Tag Archives: word of mouth marketing

Power of Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Marketing– Its All About Buzz: Holy Grail of Any Organization…

Word-of-mouth (WOM) is the holy grail of marketing. It’s a source of easy promotion and it comes from the most credible source possible; a super-satisfied customer. According to Nielsen; 92% of consumers said they trust friends and family above all other forms of marketing when it comes to recommendations about products, services. According to Word of Mouth Marketing Association; personal word-of-mouth drives 54% of purchase decisions, but it cuts both ways: According to Seth Godin; word of mouth happens when a customer is delighted, or when they are disappointed, angry… It’s the latter scenario that brings most troubling consequences for this form of marketing. 

The core principle of effective marketing is to create things worth talking about, e.g.; unleash word-of-mouth, which is then amplified by the internet, social media… It stems from a real emotional connection with a product or service– it’s meaningful… Whereas the concept of ‘buzz’ is just ‘hype’ usually based on superficial realities, and they don’t last very long… It’s not that buzz is bad; there simply is not enough substance… Effective marketing is about– truth and value, not just buzz…

In the article Why Word-Of-Mouth Is The Best Marketing Tool by Jon Tan writes:  Word-of-mouth is immensely powerful, in fact, before making a purchase, consumers tend to listen to what others have to say. That’s why 90% of consumers tend to search for reviews before purchasing a product… In fact, 59% of consumers enjoy telling others about their experiences, both good and bad…

Surveys show that customers that purchase through word-of-mouth spend 200% more than the average customer and also make 2x as many referrals themselves… A consumer is up to 50x more likely to buy a product or service if it’s recommended by close friends or family. The greatest thing about word-of-mouth is that it keeps spreading, and it can go viral… It takes just 1000 customers to generate half a million conversations about a brand…

In the article Disadvantages of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Angela Ogunjimi writes: Word-of-mouth happens both when a customer is delighted or disappoint… It’s the latter scenario that bring about the most troubling disadvantages of this form of marketing… Simply put, your customer’s rave reviews about your product or service comes at that customer’s good will… Unlike paid advertising, through which you choose the channel, audience, timing… of messages, word-of-mouth marketing is largely a product of chance, but you can control the way you treat customers…

However, word-of-mouth marketing has its downsides when a single unsatisfied customers or competitors takes to air waves– internet, social media, blog… with negative messages. Satisfied customers may peg you as being the greatest, affordable… which can help influence the ‘story’ about your organization: Or, not…

However, word-of-mouth only works well when it supplements a full-scale marketing effort that tells complete the story through multiple outlets… And it’s only effective when the customers have a positive experience, and not trickery or abuse. Spark the ‘buzz’ by exceeding the customer’s expectations every time…

In the article Word-of-Mouth: Building a Strategy That Really Works by yotpo writes: The power of word-of-mouth recommendations is huge, but for it to be effective marketers must create something worth talking about and then actively encourage people to talk about it… Word-of-mouth marketing essentially seeks to kick-start an exponential referral chain that drives continuous traffic, leads, sales for the brand…

However, word-of-mouth often has a negative side… There’s no quicker way to destroy a brand than by dissatisfied customers who promote negative commentary… These unhappy customers are much more likely to post public warnings about bad experience than satisfied customers making positive recommendation... Hence take note; upset customers can be perilous!

In the article Measure Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Doogan, Jørgen Vetvik writes: Word of mouth influence is greatest when consumers are buying a product for the first time or when products are relatively expensive… factors that tend to make people conduct more research, seek more opinions and deliberate longer than they otherwise would…

And be assured that this influence will grow; the digital revolution and social media have amplified and accelerated their reach to the point where word-of-mouth is no longer just an act of ‘one-to-one’, but also ‘one-to-many’ and ‘many-to-many’ communications, e.g.; reviews are posted, opinions disseminated through social networks. Customers even create websites or blogs to praise or punish brands…

The starting point for managing word of mouth is understanding which dimensions of brand equity are most important to a product category, e.g.; the Who, the What, the Where... For example; in skin care, it’s the What. In retail banks, it’s the Who… Word-of-mouth-equity analysis can detail precise nature of a category’s ‘influentials’ (people who make a difference), and pinpoint highest-impact messages, contexts, networks…

