WORD OF MOUTH MARKETING (WOMM)
Word of Mouth is possibly the first form of marketing/advertising long before marketing/advertising was even invented. When cavemen found a good hunting spot they would share this new discovery with their tribesmen by hand gestures or drawings in caves to explain what and where it is.
In a traditional marketing context, Word of Mouth happens naturally, when a product or service has exceeded the expectations of the first few early adopters, their favourable experience would drive them to spread and communicate this information to more people in their circles (social, work, families, etc.). However, if the experience was bad, they would also communicate it to others likewise.
With the advent of modern digital marketing, Worth of Mouth can be manufactured or shaped or initiated to a certain extent. For example, influencers/KOLs who are considered spokesman and spokeswoman for the specific targeted groups, operate at the grassroots level through their followers/fans and often are prompted or paid by brands to share a favourable experience among their followers in order to drive up leads, conversions and ultimately sales.
TYPES OF WOMM
Happens when you try a product or service and are genuinely more than satisfied with the results it gives you, so much so you and others like you are driven to talk and share about this experience to your respective and relevant circles. This leads to a snowball effect with others going through a similar process of buying, experiencing and talking/sharing about with others, until the WOMM has gained a substantial mass in the market.
Advertisers/Brands often create marketing campaigns to drive trials and sales conversions with the hope of generating positive Word of Mouth. Influencers/KOLs is another form of digital marketing that tries to emulate natural Word of Mouth, by sending free product samples to these popular everyday people to test and review products and to share their experience with their sizeable followers, thereby controlling and quickening the otherwise slower Word of Mouth process if it were to happen naturally in the marketplace.
DOES IT WORK?
Based on research by Neilsen, 92% of consumers trust and act on recommendations from friends and families, more than any of the paid-forms of marketing/advertising. Depending on how it’s executed and managed , WOMM - digital marketing (social media KOLs, referral marketing, etc.) has proven to also aid in encouraging trust and affecting the final purchase decision.
Facts on Word of Mouth
- According to Nielsen’s Report, 92% of consumers find suggestions from friends and family more believable and reliable than sponsored WOM or advertising/marketing.
- Other than friends and families, above 80% and below 90% of the market buy into online reviews given by other users/consumers, more so than recommendations given by their personal circles.
- An estimated 74% are influenced by word of mouth in their purchase decisions.
- However, only about 33% of businesses make use or gather user-generated reviews.
- Studies have found that as little as a 10% increase in positive Word of Mouth (on-ground and online) leads to 0.2 to 1.5% increase in sales.
TOP 3 WOM STRATEGIES
1. User-generated Content (UGC)
Just 1 or 2 bad product/service feedback by customers is enough to up-root an entire brand campaign or brand reputation. Whether it is a post comment or online shopping review, people tend to view it more seriously than any other statement made by the brand itself.
So priority no. 1 is to generate positive UGC by:
- Ensuring customer satisfaction at all times - be it the service or product you are offering - make sure it is beyond doubt without a fault and is much better and more unique than your competitors - as they say, “proof is in the pudding.”
- Incentivize customer reviews and feedback - after each purchase follow-up by requesting for the customer to give his/her honest opinion on how they find the product or service in exchange for a discount voucher, bonus points, etc.
- Make people feel proud of their written/video-captured reviews/feedback - display prominently every customer’s review/feedback where the product or service is being offered, to make the purchase decision for other customers easier.
2. Impress the Eyes - Visual Triggers
What this means is basically to create a stunning website that makes people want to share and impress others. Universal Studios is one example that does it remarkably well that people just feel obliged to snap photos and post it on their social media platforms.
You want to have that somewhat similar trigger on your website or e-commerce product sharing feature, where the look and feel or product layout is so gorgeous and attractive customers feel compelled to share it with their FB friends or IG followers.
Ray-ban was one of the first few brands to offer Augmented Reality where customers could digitally see how different models of sunglasses looked on their face and share it on their social media platforms.
3. Engage with relevant KOLs/influencers
KOLs/Influencer have contributed to the rise of digital marketing, acting as brand ambassadors. These are people whom a sizable number of the public admire socially. KOLs/Influencers have distinct social profiles that cater to different types of products and brands in the market.
Due to the fact that they would already have a large number of captured audience (followers, fans, subscribers, likes, etc.) all you need to do is determine which KOLs/Influencers suit your brand identity and target audience profile (their followers).
Facts on KOLs/Influencers
- About 40% of people state that their purchase decision was influenced after watching their favourite influencer (IG, FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) use that particular product/service.
- Almost 50% of customers say their product/service decision weighs a lot on the recommendations of influencers.
- About 73% of marketers state that they have set budgets for influencer marketing.