Sunday, June 25, 2006

If You Don't Know These Things Before You Leave This Class on WOM, Buzz, and Viral Marketing Communication ... :-(

I am meeting with my WOM, Buzz, and Viral Marketing Communication class for the last time tomorrow morning at 8 am EST. We'll be discussing what worked well in the class and what didn't, what they learned about WOM marketing, the future of WOMM and their careers, as well as a review for the final exam (which will be a take-home final).

As part of this final class we will be discussing what we think the most essential points are to take away from the class (and this is actually what they'll have to do on the take-home final). I've come up with my own list by looking over everything we covered in the class, points made by leading industry figures through their guest lectures, reflecting on my own and others' academic research, my experiences consulting with companies, and finally questions I am asked by reporters, audience members, and companies when they are trying to get their head around WOM.

It turns out I came up with 13 points, or what I'll call my "Baker's Dozen of Essential Points about WOM Marketing". Please feel free to add or otherwise modify this list through your comments.

Baker's Dozen of Essential Points about WOM Marketing

1. What is word-of-mouth (WOM) and consumer generated media (CGM)?
2. What are motivations for positive WOM (PWOM) and negative WOM (NWOM)?
3. Why is WOM hot now?
4. How far back is there academic research on WOM?
5. How does online WOM compare to offline WOM?
6. How do I find my influencers, or should I even bother?
7. How do you track the ROI of WOM?
8. How do you compute the Net Promoter Score and why would I want to?
9. Why should I care about WOM in relational networks?
10. (How) Should I get involved in "the conversation"? And what is "the conversation" anyway?
11. What are two competing philosophies of WOM? And is there any way to reconcile these?
12. What are the most common ethical critiques about WOMM?
13. What are three ways to FUBAR the future of WOM Marketing?