Word-of-mouth experts keep flapping gums

BzzAgent is yammering on about word-of-mouth ROI again, issuing a new report called "Calculating Your Communication Dividend." Players in this space devise new "formulas" or "metrics" every few months, but the "dividend" is always the same: They get some play in the media. The numbers, buzzwords (bzzwords?) and pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo make my head spin. BzzAgent now claims that the "profit" on an eight-minute brand conversation is 38 cents. Excuse me, an eight-minute brand conversation!? How can these BzzAgents possibly keep verbal exchanges going that long? Agent: "Nike makes good sneakers." Human being: "Yup." End of conversation! Who is going to hang in for more? I’m sure the WOM crowd would claim I’ve misunderstood the whole concept, but that just reinforces my point. If these guys can’t effectively communicate their basic raison d’être, how can they compel tipsy bar patrons to switch mixers or try the salted peanuts? That’s my two cents on the subject. At the very least, it’s worth what you paid. 😉