We have entered an era of radical change for Marketers, the so called traditional marketing is not enough anymore bringing the need for innovatory or renovated ways to market products and services, therefore, I decided to write about an old phenomenon that has changed being today more critical than ever: the Word-of-Mouth (WOM).
Why? WOM is in my opinion and along with Audience (individuals interacting and adhering to communities) two crucial aspects to have in consideration when developing plans to market products or services. WOM is a crucial way to drive demand and create hype around a company, product or brand. WOM travels at light-speed reaching a big audience and that can be very positive or negative. Though, it should be monitored allowing on-time reactions to negative “words”. One of the marketer’s accountabilities is to increase WOM’s positive impact and control or reverse the negativity that might happen (negative words).
Has WOM changed on the last decades? Yes, WOM evolved and was boost by internet and World Wide Web being more powerful than ever. As I already mentioned Audience and communities should drive marketer’s attention and be considered when designing and implementing the Marketing plan. Audience is or must be a cornerstone of any Marketing strategy. Audience it is also synonymous of voice, people not only read what is being said they also participate, expressing their opinions. If social networks and communities are compounded by people with similar interests or behaviors, their voices can have different tons and range from specific subjects (related to the community) to opinions about daily life events. When participating people can influence who is on the other side reading, your network or your followers. Amazing isn’t it? However, a person can influence more people regarding the size of your total network or privacy constraints.
How does Social Networks work, in general? They work as spider-webs inter-related and exponentially amplified depending on security settings and the way they allow interaction between non-first-degree connections. How amazing is this? Are you visualizing already how much important can this be to a marketer and manager?
Word-of-moth is now a public conversation with a high audience level, and more than ever it should be properly used by marketers and managers. If you as a marketer do not care about WOM you are spoiling a very interesting and non expensive resource, you are not monitoring possible negative effects on your company, products or brands.