Monday, April 17, 2006

Word of Mouth Marketing at P&G

Connecting with Connectors is New CRM Strategy

Peppers and Rogers' latest newsletter offers keen insights into word of mouth marketing ... they present concepts from P&G, Mercedes and Starbucks:

An excerpt on the P&G portion:
Procter & Gamble has invested in word-of-mouth activities designed to connect with consumers on a more personal level. "Advocacy occurs in one-to-one conversations, not online," said Steve Knox, CEO of Procter & Gamble's word-of-mouth marketing division, Tremor. He pointed to the need to identify and get close to "connectors," people with strong social networks who are likely to evangelize (or badmouth) products and services. "They can advocate in any direction, so we want to get as close as we can."

Knox believes in predictive models to make sure the right messages get to the connectors. Because in many cases, the message these customers want to hear is different from the message they share with friends. For example, consumers were interested in seeing Dawn dish soap's new brand message in ads -- that the soap goes directly on the sponge. But they tell their friends that their kids like it so much they want to help wash dishes.

It is an oft repeated theme here ... but for all the money spent on CRM technology, it still comes down to effective and innovative strategy to make the technology work. CRM was thought to be a magic elixer, but the failures to gain performance improvements still calls for rolling up the sleeve and doing the hard work of connecting with customers.


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