A few years ago, we launched a framework for understanding/approaching IWOM, something we called L-K-P (aka Listen-Know-Participate). Recently, I have been using an updated name for this framework: Content, Context and Implications.
Content: This includes findings that are similar to what you would find in traditional market research. However, unlike traditional focus groups, a IWOM study like the one we conducted in our recently launched “Youth Report,” (see teaser slides here), offers brands a huge ‘focus group’ where hundreds of thousands of consumers are naturally speaking their minds and generating over a million comments.
Context: Unlike traditional research, IWOM can also give you insight into the natural context behind those conversations. This for brands is essential, as not only must they understand ‘what’ (i.e. content) netizens talk about, but also how they talk, where they talk and who shapes the conversations. For example, in our youth report, you will learn that not only are the 90’s generation “individualistic” (which just about every youth market researcher will tell you), but also HOW they then use the Internet to express their individuality, i.e. in “show off” or “shai” communities (an activity which we first reported about in 2007, and which has now become more formalized and mainstream).
Implications: If you understand both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, then as a marketer this makes the “what to do” easier to answer and once again from our youth report we site several examples of how brands are successfully integrating concepts such as “shai” into their communication strategies to connect with the younger generation.
Speaking of our youth report, check out the video CIC’s youth team put together. This is something the team did without any push from their managers; rather it is “grassroots” in the true spirit of IWOM.