2015年考研暑假必读文章:Word on the Street

来源:新东方 2019-02-28

 Word on the Street

Psst...your friends may be shilling for a soap company. Why people love marketing by word of month.

The next time someone you know raves about a dish detergent or motor oil, consider this: you might be on the receiving end of a marketing campaign. It's a new world for people whose job it is to sell you things, what with consumers' digital video recorder-enabled ability to skip over ads they don't want to see, and their Internet-empowered freedom to find out all the stuff left out of a 30-sec.TV spot. That's driving marketers to all sorts of new places, including your circle of friends.

Procter & Gamble, a pioneer in the field, has been focusing on word of mouth fox six years through its Tremor division, which has enlisted 255,000 teenagers in the US. to tell their friends about brands like Herbal Essences and Old Spice. Last year, P&G signed up 500,000 adult volunteers, all mothers, for Vocalpoint, a program in which the moms evangelize about pet food, paper towels and hair color. P&G gives the women marketing materials and coupons, but they are free to say whatever they like (or nothing at all) about the products. BzzAgent, a firm that specializes in word-of-mouth marketing, has its 260,000 volunteers submit detailed profiles about their habits and interests, which BzzAgent uses to match them to word-of-mouth campaigns for products made by companies such as Nestle, Arby's, Philips, Kraft and BP.

This unscripted strategy might sound like a big risk, but despite the conventional wisdom that consumers are much more likely to voice complaints than praise, recent research finds the opposite. In one study, Andrea Wojnicki, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, looked at self-styled experts and found that they were likely to keep negative experiences to themselves, lest their skill-at, say, picking a restaurant-be called into question.

And why are these citizen marketers so willing to shill for free? Inside access to products and the feeling that companies care about what you and your friends think are such strong motivating forces that other forms of compensation pale in comparison. BzzAgent's members earn reward points, which they can cash in for prizes like DVDs and booksyet 87% of them never do.

Word of mouth has been around for ages-"Try the apple," said Eve-and it continues to prove resilient. A consultancy called the Kelley Fay Group found that 18% of word-of-mouth marketing took place on the phone, and 72% face to face, despite the ubiquity of electronic communication. Or perhaps because of it. “Inundated by ads,” says Tremor CEO Steve Knox, "Consumers have gone back to their most trusted source-family and friends."

Naturally, some people aren't happy about marketers' following them there. In 2005 the advocacy group Commercial Alert asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate company-fed word of mouth and other buzz tactics, which the group says take authentic relationships and unduly commercialize them. Not all firms ask word of mouthers to disclose their corporate connection, but the Word of Mouth Marketing Association requires its 400-odd members to do so as part of its ethics code. There might also be a business case for disclosure. Word of mouth is built on trust, explains Gerald Zaltman, a sociologist and professor emeritus at Harvard Business School. Fessing up reinforces that.

But perhaps the biggest lesson companies can learn from word of mouthers is that there's an unmet social need among consumers to feel that their opinions matter. "They care what you have to say," says Carol Engels, a Vocalpoint mother in suburban Chicago. "That's what I like most" Smart companies find that, when they listen, they also get a shot at steering the conversation.

#p#副标题#e#
重点单词
campaign 
【文中释义】n.活动
【大纲全义】n.战役;活动;运动 v.参加(或发起)运动,参加竞选

skip /skip/
【文中释义】v.跳过
【大纲全义】v略过,跳过;故意忽略;跳绳n.跳跃

enlist /in'list/
【文中释义】v.征集
【大纲全义】v.征幕,参与,支持

essence 
【文中释义】n.精华
【大纲全义】n.本质,实质;精髓,精华

specialize 
【文中释义】 v.专攻
【大纲全义】 v. (in)专攻,专门研究,专业化

submit /sab'mit/
【文中释义】v.递交
【大纲全义】v. (to)使服从,屈服;(to)呈送,提交;主张,建议

profile 
【文中释义】n.概要
【大纲全义】n.侧面(像);轮廓,外形;人物简个姿态,形象;引人注目的状态 v.为......描绘(轮廓等),写......的传略(或概况)

