WORD OF MOUTHNovember 29, 2018
What is Word_of_Mouth marketing?
As the name implies, word-of-mouth marketing is any instance where consumers share information about a product or organization with one another, whether by talking or through some other medium. Internet communication, especially social networking, is a significant part of modern word-of-mouth marketing. Though traditional word-of-mouth relies on consumers talking to one another in a direct, personal context like an in-person conversation or a telephone call, Internet-based word-of-mouth uses a variety of platforms that may not involve speaking at all.
The Internet allows consumers to share information about products and organizations without ever speaking to one another. The following are examples of how word-of-mouth works online.
- Social network posts (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
- “Liking” or other signs of approval on social networks
- Sharing links via email or other platforms
- Posting media content (videos, pictures, audio clips) on websites
Who uses Word_of_Mouth marketing?
Any organization that can encourage people to spread information about a product, a cause, or the organization itself can use word-of-mouth marketing. It is useful in for-profit endeavors as well as in non-profit causes like political campaigns.
An apartment management company, for instance, could encourage tenants to refer their friends and family to the company if they are in the market for a place to live. The company could give incentives for these referrals by offering tenants a cash bonus or some other benefit if someone they refer to the management company signs a new lease.
Word-of-mouth is also a popular technique used by medical professionals to share patients between different specialists. A doctor could suggest a particular dental practice to patients, just as that dental practice could refer patients to specialists like orthodontists and oral surgeons. This is often based on the existing professional networks of the doctors and dentists, as well as each practice’s reputation.
Political campaigns are especially dependent on word-of-mouth. In addition to convincing individuals to vote for a particular candidate or issue, they also encourage people to talk to others about doing the same. This is frequently accomplished by providing people with content they can share, like email newsletters, online videos, and social networking pages.
Implementing Word_of_Mouth techniques
The principles of word-of-mouth marketing are simple, so the process of using it should not attempt to be too complex. There are four steps organizations should take to create a successful word-of-mouth campaign.
First, the company should give consumers something to talk about. This means providing a quality product and highlighting its key features. If, for instance, a new ice cream shop called Frozen Treats opens and wants to develop a positive reputation in its community, the shop could start the campaign by asking consumers the question, “What is your favorite flavor at Frozen Treats?” This begins a specific, product-focused conversation, rather than just a general discussion of the shop itself.
Next, the company should decide where this conversation will happen. The company should research what media its consumers use the most, and then place the marketing materials for the campaign in those media. Frozen Treats is trying to capture the attention of its local community, so it may want to place ads asking “What is your favorite flavor?” in a community newspaper, on local TV stations, and through social media pages that pertain to the community.
However, simply starting the conversation often isn’t enough. The company needs to give consumers a reason to talk about the product. Frozen Treats could direct consumers to its website to vote for their favorite flavor and promise in the marketing materials to offer a discount on the most voted-for flavor.
Lastly, the company needs to make sure the conversation continues. Frozen Treats may see an initial rush of customers at the start of the campaign, but it can also let new and potential customers know that people are talking about the shop. Frozen Treats could announce the winner of the Favorite Flavor campaign in new marketing materials and use this momentum to launch a new campaign that encourages people to vote again. This would allow the company to learn about where the conversation was taking place and what kinds of materials were most effective.