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Ed Keller

Member since December 2006Contact Ed

Ed Keller is CEO of Engagement Labs, a technology company that helps brands improve marketing ROI by optimizing their TotalSocial performance. TotalSocial is the only analytics tool that measure brand performance in word of mouth and social media. He is co-author of “The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rules in a Digital Marketplace” (Free Press: 2012) and of “The Influentials”( Free Press: 2003).

Articles by Ed All articles by Ed

  • How To Become A Word-Of-Mouth Maven in Marketing Insider on 06/07/2021

    For one, forget the myth that WOM works only (or best) in "exciting" categories.

  • Biden Word-of-Mouth Sentiment Turns Positive For First Time in Marketing Politics Weekly on 10/19/2020

    Joe Biden is being talked about slightly more positively than negatively for the first time during the campaign, according to Engagement Labs' latest three-week rolling average. Biden has a "net sentiment" of +1, meaning slightly more kitchen-table conversations about the candidate are positive than negative -- a big improvement from three weeks ago when he was at -18. By comparison, conversations about Donald Trump for the three weeks ending October 11 are at -26, similar to three weeks ago (-24).

  • Word-Of-Mouth Remains Vital To Consumers During COVID-19 in MediaDailyNews on 07/31/2020

    During the pandemic, consumer conversations overall have risen, with more at home and more via video call. Consumer talk is up by double digits in social media vs. a year ago. Yet despite social distancing, real-world offline word-of-mouth conversations are also up 2% between April and July, vs. the same time last yea, amounting to 14 billion weekly word-of-mouth impressions about products, services and brands.

  • Conversations About Trump Turn Increasingly Negative, Even Among Base in Marketing Politics Weekly on 06/05/2020

    The gap in sentiment between conversations about 2020 candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden expanded to 34 points after the first week of protests related to the killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, marking the largest gap since Biden became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party. Both candidates ended May in net-negative territory, but Biden was at just -12 versus -46 for Trump.

  • The 'Superspreaders' You WANT To Meet in Marketing Insider on 05/20/2020

    Marketers should seek out the one in 10 most influential consumers, who are the most efficient for spreading ideas and advice about brands.

  • Tears & Cheers: NBC Sets The Field For A Night Of Consumer Talk in Marketing Insider on 02/02/2018

    If we can predict anything about Super Bowl Sunday, it's that tears will be shed - and we don't mean by football fans (although that may be true, too). Why? The next episode of NBC's hit show, "This is Us," is scheduled to air right after the Super Bowl, and with a much-anticipated conclusion to a key storyline.

  • Dilly Dilly: Bud Light Sparks More Than Just An Internet Meme in Marketing Daily on 01/15/2018

    Here are a few of the factors we uncovered during our research that make this ad especially talk-worthy.

  • How To Engage The Millennial Market? Engage Young Men in Engage:Men on 09/26/2017

    What's the best way to build influence among the Millennial generation? Engage young men. In a surprising twist, Millennial men are 50% more likely than the women of their generation to drive brand conversations, and not just in a few select categories. They're emerging as key consumer influencers across the board, from sports and auto to travel and children's products.

  • OTAs Better At Engaging Consumers Offline Than In Social Media in Marketing: Travel on 07/11/2017

    As hotels and airlines look to renegotiate their contracts with online travel agencies (OTA), they may want to take a closer look at how well each OTA performs in driving consumer conversations offline and online. Since social influence has a proven impact on sales, a quick chat at the water cooler or a Facebook Messenger discussion about an upcoming vacation or weekend getaway is a leading indicator of who will secure the booking. Right now, TripAdvisor, Expedia.com and the other OTAs are outperforming hotels and airlines in this all-important battle for share of conversation.

  • Celebrity Endorsers Are Not Influencer Marketing in Marketing Daily on 05/24/2017

    Everyday influencers count their online followers in the hundreds, not millions, as celebrities do. But they have something celebrities lack - credibility.

Comments by Ed All comments by Ed

  • Celebrity Endorsers Are Not Influencer Marketing by Ed Keller (Marketing Daily on 05/24/2017)

    Thanks, Paula.  Read the comment that follows you from Ed Papazian.  It's not necessarily the case that marketers wouldn't do paid celebrity social media endorsements if they didn't pay off.  Marketing dollars get spent in all sorts of ways where the impact is unclear but it gets done anyway.  I'm not saying this never works, but in appropriating the term 'influencer marketing' it has overshadowed what the term has meant for a long time (and was popularized by Gladwell's The Tipping Point), and has thus blinded many marketers to the opportunity to engage with this powerful sector of consumers who pick up early on trends, talk about them with others, and can drive brand performance.  And they can be activated at scale through a variety of means.