Clearly word-of-mouth marketing is an effective tool, particularly with ‘mobile apps’ for smartphones… Think about it for a moment: How many apps have you recommend to friends, family, colleagues? How many apps have you started to use because somebody told you about them? Let’s face it, word-of-mouth marketing for mobile apps is a game changer… There are millions of mobile apps available on the market but you cannot try them all, so you rely on the experience of friends, family… and they rely on you…

It’s contagious, people communicate– one-to-one’ and ‘many-to-many’ everywhere; at home, commuting, on the street, at the office, at parties… on social networks, on forums, blogs, emails… According to Elif Çetin; if you have product, service, app, widget… to show the world; whether an   organization or solo entrepreneur… spreading the word through word-of-mouth marketing is an imperative…

Word of Mouth (WOM) Marketing– Create, Harness… Power of Buzz: Leverage WOM to Grow Business– Its Honest Marketing…

Word of mouth (WOM) marketing is the most effective, powerful… form of marketing. Word of mouth means the passing of information from person to person… storytelling is a common form of word of mouth communication where a person tells a story about a real event, or even a falsehood…

According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association; 76% of consumers say they don’t believe companies tell truth in advertising... It’s interesting that only 24% of the population actually believes that advertisers are truthful.

According to Journal of Advertising Research; 75% of all consumer conversations about brands happen face-to-face, 15% happen over the phone and just 10% online… This is backed up by WOM specialists, Keller Fay, who claim that TV advertising creates the majority of brand related ‘word of mouth’ followed by PR… for many consumers, word of mouth is perceived as impartial, unbiased… and they acknowledge that they are attentive to what people say before making a purchase… 

Many companies focus on creating what’s known as marketing ‘buzz’, or simply ‘buzz’… a term that is used in word-of-mouth marketing– it’s the interaction of consumers that serves to amplify the original marketing message… Many people describe buzz as simply ‘hype’… a vague but positive association, excitement, anticipation… about a company, product, service… creating positive ‘buzz’ is an important marketing goal.

According to survey by Nielsen; 92% of consumers said they trust friends and family’s recommendations, above all other forms of marketing… According to ‘Word of Mouth Marketing Association’ (WOMMA); personal connection drives 54% of purchase decisions… word of mouth is the most influential factor in driving a consumer purchase decision… both in physical and digital channels. Despite advancements in technology and traditional brand interaction; conversation is the significant factor influencing consumers.

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The principles of word-of-mouth marketing are simple… There are four steps to create a successful word-of-mouth campaign… First, company should give consumers something to talk about. This means providing a quality product-service and highlighting its key features… Next, company should decide where this conversation will happen–research what media its consumers use the most, and then place the marketing materials for the campaign in those media…

However, simply starting the conversation often isn’t enough. The company must give consumers reason to talk about the product–that’s buzz. Lastly, company must make sure that the conversation continues– use of  multiple marketing channels is essential. According to Erica DeWolf; in today’s world of social media, instant message,  mobile phones, word of mouth marketing is more alive than ever. It’s a better and more effective way to market and advertise products, services…

Now let’s differentiate the terms ‘word of mouth’ marketing from ‘viral’ marketing, since they are often confused or even used interchangeably. The terms overlap and are subject of debate… various marketing professionals define them much differently, for example; Seth Godin says; word of mouth is when a marketer does something and a consumer tells five or ten friends… but over time, word of mouth is a decaying function...

Whereas, viral marketing takes the phenomenon a step further, for example; a marketer does something and then a consumer tells five or ten people; then they tell five or ten people… it repeats… and grows and grows. Like virus spreading through population… As a general rule, word of mouth marketing takes place mostly offline (although social media is a key facilitator, as well)…

In this process, for example; a company person (usually marketing, sales, company executive…) does something to impress a consumer (or others…) who in turn tells a few friends about it… then, these people pass the message to more friends… this third group may or many not pass on the message, and eventually, the word of mouth message dies off– It’s a downward funnel… The message begins large and trickles down…

Whereas, viral marketing works in the opposite way– the message begins small and grows as more people– ‘announce’, ‘shout’… the message to larger groups of people… It’s also important to point out that a viral marketing campaign is more ‘purposeful’- it’s designed to attract attention, spread… whereas word of mouth marketing is more ‘accidental’. When people have an incredible– company, product…  experience (good or bad), they will share it– this is word of mouth… Word of mouth and viral marketing are very similar, often overlap…

