Paper Dis­cussing Ground­breaking Research Wins Industry Award

North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor and inter­na­tion­ally known scholar and expert in Word-​​of-​​Mouth (WOM) mar­keting, Dr. Walter Carl, is the author of a win­ning paper that was rec­og­nized by the Word of Mouth Mar­keting Asso­ci­a­tion (WOMMA) in the Best Use of WOMMA Ter­mi­nology Frame­work cat­e­gory. The paper, titled “Mea­suring the Ripple: Cre­ating the G2X Relay Rate and an Industry Stan­dard Method­ology to Mea­sure the Spread of Word-​​of-​​Mouth Con­ver­sa­tions and Marketing-​​Relevant Out­comes” will be pub­lished in WOMMA’s member-​​generated research col­lec­tion, titled Mea­suring Word of Mouth Vol. 3.

Win­ning papers were chosen from the more than 20 that were sub­mitted for inclu­sion in the third WOM mar­keting research anthology. By pub­lishing these papers, WOMMA rec­og­nizes the authors for their con­tri­bu­tions to the WOM mar­keting industry’s growing wealth of data.

Word-​​of-​​mouth mar­keting has been seen as a pow­erful force in the mar­ket­place, bringing impres­sive results to com­pa­nies,” said Carl, Assis­tant Pro­fessor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Studies at North­eastern. “But increas­ingly, brand clients of mar­keting orga­ni­za­tions are demanding greater account­ability for these results, and are calling for more pre­cise metrics.”

Carl, founder of ChatThreads, a new com­pany that mea­sures word of mouth and com­mer­cial­izes the G2X method­ology dis­cussed in the paper, co-​​authored this work with Jen­nifer Oles, a researcher in the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Studies at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, and Matt McGlinn of BzzA­gent, a com­pany that man­ages a word-​​of-​​mouth media net­work of350,000 indi­vid­uals in North America and the U.K.

Spon­sored by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity and BzzA­gent, the research dis­cussed in this paper focuses on cre­ating a com­pre­hen­sive mea­sure­ment approach for all forms of con­sumer con­ver­sa­tions and user-​​generated con­tent, regard­less of media form, and its out­comes rel­e­vant to mar­keting. In order to mea­sure WOM behavior across offline and online venues, the two orga­ni­za­tions col­lab­o­rated to create a method­ology that would permit inde­pen­dent, third-​​party val­i­da­tion of pro­gram effec­tive­ness. Titled G2X for “Gen­er­a­tion 0 to X,” the method­ology was designed to pro­vide an avenue to val­i­date the self-​​reporting of pro­gram par­tic­i­pants, mea­sure beyond the first gen­er­a­tion of con­ver­sa­tional part­ners and to pro­vide, inde­pen­dent, third-​​party val­i­da­tion of cam­paign performance.

This method­ology pro­vides a reli­able way of cal­cu­lating the number of people reached through a cam­paign and the out­comes of those con­ver­sa­tions,” added Carl. “This infor­ma­tion can be used to assess cam­paign effec­tive­ness and bench­mark against norms across indus­tries and product and ser­vice categories.”

By pro­viding an overview of a real-​​life cam­paign (the Soni­care Essence BzzCam­paign®) in the paper, the authors demon­strated how the G2X method­ology was applied to mea­sure WOM effec­tive­ness. Using this case study, they were able to pro­vide con­crete evi­dence that the effec­tive­ness of WOM mar­keting pro­grams can be inde­pen­dently mea­sured and val­i­dated by a third party. They also pre­dict that this con­clu­sion opens the door for industry-​​wide-​​third-​​party mea­sure­ment that is seen in more mature media indus­tries like radio, TV and print.

For more infor­ma­tion on Dr. Walter Carl’s research and to get a copy of this paper, please con­tact Renata Nyul at 617–373-7424 or at r.​nyul@​neu.​edu. To learn more about ChatThreads, please visit www​.chatthread​scorp​.com.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston.Northeastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit www​.north​eastern​.edu.

About ChatThreads

ChatThreads is a word of mouth tracking and mea­sure­ment ser­vice that cap­tures brand-​​related con­ver­sa­tions over time and across gen­er­a­tions, both online and offline. Founded by Dr. Walter Carl, promi­nent WOM researcher and member of the Word of Mouth Mar­keting Asso­ci­a­tion (WOMMA) Advi­sory Board, ChatThreads is leading the way in enabling mar­keters to opti­mize and mea­sure WOM out­comes. ChatThreads’s clients include For­tune 500 com­pa­nies and leading brands such as Philips and Johnson & Johnson, as well as WOM media plat­forms and agen­cies­like BzzA­gent and Arnold World­wide. For more infor­ma­tion, visit www​.chatthread​scorp​.com