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  • Sam Decker

Focus Word of Mouth Marketing on Influencers or the Network?

At the WOMMA conference in Las Vegas (Nov. 14, 15) one of the primary topics on the table is the debate and implications to the marketer focusing on the influencer or the network.

The influencer model suggests you should focus on the few (say 15%) who are disporportionately influential. Malcom Gladwell called these the Connectors and Mavens.

The netowrk model suggests that the importance is having many connections is more important.

I’m not fully versed on both of these equally. I’m looking forward to learning more at WOMMA Summit. However, in my experience and in practice, I don’t think a word of mouth marketing strategy is complete without a consideration and strategy for both.

The breadth of the network is like reach. Your message can carry throughout a broad set of diverse influencers…some more influential than others.

However, I believe there are personas that are more likely to share word of mouth. In my experience these people spend more and more frequently, in a retail example. For example Jupiter found the online ‘Super Communicators" represent less than 20% of user generated content but over 30% of spend.Bigger mouths = bigger wallets!

I think frequency and reach are still relevant concepts, but more relevant when applied to word of mouth. If I see a brand in facebook, in a review, in an online review, in a forum post, and then perhaps I see it in advertising as well then I will be more predisposed to buy. Along that journey perhaps one or two of those data points were from influencers, dispaportionately adding ‘consumer generated media’ to the media mix. But, because of the breadth of the network of people and technologies to connect them (a la facebook), I saw one more nail that helped build my decision to buy.

In a world of limited of limited resource where do you focus first? What do you do with influencers or the network?

Come to the WOMMA Summit to find out!

Join the discussion on this and other Word of Mouth hot issues and great debates at WOMMA’s 2007 Summit, November 13-15 in Las Vegas. Get the agenda now> (


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