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The popularity of sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, and even Health Grades for the medical industry, show how important the old Word o’ Mouth is. I don’t think we really need to explain why word of mouth marketing rocks — it’s kind of a cornerstone of marketing.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising. Word of mouth marketing isn’t a magic philosopher's stone to quick-fix your problems; it’s a long journey with a big payoff, assuming you can make the trek. Word of mouth marketing is most successful with brands that are working really hard to do right by their customers. Honestly, it’s the positive human interactions most people get excited about; consumers often encounter so much lousy customer service that in contrast, great service is a minor miracle for most.
While it’s cheap to be strange just for strategy’s sake, if your business has a unique company culture or bizarre brand identity, be loud and proud about it!
It’s not the easiest route to take, but the long-term benefits of becoming an industry leader are worth your sweat and toil. The best word of mouth marketing power brands convince consumers that by buying their product, they’re making a personal statement and joining special ranks. This kind of devotion isn’t easy to come by, but achieving such loyalty is the ultimate marketing hole-in-one.
Some brands have done an incredible job capitalizing on the ‘community’ aspect of their product. Even more remarkably, Jeep has managed to market themselves as the brand for true Americans. Most people who drive Jeeps truly identify with this subculture of carpe diem tough guys and will unabashedly explain why Jeep trumps all. Zappos also knows that happy workers breed happy customers, which is why even low wage call center employees are treated to company perks. As a result of keeping it old school, Craigslist has managed to make themselves a household name, racking up over 50 billion page views per month while relying on word of mouth as its sole source of marketing. Etsy has powerful appeal as an alternative to the mass market consumerism that plagues most of our purchasing prerogatives. They market themselves as a shopping alternative for folks who are looking for one-of-a-kind items that reflect their own uniqueness.
This isn’t to say you should immediately go dump your advertising budget in the river, but it does remind us that a certain balance is vital.
Sometimes it’s the little things that count, and JetBlue has gained a ton of word of mouth marketing traction by providing small acts of kindness towards their passengers. Word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool, but for some businesses, it can be tough to wield. ShareIf you could master what has been identified as one of the most valuable forms of marketing, the one that most people trust above all others and the one that is most likely to deliver sales for your company, would you instead choose to ignore it or leave it to chance? Why would you simply choose to sit back and hope conversations will just happen organically about your brand?
Most of the time, your talkers will come from the everyday actions you take to be a great business – they recommend their friends because they really like you. According to Susanne Fanning, President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association for the word of mouth and social media marketing industry, marketers need to focus on the three E’s: Engage, Equip, Empower.

