Word of mouth: The act of consumers providing information to other consumers.
Word of mouth marketing: Giving people a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place.
It is the art and science of building active, mutually beneficial consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer communications.
Word of mouth is a pre-existing phenomenon that marketers are only now learning how to harness, amplify, and improve. Word of mouth marketing isn’t about creating word of mouth — it’s learning how to make it work within a marketing objective.
That said, word of mouth can be encouraged and facilitated. Companies can work hard to make people happier, they can listen to consumers, they can make it easier for them to tell their friends, and they can make certain that influential individuals know about the good qualities of a product or service.
Word of mouth marketing empowers people to share their experiences. It’s harnessing the voice of the customer for the good of the brand. And it’s acknowledging that the unsatisfied customer is equally powerful.
Word of mouth can’t be faked or invented. Attempting to fake word of mouth is unethical and creates a backlash, damages the brand, and tarnishes the corporate reputation. Legitimate word of mouth marketing acknowledges consumers’ intelligence — it never attempts to fool them. Ethical marketers reject all tactics related to manipulation, deception, infiltration, or dishonesty.
All word of mouth marketing techniques are based on the concepts of customer satisfaction, two-way dialog, and transparent communications. The basic elements are:
– Educating people about your products and services
– Identifying people most likely to share their opinions
– Providing tools that make it easier to share information
– Studying how, where, and when opinions are being shared
– Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals
APPLICATION TO GOOD NEWS: Is WOMMA just what some call “mouth to ear” or could it the creation of a sort of self-sustaining discussion about the GN that could lead to a CP movement? Next time I will discuss Buzz marketing. Please comment below.