access 
【文中释义】n.使用权
【大纲全义】n.通道,入口;进入,接入;接近(或进入,享受)机会;享用权;入口 v.存取

motivate 
【文中释义】v.刺激
【大纲全义】v.促动;激动,鼓励,作为......的动机

suburban 
【文中释义】adj市郊的(城郊的)
【大纲全义】adj市郊的(城郊的)

shot 
【文中释义】n.尝试
【大纲全义】n.开枪,射击;投篮;弹丸,炮弹,子弹;尝试;镜头,拍摄;注射

steer 
【文中释义】v.驾驭
【大纲全义】n .钢 v.使坚强

超纲单词
rave v.叫嚷,咆哮 detergent n.清洁剂
evangelize v传播 unscripted adj不用草稿的,不成文的
shill v.为……当浪用编子 resilient n.有弹力的
ubiquity n.到处存在 inundate n.泛滥,淹没
mouther n.吹牛的人 unmet adj.未满足的
重点段落译文
下一次,当你认识的人向你声情并茂地介绍碟子洗涤剂或电动机润滑油时,考虑一下:你或许正是某种营销活动针对的对象。对那些向你推销东西的人来说这是一个全新的世界:销售那些消费者用数码录像机跳过他们不想看到的广告,他们的因特网在30秒内有权自由找出所有遗漏的材料—现场电视片断。这些促销活动已经渗透到各种新的地方,包括你的朋友圈中。

该领域的先驱宝洁公司,通过旗下的特莱默营销公司一直注重口碑营销已有6年了。特莱默营销公司在美国已物色到22.5万个青少年,并让他们向他们的朋友宣传保洁公司的品牌,如草本精华及陈年香料。去年,宝洁公司为Vocalpoint活动召集了50万成人志愿者,这些志愿者都是母亲。Vocalpoint这个项目是让妈妈们宣传宠物食品、纸巾和染发剂的计划。宝洁给予妇女营销材料和礼券,但她们可以自由对商品发表意见(或者不置一词)。 BzzAgent是一家专门从事口碑营销的公司,拥有26万志愿者,他们提交了详细地有关自己的习惯和兴趣的概况,Bzzagent公司根据这些情况有针对性地让他们宣传如雀巢、Arbys、飞利浦、卡夫和英国石油等公司生产的产品。

这个不成文的策略听起来像是充满了风险,尽管传统的观点认为这种营销方式使得消费者更有可能投诉而不是称赞,最近的研究发现恰恰相反。在一项研究中,多伦多大学的助理教授安德列·沃基根观察发现那些自封的专家们很可能保持自己的消极经历,除非他们的技能—譬如说,选择一间餐厅—受到质疑。

为什么这些市民营销人员如此乐意被免费雇佣为骗子呢?可以在内部获得产品且感受公司关心你和你朋友的想法。如此强大的激励手段使得其他形式的补偿金在比较中显得十分苍白。Bzzagent的会员赚取报酬积分点,它们能替代现金获取奖品,如数码影像光碟和书籍—然而87%的人从来没有得到过。

口碑营销已经流传多年了。伊夫说;“试试苹果牌。”它继续证明有弹性。一个名叫凯勒飞的团体的顾问发现:尽管电子通信无处不在,或许就因为这样,仍有18%的口碑营销是通过电话进行的,72%是面对面的。Tremor首席执行官史蒂夫·诺克斯说:“因为广告铺天盖地,消费者回到了原处,回到了他们最信任的来源,——一家庭和朋友。”

但公司们从口碑营销者中得到的最大经验就是消费者有一个未能满足的社会需要,那就是消费者认为他们的意见很重要。在芝加哥郊区的Vacalpoint的母亲卡罗尔·恩格斯说:“他们关心你要说的,这就是我最喜欢的。”当他们倾听时,明智的公司也会试着驾驭谈话。




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