A penny, or actually 50, for your thoughts

ROI for word-of-mouth marketing? I’m dubious, but leading WOM shop BzzAgent says a conversation by one of its 400,000-plus minions on behalf of a brand is worth about 50 cents. Analyst David Bank, speaking for free to Brandweek, explains: “I might think I’m paying X amount for a CPM, but if virality is 30 times that, I’m paying so much less. If you have a 27 times virality rate, you really paid a 27th of that.” Virality? That’s gotta be worth $1.25 all by itself. Maybe he meant virility, which would be a bit frightening. These WOM types drone on about “lower-involvement CPGs” and “generation 2 partners.” How can we trust them to come up with a measurement standard for speech when theirs is so garbled? Also, why is everyone always offering to pay me to shut up?

—Posted by David Gianatasio