As is typically in these times, technology has increased social connectivity making it easier for consumers to do your marketing for you. Look at the Epic Split video by Volvo featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the video was released on YouTube on November 14, and on the first day the film was viewed over 6.5 million times and shared over 32 thousand times. Engaing, Equipping and Empowering  your customers will fuel conversations and drive passionate Word of Mouth marketing that will make a huge difference for your brand and your sales. Send us examples of your Word of Mouth achievments and be on the look out for Part 2 next week as we share these and more powerful WOMM success stories. Suzanne Fanning is the President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association for the word of mouth and social media marketing industry.
While anonymous online word of mouth is plentiful, savvy users are aware of how reviews can be manipulated and faked, which is why person to person WOM is still the most powerful form. The aim in word of mouth marketing is to provide customers with such an unbelievably amazing, life-affirming product or service that they can’t help but share their experience with friends, family, co-workers, and the random dude who sits at the bus stop every day with his exotic parrot. Well, they’ll need a bit of help, especially in the online era when word of mouth marketing has evolved quite a bit.
But in case you need to convince coworkers and friends, here are some word of mouth marketing stats taken from a study done by Lithium. They generated a ton of word of mouth marketing with their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” marketing strategy, which we’ve talked about before in regards to successful YouTube advertising. People appreciate what’s out of the ordinary, and you’ll gain fans and word of mouth attention simply for walking to the beat of your own drummer.
When people start looking to your brand as a thought leader in your field, you’ll soon end up with more word of mouth marketing than you know what to do with. Die-hard devotees may even refer to favorite brands as “family” as certain products or services become part of a customer’s identity.
Let’s examine a few top-notch word of mouth marketing examples from brands hitting it out of the park. Americans like to believe they possess qualities that set them apart – that they are rugged, and tough, and individualistic, and resourceful, capable, straightforward and indomitable.
If you ask Zappos superfans why they love the brand, they’ll probably say something about Zappos’ exceptional customers service. One story tells how one worker, after discovering that a return shipment of shoes was delayed because the customer’s mother had passed away, sent flowers to the home in lieu of an invoice.
We could all learn a few things about how Zappos incentivizes workers and tries to make the office a 2nd home for employees.
While Craigslist is an exceptional success story, it’s true that redirecting energy and resources towards building up word of mouth marketing (as opposed to regular advertising) can benefit any brand. This strategy thrives off a growing trend in which individuals are looking to distance themselves from the collective kitsch. Your business will go much farther devoting attention to customer experience and building community than it would were you to simply plaster ads all across the web. While other airlines penny-and-dime passengers for in-flight entertainment, refreshments, and food, JetBlue offers the same amenities gratis, all while maintaining an upbeat attitude and solid customer service. Getting customers enthusiastic about your brand requires stellar service, a unique identity, solid reputation, and a thriving community.
If you want to win the marketing race you need to unleash the power of word of mouth marketing (WOMM). But sometimes you have to be more proactive about earning those talkers and getting them to spread the word. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. It can be amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, social elevation, incredible stories, unbelievable facts or even funny disclosures. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you.

A post that takes just a few minutes for a fan to write will be seen by hundreds of friends who trust them, and it can rapidly travel out to thousands more. The results are undeniable; consider the fact that those who read these posts as well as yours could potentially have hundreds of offline conversations with friends, families and acquaintances. Her social strategies have been featured in Advertising Age Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and PR Week. Do word of mouth marketing right and you’ll have (almost) no need of an ad budget; customers will share stories of your sublime service at dinner parties across the country, and that’s better than any billboard. Traditionally, word of mouth marketing refers to verbal endorsements: good word of your business, exchanged vocally via your pie hole.
Obviously your product needs to be strong, but it’s just as important that the staff interacting with customers and clients is top-notch.
This requires considerable effort on your part — you’ll need you to engage in dialogue with existing industry leaders and power players while staying up to date on the latest industry news. Well, in order to develop an intimate community there needs to be some sort of exclusivity. It [Jeep] speaks directly to what Americans most like and admire about themselves, believe to be true about themselves…Jeep is just so American.
It’s this kind of demonstrative concern for customers that has made Zappos the brand it is today. Businesses that develop strong word of mouth marketing often don’t have to spend as much money on advertising.
In a recent study, 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of  marketing.
Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around. Once you really know your stuff and feel confident, make your own predictions and inferences based on industry trends.
It’s why you can’t enter a Starbucks without seeing a swarm of white Apple logos and why Soylent drinkers think they are the superior humans.
Just think about the last time you had to call Comcast (I know, I know, it’s OK, sorry for bringing back those memories. Surprising clients with your awesomeness will ensure they spread word of your biz all across the land. I remember when i bought my first mobilei asked my friends for suggestions and before buying it. It really depends on you understanding your consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Lay’s is an excellent example to highlight how they empowered their fans to “Do Us a Flavor,” and allow consumers to create a new flavor of potato chips to hit store shelves. The clip has received extensive media coverage from all over the world as well, and has been the subject of approximately 20,000 editorial pieces online thus far.
Apple revolutionizes technological devices and delivers amazing products to its consumers, allowing them to naturally rave about the newest iPhone. Over 3.8 million submissions were sent in 2013 making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns for PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay.
It’s so basic, so primitive, that the design alone leads the apprehensive to mistrust it, wary of its resemblance to scammy old Angelfire-style sites from the internet’s primordial ooze. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products.

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