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In the article Disadvantages of Word-of-Mouth Marketing by Angela Ogunjimi writes: Word of mouth happens both– when you delight a customer and when you disappoint or angered one. It’s the latter scenario that bring about the most troubling disadvantages of this form of marketing… Simply put, your customer’s rave reviews about your product or service comes at that customer’s good will… Unlike paid advertising, through which you choose the channel, audience, timing… of messages; word-of-mouth marketing is largely a product of chance…

You can’t control or censor what customers say… With innumerable outlets for both positive and negative experiences, especially social media and online review websites; word-of-mouth marketing shows its downsides when a single unsatisfied customers with choruses from your ruthless competitors, take to the air waves to bash the product, service. Even with positive word-of-mouth marketing, you have little control over key marketing pillar, such as: Positioning… Satisfied customers may peg you as being the greatest, affordable… supplier of a product, service, which can help influence ‘the story’ about the business…

However, word-of-mouth marketing can’t be relied upon as a primary source of marketing… Once the buzz stops… the interest and knowledge of the product can come to a complete standstill. Rather, word of mouth works well when it supplements a full-scale marketing effort that tells a complete story through multiple outlets… Good ‘word of mouth’ comes from good products and services, not trickery or abuse… Spark the ‘word of mouth’ by exceeding the customer’s expectations every time. There’s no substitute for a job well done…

In the article Social Media Amplifies Power of Word-of-Mouth by David Howell writes: The power of word of mouth (WOM) has taken on completely new, far-reaching persona in the shape of social media networks. Today, B2B organizations realize that WOM can be a powerful tool for their marketing activity. An astonishing 91% of B2B purchasers said that their buying decisions were influenced by WOM, making this form of engagement vital for many organizations to get it right…

According to research from McKinsey; WOM is firmly in the digital channel as one of the most important to cultivate whether in the B2C, B2B… and is a primary factor behind 20 to 50% of all purchase decisions. According to Hubspot; any WOM strategy should contain these elements: Know the audience, develop personas that are so specific they’re bordering on the obsessive! Know everything there is to know about the industry, products, services.

Build a very close social media community… in the networks that resonate with the target audience. Identify who the influencers are in the community and other social media spaces where you’d like to get noticed. Find out what influences the ‘influencers’ and where. You can’t restrict what people can say, but try to guide it... WOM is a powerful and vital marketing technique, and together with social media its power is amplified…

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Word-of-mouth is a natural phenomenon, and it’s as old as human communication… there is a strong link between word-of-mouth and storytelling… The key elements of successful word-of-mouth marketing are; value, relevance, excellent service, content, stories… and, listening to stories is just as important as having them shared. Word-of-mouth marketing requires a customer-centric mindset of sharing and focusing on what is valuable for people and networks we hope to involve. It’s certainly not about paying people to ‘get the word out’ nor about simply ‘joining the conversation’. It’s about real value both for the business, customers…

Conversations have no business value, if they don’t focus on mutual benefits and are not monitored, measured, or used to improve the overall customer experience, efficiency… The components of an effective word of mouth marketing campaign, include; engage advocacy groups without destroying ‘credibility’ and ‘trust’… ensure participants are: Unpaid–cash messes with opinions! Unscripted–people should say what they really feel, no matter how good or bad! Open–if someone is involved in an organized word of mouth program, the people they talk to should be aware of it!

Word of mouth can be bad as well as good: There’s no quicker way to destroy a brand than by negative word of mouth advertising. Dissatisfied customers are much more likely to post public warnings about a bad product than a satisfied customer is to recommend it… Upset people are at your peril! According to Martha Spelman; you can’t depend on word-of-mouth forever. If  primary form of marketing is word-of-mouth, you need more ‘mouths’…

Incorporating other marketing efforts into the overall business strategy is imperative. Establishing a plan to increase visibility with broad-based program, including; website, email marketing, networking, speaking, events, blogs… and being active on social media platforms like– LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +… should all be on the radar…

There’s no right or wrong way to execute word of mouth marketing; if it works for you, then it’s right… According to Patrick Galvin; creating a word of mouth campaign focused on building customer loyalty that boost referrals, then the business thrives… According to Allan Dib; word of mouth marketing is powerful, but it’s extremely slow and unreliable way for building a business… it can take many years, even decades, to build a successful business on the back of word of mouth alone…

By being solely reliant on word of mouth you’re putting the fate of the business in the hands of others ‘hoping’ they, remember you often enough to regularly, send new business your way… This is an extremely dangerous path to be on… However, by creating multiple marketing channels including word of mouth you take back control, which then enables you to build a solid foundation for rapid business growth…