How can I use word of mouth marketing?

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Okay, let’s closely look at the question ‘How can I use word of mouth marketing?’.  There are two ways to look at this question: the discrete steps of a process that you need to follow to use word of mouth; or the ways that you can ‘deploy’ WoM.

The first option, the steps to create word of mouth campaigns, is covered in Word of Mouth That Works, so we’ll focus this article on how you can deploy WoM.

Word of mouth can be seen as both a substitution and an supplement to existing marketing strategies.

As a substitution, a word of mouth strategy, can be used to replace your least effective marketing strategy, or the one you have least confidence in.  And there’ll be a double benefit to this course of action:

  • WoM is the most effective form of marketing, so by swapping it ‘in’ for a ‘lesser’ form of marketing, you’re getting more bang for your marketing buck, which leads us to…
  • WoM is also very low cost.  You’re not going to be shelling out large amounts of money for advertising or marketing campaigns that have low RoI, or are not measurable at all.

Word of mouth occurring.  Credit Jermaine Hou.In fact, if we consider the cost of word of mouth marketing, most of it is invested in the foundational work of identifying, understanding and working with, your networks of advocates.  And you can do this yourself, if you know how, and avoid word of mouth consultancy fees altogether.

The other WoM investment is in the production of content about your products or services, e.g. blogs, video.  But you should be doing this whether you’re WoMing or not.

So now let’s look at WoM as an addition.

Whatever you are using to generate interest and demand for your products or services, word of mouth is the perfect supplement.  MarketShare found that using WoM improves marketing effectiveness by 54%. [source]

So as with every other use of word of mouth marketing, it’s an amplifier.  As a supplement, it’s amplifying your marketing activities.


You could do what Zappos did, and just stop using advertising and marketing all together, and put all your efforts into customer service, reaping the benefits of extraordinary word of mouth amongst their customers.

So you can use word of mouth marketing as a your sole demand generation activity, marrying it up to exceptional customer service. 

Or you can use it as a supplement to existing marketing tactics, and achieve that 54% amplification that MarketShare found.

Or you can use it as a substitution of less effective or more expensive (which really is ALL) marketing techniques.

If you’d like to know more about word of mouth marketing, then follow this blog, as we’ll be discussing many more aspects of WoM.

And our focus is to enable you to be able to develop your own WoM campaigns.  If that is also your focus, then come and join us at Word of Mouth That Works.

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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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