The State of Word-of-Mouth

Jun 17, 2015

In an environment where more and more people are avoiding advertisement as much as they can, word of mouth is gaining new attention amongst marketers. It always has been the most powerful marketing tool for any business and it is becoming even more so today.

A couple of statistics:

– Nielsen found that 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.

– The WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) (Yes, that actually exists!) found in a recent 2-year study that for purchases of high consideration items one Word of Mouth impression has 200 times the impact of a paid advertisement.

– They found that word of mouth is driving 13% of all consumer purchases.

– The growing online Word of Mouth now represents about 1/3 of all WOM.

– 90% of Online Word of Mouth impact happens within the first 2 weeks!

Good to know, but what do we do with it?
How do we generate Word of Mouth? The traditional “five P” of marketing (Product, Price, People, Promotion, Place) do not address Word of Mouth adequately; instead we need to concentrate on the “three E”: Engage, Equip and Empower.

Engage – engage with your customers and/or fans. Large companies with lots of staff can afford to tweet every 15 minutes; the small shop can do that. But, they can post on Facebook or provide useful or entertaining emails to their customers. Buzz360 actually automates that process very nicely.
Another very feasible and effective tool can be community activities with your own personal stamp and brand on it. Do something fun! Do something different.

Equip – give them a reason to talk about you and your service! Your community event may very well be one of those things to talk about. Of course, if they praise your amazing work, that is the best. Your Buzz 360 mailing campaigns with custom messages takes care of this.

Empower – Let’s give them something to talk about! It does not have to be the “Do-us-a-flavor” Frito-Lay campaign, or the Claude VanDamme stunt with the 2 Volvo trucks but you can do something fun to share right where you live.
An example could be a charitable lawn mowing competition. Take video and plenty of pictures! Makes for fun things to share for you and your fans. It also shows you are part of and care about your local community. The key is to use your social media tools before during and after the event. Have your customers nominate worthy recipients of your mowing, have them and their friends volunteer to do the mowing, have an online show of the competing mowers and their drivers – pictures, etc. – always keeping your social media in mind. At the cost of less than a quarter page ad in the newspaper or a banner ad on Google, you can create a lot of positive buzz around your business in the community.