The Word of Mouth Research Blog from WOMMA points to an interesting study from A McKinsey & Co. strategy consultant named Renee Dye which shows that buzz drives two-thirds of the US economy. The study is from back in 2001 and was published by the Harvard Business Review. Here are the key findings…
13% of the U.S. economy is largely driven by buzz (toys, sporting goods, motion pictures, broadcasting, amusement and recreation services, and fashion).
54% is partially driven by buzz (finance and investment products, hotels and lodging, electronics, printing and publishing, tobacco, automotive, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, transportation, agriculture, and food and drink).
33% is largely immune to buzz (oil, gas, chemicals, railroads, insurance, utilities).
I wonder what the percentages are now. Either way this shows that marketers who are ignoring buzz marketing are missing out on a big piece of the pie. Not only that but this enforces just how important it is to effectively track and manage your buzz.
This also brings me to another question. How can consumers that aren’t in the loop find buzz? What if I want to buy a new HD DVD player but none of my friends have bought one or know anything about them. Where can I go to find the latest buzz? Google won’t tell me because the majority of their results aren’t recent. That and they are usually from authority sources, which isn’t a bad thing per-say but maybe I just want to know what regular Joe thinks of the product, not a journalist that might be financially influenced. I realize there are user generated product review sites, but there isn’t one central place to find all the buzz on the web about something.
Update: WOMMA is really on one today. A few more posts with data from more studies.
Word of mouth previously underestimated.
‘Brand sirens’ comprise 15-20% of elusive demographic.
Word of mouth provokes brand switching.