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Word of mouth marketing

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday June 30, 2007 )

As consumers become increasingly distrustful of slick marketing spin, they are turning to each other to get the skinny on what’s hot and what’s not.

Several recent surveys are showing the increasing importance of word of mouth marketing, that is, the power of getting your clients to do your marketing for you.

A recent eMarketer article reported the number of adult USA word of mouth influencers, folks who are considered opinion leaders and whose advice is sought after and acted upon by consumers, will rise from 26.8 million this year to 34.4 million by 2011.

The article also quotes figures from another survey that show 91% of US adults seek advice from other consumers about products or services before making a purchase decision.

Many studies are showing that consumers feel recommendations from others to be the most credible form of marketing – and who can blame them? :)

Word of mouth marketing can’t be forced and to fake it can have some nasty side effects such as I reported in my post about flog blogging.

In a nutshell, word of mouth marketing is all about getting people to talk about you positively of their own free will – and while the old maxim of “any publicity is good publicity” certainly does not apply; there are ways to turn negative feedback around to your advantage.

The basic components of word of mouth marketing are:

– Providing information (not spin) about your goods and services
– Identifying consumers willing to share their views
– Providing tools to facilitate the sharing of information
– Monitoring where opinions are being shared
– Acting on the positive and negative feedback

If you’d like to learn more about word of mouth marketing strategies, probably one of the best places to start is the industry association, WOMMA.

By the way, a very simple word of mouth tool you can implement is my free tell-a-friend script!


The social bookmark effect


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