be most successful.  

TAKEAWAY #2: Real-world conversations about brands, products, and services – despite popular myths and beliefs – happen offline 90% of the time, differ from conversations that are taking place online, are driven by word of mouth basics such as being recommendable, talkable, and talkworthy, product-related solutions and stories, and schema disruptions (not “the latest thing” or stunts and gimmicks), and are predominantly positive (not negative). Marketers and advertisers must recognize the potential role and impact of traditional media and paid advertising in real-world conversations, as well as the place of social media as one of many tactical channels, including word of mouth as a channel, that should be considered as part of a comprehensive marketing approach. 

What do you think? Do you agree? Is it time to harness the power of offline WOM? Are you already? Do face-to-face conversations fuel your brand?   



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