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The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, 2nd Edition by George SILVERMAN

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CHAPTER 9

The 5th M: Measurement

The Silverman Uncertainty Principle: You can’t measure your word-of-mouth campaign with a conventional control group design, because the purpose of word of mouth is to set off a chain reaction of second-order word of mouth that reaches everyone quickly. In experimental design, it is called “contaminating the control group.” You can’t use a pre/post design because you can’t control for the other variables without a control group, which you can’t use. Also, the second order effects are much more powerful than the initial exposures. Your boss is going to hit the roof over this.

The Problem

Word of mouth is the only marketing method that can’t be measured accurately. Even more disturbing is that the more effective ...

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