A Word on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

A few Public Relations purists seem to be giving the derisive sniff to all of the interest paid to Word-of-Mouth and word-of-mouse marketing. They contend, and rightly so , that new innovations possess always had vocal early adopters, and publics have long sought out communities of interest to help them make important decisions.

The complaints revolve around the fact that other related yet sometimes competitive disciplines – advertising, direct marketing, Web marketing, research and also management consulting – are “stealing” the Word-of-Mouth Marketing concept plus calling it their own.

Get over this.
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The time you spend complaining is time you should be spending polishing your Word-of-Mouth Marketing skill set.

Earlier this year, we organized a meeting with six of our colleagues in the Worldcom Public Relations Group in order to notes on each agency’s Word-of-Mouth Marketing programs. In reviewing each firm’s Word-of-Mouth marketing formal and informal programs, we found a common thread that runs through most our effective Word-of-Mouth Marketing initiatives.

Below are a few of the most prevalent themes:

On the phone to Do It Without Research
Quite possibly the greatest difference between today’s Word-of-Mouth Marketing and Social Media programs and the ones conducted in past times is the ability to ground the program within research that improves the likelihood of its success.

Bain Consulting Group has pioneered a “Net Promoter Score” that assigns a score to a company’s recommendability based on a single question: “How likely would you be to recommend this company’s product or service to another person? ”

Kaizo has created a research methodology that identifies the reasons why an individual would make that recommendation. This same research methodology could be used to discover why employees refer employers, or the reason why investment analysts recommend securities.

Entering into the hearts and minds of an organization’s biggest fans and worst detractors is critical to creating your battalion of Word-of-Mouth marketing advocates. With no research, you’ll be guessing, and you’ll likely be wrong -more importantly you will be missing an essential metric to prove in case your efforts are paying off.


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