Word-of-Mouth Spending, Implication of Eye Tracking Research and Bratz Doll Maker Tries Again

Highlighted Marketing Stories:

Word-of-Mouth Spend Hits $1.5 Bil. (BrandWeek) –  Yes, word-of-mouth promotion is big business. While what qualifies as WOM promotion is somewhat hazy the concept has taken off.

While most traditional channels saw spending slow, outlays behind w-o-m tactics including buzz, influencer, community and viral marketing grew 14.2 percent in 2008. Food and drink brands led the way, accounting for 30 percent of all w-o-m spending.

Why is WOM promotion doing so well compared to other methods?

Package Viewing Patterns (Package Design Magazine) – Eye tracking research is used in many fields including advertising and web design.  This story discusses it in terms of package design research.  The key take-away from this story deals with what is learned from the research rather than how the research is carried out.  It also offers a good global perspective.

Over time and across studies, we have found that certain generalized patterns have consistently emerged regarding how shoppers typically view packaging. First, packages are NOT systematically “read” like books, magazines, or newspapers. Shoppers do not typically start in the top-left corner and work their way across and down the packaging. Instead, shoppers typically start at the dominant visual element, which is often the branding.

Does the story offer any findings that would seem to be unexpected?

After Dolls Taken Away, Bratz Maker Tries Again (MSNBC) – The company that originally marketed Bratz dolls, MGA Entertainment, lost a big time copyright infringement lawsuit to Mattel in 2008.  The company is now trying to recover by offering a new doll product though market conditions could be a problem.

MGA Entertainment began developing Moxie Girlz, targeted at girls ages 6 to 10, last year. The line was inspired by the recession and the changes in families’ lifestyles that came up in focus group discussions, says Paula Garcia, vice president of product design and development.

What are the chances of success of a new doll line in a market that appears to be declining?

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