When someone starts a conversation with, “Hey! You know what!?” it’s quite evident that the person is a great marketer of information. Be it for products, services or even a simple form of news, data or information, the impact of “Word-of-mouth Marketing” is way stronger than any other form of marketing. Every OTT series that has become famous today, is the result of great “word-of-mouth” Marketing. You haven’t watched Squid Game yet? Bro! You’re missing some great stuff big time! The peer pressure gets you and you end up consuming the product (data, in this context). Imagine the power of words coming out of a prominent personality’s mouth. It can stir up a revolution and lead a country towards its independence, or it can get suppressed and lost in oblivion. This article would emphasize the unsung hero of marketing – “Word-of-mouth”.
The Beginning for The Beginners
The history of “Word-of-mouth Marketing (as a term, technically) can be dated back to the 1970s when George Silverman, a psychologist, created a “teleconferenced peer influencer group” to engage in a healthy conversation between physicians regarding new pharmaceutical products. The dialogues between them led to a couple of physicians bragging about particular drugs with which they had some good experiences. These physicians would sway about the benefits (even drawbacks) of the drug to an entire group of skeptics and they took their ‘Word’ for it. That’s how Silverman coined the term “Word-of-mouth” Marketing.
Do we even need to define it? On the safer side, let’s do it.
Word-of-mouth marketing happens when a consumer advertises the pros and cons of a particular product or a service through their daily conversations with friends, family or colleagues. It either happens B2C or C2C
Every trend these days that goes viral, is the result of “Word-of-mouth” Marketing. So, how is it different from any other “Referral Scheme” run by companies? Well, let us explain.
Referral vs. Word-of-mouth Marketing
When people talk about something ‘voluntarily’ and that leads towards consideration of purchase or sales, that’s what we can call “Word-of-mouth” Marketing. You need not appoint a marketing consultancy or advertising agency to help you promote your brand. The customers or the admirers of your brand will do that for free. But, it is the brand’s prerogative to compensate them with some (monetary or non-monetary) compliments. Lamborghini makes flawless swashbuckling cars. But, we hardly see them in full-page newspaper ads, or hoardings or pop-up ads on the website. Why? They believe that their audience is not out there surfing websites, looking out idly at the hoardings or having time to even read the newspaper. That’s not included in their agenda.
Referral schemes, on the other hand, are incentive-driven promotion strategies where the incentive is either monetary or non-monetary that’s announced upfront even before you begin referring the product or service to someone. Here, the rewards are fixed, and not the results. In the former case, it was quite the opposite. The results are kind of, fixed, but not the rewards. For instance, if you love using a Samsung smartphone, you can tweet all you like, don’t like about the phone, whether the price was decent enough or overpriced, whether the features were good or not… you can go on about it. But, if it is a “Paid Partnership” or “Sponsored Post”, you are an “Influencer” and you are paid to say ‘good things’ about the product. That’s a totally different ballgame altogether.
A recent advertisement took a dig at these ‘fake’ influencers who’d say anything for big bucks and it was quite unconventional, yet pleasing as advertisers to see that being aired. It came from a brand called “The Whole Truth” that spoke about its food products telling nothing else but ‘The Whole Truth’.
Fun Fact: Apparently, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) has created a code of ethics for the industry where there’s no room for dishonesty.
The best Word-of-mouth Marketing strategies are often measurable, respectful, social and credible. This is achieved by following three simple codes of ethics as crafted by WOMMA:
Always disclose your relationship with the brand: It is recommended that as an advertiser, you should say who you are representing upfront so that there’s no sense of ambiguity around.
Always speak your heart: When you are talking about a particular product or a service, it is recommended that you don’t sugarcoat your words. You must speak only what you believe in and that’s how you earn the goodwill of customers as well as that of the brand.
Always speak the truth: That’s what advertising is all about – a truth well told. It is recommended to never lie about who you are or your identity. Customers (or anyone for that matter) don’t like to be cheated. It can lead to serious illegal crimes.
At 3 Dots Design Pvt. Ltd., the word is that we are one of the best advertising agencies in Pune. The clients trust our work and we trust the business we are into. This circle of good work, trust and great portfolio keep growing with every customer spreading good word-of-mouth about what we do. And that’s why we believe that Word-of-mouth Marketing works wonders even today and is here to say… err, STAY for a long long time!