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Earned Media Driven by Experience Is the Most Powerful Marketing

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, February 28, 2013
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Bangalore: Social Media Week -- All earned media is not created equal. A new report from House Party, Inc, a leading social marketing platform, was released today demonstrating why brands need to make room in their marketing mix for experience-driven social, the most powerful driver of earned media. The report, "All Earned Media is Not Created Equal: Experience-Driven Social Marketing -- Deeper Engagement, for Stronger Advocacy and Bigger Lifts," can be downloaded for free at and will be presented today, Friday, February 22, at Social Media Week NYC.

While most marketers know by now that earned is the most powerful media and have programs in place to drive it, many don't yet realize that experience-driven social marketing generates the most powerful earned. In fact, it can have the power and reach to both build brands and drive sales as well as, or better than, all other channels.

Citing research from Nielsen, ChatThreads and Keller Fay, and detailing results from eight years of House Party campaigns, the report looks at what happens when products are put into the homes and social networks of prescreened brand advocates, as well as the bigger and longer lasting brand and sales lifts that result when those advocates spread their enthusiasm to millions -- online and off.

"It's widely accepted by now that there's no better ad than a consumer recommendation," said House Party CEO Chris Maher. "What this report shows is that those recommendations are both much more persuasive and much greater in number when they're driven by an in-person brand experience. The proof is in the unmatched brand and sales lifts we've consistently generated in eight years of perfecting experience-driven social marketing for our clients."

According to Brad Fay, COO of leading word-of-mouth research consultancy, Keller Fay Group, "Seven years of research by Keller Fay Group shows that word of mouth based on real product experience is more credible, more viral, and leads to higher purchase intent."

JWT Atlanta's Associate Director of Digital Strategy, Sunni Thompson, will be presenting along with House Party and Keller Fay Group at Social Media Week. "As we invent and develop new types of engagement for our clients, creating deep and lasting connections between consumers and brands is at the forefront of all we do," Thompson explains. "One of the most effective ways to truly develop brand engagement is through real-world experiences. Consumers that become excited about an organization through direct interaction with the brand offline are far more likely to serve as evangelists online, bringing the paid media efforts full circle."

Key findings from the report include:

Experience-driven social generates bigger lifts in branding and sales:

• Bigger brand lifts. Compared with, say, the typical 0% to 30% brand lifts of digital display campaigns, experience-driven social can average favorability lifts of 155%, advocacy-intent lifts of 196%, and purchase-intent lifts of 183%.

o Lifts that last longer. Six months after a campaign, consumers reached can still be well over 100% more familiar with the product; 60% more favorable; and over 500% more intending to recommend.

o Lifts in "marketing receptivity." Experience-driven social can get an average of 69% of those reached taking more notice of the brand's other marketing.

• Bigger sales lifts and ROI. Experience-driven social campaigns can average sales lifts of over 10% and ROI of $4 in gross revenue, and $2 in gross profit.

o Bonus assets. Experience-driven social produces valuable assets -- mountains of user-generated content, tens of thousands of opted-in advocates, deep consumer insights, and more, raising the already high ROI.

Experience-driven social can have mass reach:

• Engaging 5,000 advocates can reach an average of 8 million people, as many or more than are reached by a Top 10 cable show, consumer site, or magazine.
o Reach that keeps growing. Engaging 5,000 advocates can drive an average of one million recommendations a month -- at six months after the campaign.

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