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Marketing Association Launches Global First

Media Release 19 February 2009

New Zealand Marketing Association Launch Global First

70 of New Zealand’s business leaders attended the global launch of the first ever Word of Mouth Marketing Experiment this morning. The idea for the experiment arose from a partnership between the New Zealand Marketing Association and The Village Square. Supported by international word of mouth commentators Andy Sernovitz and Joseph Jaffe.

New Zealand Marketing Association Chief Executive, Sue McCarty, believes the New Zealand business community have been presented with a unique opportunity.

“Word of mouth marketing offers a valuable business tool which is cost effective, channel agnostic and can be applied to the activities of businesses of all sizes and stages of evolution.

Through this experiment we can build a practical and very public case study of word of mouth marketing.”

It will be fascinating to learn how new concepts in the business community spread, how fast and by whom”.

Word of mouth marketing may be more commonly understood as referral marketing. While most companies would agree that referrals are incredibly valuable and cost effective, they are far too often taken for granted and little is done to learn how to best effect them.

Richard Stevens, Global Marketing Services Manager of Fisher & Paykel Appliances attended the launch and says “word of mouth messages are the most trusted, they cut through the clutter. It’s an irony that this was the only way of communicating before media began and word of mouth has never been more relevant than it is now, in a time of fragmented media - it is perhaps the most potent media of all?”

The Experiment has been launched in New Zealand and will be replicated by Marketing Association s globally. The Experiment involves reading Word of Mouth by Andy Sernovitz, sharing opinions online and passing the book onto someone else. Participants will be able to track the location of their book online and will see how fellow business leaders around the world respond to the book and best practice principles of word of mouth marketing.

About the New Zealand Marketing Association
The NZMA’s role is to develop the marketing industry by ensuring the infrastructure and resources are in place to allow New Zealand businesses to thrive in a responsible marketplace.

We rely on the support of the business community to help us deliver the services that underpin this role, so that organisations of all size and at all stages of evolution can develop and take their products and services to the market without undue restrictions.

The NZMA provides the necessary infrastructure to:
- Ensure that best practice marketing is recognised and valued as the primary critical success factor to business that it is
- Develop and educate marketing professionals, aiding recruitment, retention and availability of skilled marketers
- Provide industry support through lobbying government as a collective, advocating self regulation over government legislation within the marketing industry
- Provide an environment where marketers can network and share knowledge with each other through professional business networking, information and social events

The Village Square
The Village Square are word of mouth experts and have been operating under the radar in New Zealand for approximately five years with brands such as Radio Works, Space Doctors, Fisher & Pykel, Frucor and Jack Enfield (the creator of Chicken Soup for the Sole).

The founders of The Village Square, Cornelis Boertjens and Jake Pearce, have also created a hugely successful business themselves utilising word of mouth best practice, Orange Peel, that now operates in over 55 countries.

Joseph Jaffe
Jaffe is a sought-after consultant, President of crayon; a new marketing company, an author and producer of a popular blog and podcast series “Jaffe Juice”.

Jaffe is also author of “Life After The 30-Second Spot: Energise Your Brand with a Bold Mix of Alternatives to Traditional Advertising” and “Join the Conversation: How to engage marketing-wearing consumers with the power of community, dialogue and partnership”.

In 2008, Jaffe spoke at a number of conferences and events including the DMA CEO/Leadership Forum, the Association of Canadian Advertisers Annual Conference and the DMA08 Conference and Exhibition.

Andy Sernovitz
Sernovtiz was a contributing founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and is author of the new book “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking” on which the experiment is based.

Sernovitz has 18years experience in interactive marketing and has spent many years working with companies to improve their marketing. Sernovitz teaches Word of Mouth Marketing at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Sernovitz has spoken at events for many organisations including the Interactive Marketing Association, the Association of National Advertising. He has also spoken at many industry events including Ad:Tech, Measuring Word of Mouth, the eCom Expo and BlogOn.


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