  • Celebrity Endorsers Are Not Influencer Marketing by Ed Keller (Marketing Daily on 05/24/2017)

    James, thanks for the feedback.  Let me address your second question, to begin.  I agree it's not just about volume of conversation.  It's about volume + sentiment + impact with the latter point coming back to the credibility of the recommendations.  We have done research in which we have analyzed the impact of conversations people have with influencers versus non-influencers and find the financial value of a recommendation from an influencer (in the way I define the term in the article) and find it is 4 times the value of a recommendation from an average person.  This is because of the enhanced credibility.  As for the first question, I don't have stats to even venture a guess.  However, I would say that any brand running a campaign with paid influencers could achieve significant (additional) value from a focused strategy designed to unleash the power of the "influencers next door." Many of these people are sitting right in their CRM databases enbabling them to engage with them efficiently and effectively.  However, many marketers have lost signt of them as the definition of influencers has shifted toward the paid celebrity endorsers.  

  • Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Doesn't Always Match Social Media, Online Results by Wayne Friedman (Social Media & Marketing Daily on 12/08/2016)

    Chris, We have been tracking offline word of mouth for ten+ years and have a proprietary method for doing so that involves daily surveys in which consumers report to us on brand-related conversations during past 24 hours across a variety of categories.  That dataset has now been integrated with social media conversations to form TotalSocial, which is discussed here.  Thanks,Ed Keller, CEO of  Engagement Labs and Keller Fay Group (an Engagement Labs company).

  • Can't Buy Me Love: Social Media Needs Creativity, Not Money, To Buzz by Laurie Sullivan (Online Media Daily on 03/11/2011)

    Perhaps advertising is not correlated with brand mentions on Twitter, but that may say more about the types of brand-related "conversations" that take place on Twitter than anything more generalizable. Research conducted by the Keller Fay Group (@kellerfay) and Universal McCann finds that there is in fact a correlation between advertising and word of mouth more broadly. Our research, published in Admap, found "word-of-mouth and advertising are tightlyconnected to each other. Word-of-mouth isa key outcome of advertising, but also a keyfactor in advertising’s success," The admap article can be found here: http://bit.ly/hWeRKo

  • Teen Girls: Sisterhood, Not Social Media, Sells by Sarah Mahoney (Marketing Daily on 03/15/2010)

    This research is a powerful reminder that the vast majority of word of mouth takes place offline. We have seen this consistently during four years of continuous tracking research about word of mouth. But everytime we share it, the question is asked, what about teens. And our answer, as Euro's research shows too, is that even among teens offilne word of mouth dominates. Further, offline word of mouth has higher levels of credibility and leads to greater intent to purchase. What is maybe most important for marketers to know and understand is that the brands that get the most talk on social media are quite different from those that the get the most talk offline. As brands begin to adopt "listening strategies" this new research is an important reminder to listen to offline conversation in addition to mining what is talked about online. The research tools are available to do both.

  • Death Of The Influentials? by Pat LaPointe (Metrics Insider on 01/27/2009)

    As co-author of the Influentials, this discussion is particularly interesting to me. Recent research by our firm on influencers causes us to remain convinced of their efficacy, for reasons already discussed here – efficiency and effectiveness. They have larger social networks, which helps them to engage in more conversation each day about products and services (90% more than the average), and their opinion is sought out and offered more often. Whereas Guy’s argument against influentials is primarily related to the democratization, or flattening of information, our research finds that influencers are twice as likely as the average American to expressed themselves, online or offline. They are more likely to post messages on blogs, post opinions on review website, upload videos to YouTube or photos to Flickr. In other words, they are the ones who are taking the greatest advantage of the opportunities that the new technologies afford, so their voices are more prominent than others. You can see the research at http://kellerfay.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/KellerFay_Bazaarvoice%20Social%20Commerce_5-08_FINAL.pdf. New academic research supports the power of influencers, too. For example, a recent study by Don Lehmann of Columbia concludes that “Contrary to recent arguments, social hubs [defined as people with an exceptionally large number of social ties, i.e., influentials] adopt sooner than other people . . . because they are exposed earlier to an innovation due to their multiple social links.” Further, Lehmann's research says, “Adoption by hubs speeds up the growth process and directly influences eventual market size.” Professor Barak Libai of Tel Aviv University finds that influencers not only adopt new products earlier, but that because of this acceleration in the adoption process a firm can increase its profitability by between 6% and 14% by targeting influencers over the alternative of targeting random customers. And it can increase profitability by 11% - 44% by targeting infuencers via word of mouth versus the alternative of no word of mouth seeding at all. Finally, I encourage readers to look at the WOMMA Influencer Handbook (womma.org/influencer), particularly the discussion of types of influencers and the need to define terms clearly. As I read Guy’s post I suspect he is referring to media or cultural elites when he talks about influentials, whereas we are talking about consumers who are socially connected when we talk about them -- in the Influentials, and in our current research. To be continued . . .

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