Key Influencers vs Word of Mouth close

Matt Jukes
Matt Jukes
In Online Innovation
13th December 2007
 Key Influencers vs Word of Mouth

This summary of an article from the December issue of the Journal of Advertising Research says that common word-of-mouth advertising by regular people is more powerful than a message from a  “key influencers.” Which is to say that sucking up to A-list bloggers may not be worth it after all.

James Coyle, assistant professor of marketing at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, Elizabeth Lightfoot of CNET Networks, and Ted Smith and Amy Scott of MedTrackAlert conducted the study by surveying website visitors, conducting in-depth reviews, and analyzing website usage patterns. Said Coyle:

“We find that trying to track down key influencers, people who have extremely large social networks, is typically unnecessary and, more importantly, can actually limit a campaign or advertisement’s viral potential. Instead, marketers need to realize that the majority of their audience, not just the well-connected few, is eager and willing to pass along well-designed and relevant messages.”

After all if you think about who is your strongest "Key Influencer" more often than not they are going to be your friends and family, and not a self obsessed blogger in middle america.