There was an excellent article in AdAge last month by Andrew Hampp about word-of-mouth marketing. The title was “Alloy: Ultra-Relevant Messaging and Word-of-Mouth Key to Grabbing Demo's Attention.”
Below are some snip-its of that article.
”Alloy Media & Marketing's seventh annual Alloy College Explorer, conducted with Harris Interactive, sheds some intriguing light on a demo often referred to as ’elusive’ or ‘cynical,’ two characterizations that Alloy's Samantha Skey doesn't necessarily find accurate.”
”When it comes to advertising, for example, students are just as much about viral marketing as they are about keeping it verbal. Two-thirds of students said they learn about new brands, products and services they would like to purchase from friends, with 61 percent citing word-of-mouth as their preferred method of communication. That's up considerably from 2004, when 48 percent said they prefer word-of-mouth advertising.”
"Word-of-mouth is possibly seeing more strength in the advertising category [because] it's not perceived by most college students to be an advertising platform or a marketing tactic," Ms. Skey said. "It's just an information source or a social media of sorts."
”As a result, social-networking patterns have changed in the last three years as well as among the college demo. Ms. Skey said students are maintaining fewer personal profiles across the many social-networking options (down from an average of 17 in 2004 to 7 in 2007), but keeping more friends on average in less places. Essentially, they've already gone to the trouble of aggregating their potential audience reach for marketers hoping to reach them on MySpace and Facebook.”
Check out the RE3.org MySpace page.