Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Controlling a Natural Phenomenon

Have you ever talked to a friend or colleague about a business, a specific good, or a service? Of course: most people have! Sharing reviews in this technology-savvy age has never been easier and has become very common among shoppers – it’s practically a natural phenomenon, as omnipresent as the weather. This occurrence is called word-of-mouth (WOMM) marketing and companies often hope they can rely on its benefits. However, they may not realize that they can strategically channel this behavior to their benefit.

According to Investopedia.com, word-of-mouth marketing is “when a consumer’s interest for a company’s product or service is reflected in their daily dialog.” Meaning, if you are interested in some good or service, you’re naturally drawn to telling someone about that experience. However, you’re also compelled to tell someone about a bad experience, too.

When it comes to word-of-mouth marketing, many might assume it’s the easiest and most inexpensive form of marketing. However, it’s not the be-all-and-end-all of advertising, and there are many other factors to consider.

Basically, there are two types of word-of-mouth: the good kind and a bad kind. Often, we hear businesses talk about how they want to build business from “word-of-mouth.” When asked what they mean exactly, they often say they rely on referrals or good reviews shared with their friends and family.

Companies may suggest they don’t need any help with their marketing strategy because they rely solely on word-of-mouth marketing. The problem is, most businesses don’t have any control over this strategy. Often, there is no way to quantify or qualify this method. Plus, it is a slow-moving process that is difficult to track. Usually, there are no data points or ways of gauging its effectiveness.

Imagine this: you’re at a restaurant and your food is excellent. As customers, this is what we should expect, right? So, when we fill out the “How was your service today?” cards on the table, we may be more apt to do so when the expectations aren’t met. Many people are more apt to share reviews when it’s a negative experience and they want the reader to avoid the product. In such instances, putting all your marketing efforts into the word-of-mouth method isn’t the best practice.

It’s best to guide people into learning about your business, goods and services by creating an infrastructure through which they can access reliable, positive information. When you design a website with links to social media, send out a news release, produce a video, or establish a blog, you are putting information about your business, goods and services out into the world, and people can learn about your efforts and talk about them from there – creating word-of-mouth.

If you would like to hear more professional advice on this process and how we can effectively create a great marketing strategy for you and your business, please contact us at Mickle Communications. We would love to work with you!








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