Why should I use word of mouth marketing?

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In answering the question ‘why should I use word of mouth marketing?’ it would be very easy to just write around a list of statistics that give you the compelling reasons to use WoM.

But that would ignore the deeper seated emotional reasons that connect your customers, and particularly your advocates, to your organisation.

So let’s just ignore all of the ‘return on investment’ arguments in favor of word of mouth and look at what is really going on.

The understanding of a broad advocate network energized to talk about your products or services, brings with it the realization that you are at the centre of a tribe.  And tribalism is one of our most deeply encoded emotional drivers.

And tribes function and communicate through stories.

All of the statistics about word of mouth marketing that we’re ignoring exist as a consequence of these tribal stories.

And here’s the point, that should really be accompanied by the sound of a very large hammer hitting a very large bell.

word of mouth that works

These tribal stories occur whether you are involved in them, or not.

This, more than the effectiveness of WoM as a technique, is the single biggest reason to use word of mouth.

Let’s think about that a bit more, and consider some scenarios:

  • Word of mouth is happening, and it’s negative.  If you don’t know this is happening, you’ll be seeing challenging sales figures and be unsure how to respond.
  • WoM is happening, and it’s ambivalent.  Understanding how your customers experience your products or services is critical to all organizations.  This is a critical part of the Word of Mouth That Works model, and gives you the chance to improve your customer service.
  • WoM is happening and people love you.  This is the equivalent of you as a brand walking into a room of customers and everyone cheering.  Why would you pass up the opportunity to engage with such positive customers?

From whichever way you look at it, there is a compelling rationale for engaging with your advocates with the aim of better enabling them to tell their tribal stories about you.

And as a result, you start to achieve those jaw dropping statistics like 84% of consumers reporting that they always, or sometimes, take action based on personal recommendations. (Nielsen). 

So the question becomes ‘why wouldn’t you use word of mouth marketing?’

And that comes back to the problem that most people don’t realise that there’s a method behind word of mouth marketing.  One that Word of Mouth That Works solves.

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About the author

Alan Casey

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I'm a purpose-led, nomadic, entrepreneur.

I believe that purpose-led business can play a leading role in creating more inclusive communities.  And that being purpose-led leads to amazing word of mouth stories being told about your organisation.

I'm nomadic because I constantly move between the land of my birth, England, the land where I spent half of my life, NZ, and the land where a lot of my development work occurs, Vietnam.

And I'm an entrepreneur because I just can't work in organisations any more.  There are too many issues and problems that I know how to fix, but never have the authority to act on.  So now I spend my time understanding the problems that organisations, have, articulating them, and then creating the solutions.


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