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Geoff Daily

App-Rising.com covers the development and adoption of broadband applications, the deployment of and need for broadband networks, and the demands placed on policy to adapt to the revolutionary opportunities made possible by the Internet.

App-Rising.com is written by Geoff Daily, a DC-based technology journalist, broadband activist, marketing consultant, and Internet entrepreneur.

App-Rising.com is supported in part by AT&T;, however all views and opinions expressed herein are solely my own.

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October 25, 2007 2:55 PM

Pondering Promoting Broadband Through Word-of-Mouth

I often preach to people about the need to stop thinking about broadband as a separate thing but instead something that can influence and be influenced by every aspect of society.

Through regular repeating of this mantra, I'm starting to find myself seeing new possibilities for the use and evolution of broadband wherever I look.

Case in point: on my flight back from TelcoTV yesterday I sat next to Ted Wright, managing partner of Fizz Corp., an Atlanta-based word of mouth marketing agency.

Fizz works with a wide range of companies, in particular beverage makers, to help them take advantage of the growing significance of word of mouth marketing in influencing consumer purchasing decisions.

I should've been taking notes as Ted rattled off a series of fascinating statistics, but the one that really caught my eye was his claim that 90% of purchasing decisions where the individual item is less than $1000 are driven by someone telling someone else how much they like a particular product.

He continued on to discuss how mass marketing used to work, where the more money you spent to have your brand appear in more places, the higher you could drive sales. But now, with the influx of so many new media channels and the over-saturation of advertising, consumers have largely tuned out these messages.

Instead what's driving a large part of our economy are a select group of influencers. Influencers are people who often know a lot of people, or at least a few of the right people, and like to talk about their experiences using different products.

Because of the geometric rate of word of mouth buzz--one person tells two people, who each tell two people, etc.--and the lifecycle of new announcements--which Wright says sustains its efficacy for eight generations--if you can get 1000 influencers to try and like a product, you can generate awareness and demand for that product among an audience of millions.

In listening to all this it started to dawn on me: what possibilities might there be to leverage this new word of mouth marketing paradigm to drive adoption, awareness, and use of broadband applications?

How can we identify and engage the influencers within a community in order to get them excited about the possibilities of broadband and in turn initiate their spider webs of influence in order to create demand for what broadband has to offer?

Unfortunately, this is a brand new idea for me, so my thoughts are only half-formed as to specific action items for pursuing this line of attack, but know that I'm going to be following up with Ted to discuss more specifics about what he does and how he does as part of my quest to unearth the best strategies for accelerating our use of broadband.

In the meantime, does anyone have any thoughts for how we can leverage word of mouth marketing to promote broadband and broadband applications? Or any examples where this practice is already realizing success?

If so, throw your hat into the commenting ring and let us know what you think!

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Comments (1)

I found some online marketing classes on xTrain.com and was wondering if anyone else knows of any others that teach social media and interactive marketing.

Posted by Gordon Collins on October 29, 2007 8:55 PM

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