A few weeks ago, a good portion of the students weren't feeling too great. A bunch of us had just had the mid-term for our Consultation Skills class, the one we have at 8 am, right before WOM. We'd been busy memorizing all sorts of hierarchies and models, and all of them seemed logical enough that we could come up with them by ourselves. Instead, someone else came up with them first, and so we have to spend our summer memorizing the terminology and structure they decided on. At least by our WOM class, for good or bad, the evil mid-term was over.
As part of our WOM class on that Wednesday, we were going over the levels of involvement to on-line buzz. This was a change from my consulting class: the professor who came up with these wasn't some guy I'd never meet. It was my professor. These were Dr. Walter Carl's Levels of Involvement(pdf). That alone made them more accessible, but as we talked about them, the class decided monitoring, listening, and joining in (the three levels Dr. Carl presented) may not completely cover the various levels of involvement. So we added a level between listening and joining in: responding. We then talked about how many companies are oblivious to WOM in general, so the lowest level should be oblivious. So now the hierarchy we agreed upon was oblivious, monitoring, listening, responding, and joining in.
This was not some arbitrary scale given to us by a text book and some random teachers; this was a hierarchy that we as a class discussed, worked out, and agreed upon. Instead of just memorizing what other people tell us in this class, we are coming up with out own frameworks. This is an aspect of the class I particularly like: the field of study is so uncharted, that not only are we students, but we are also teachers. Why else would people read our blog?
Tags: WOM word of mouth Word-of-Mouth Marketing buzz marketing viral marketing marketing communication