My first post about Word-of-Mouth (WOM) [ Who has the Megaphones?] was written to highlight that audience’s voices – WOM – are now more important than ever, internet and the web allow “words” to spread at light speed and reach the entire globe. In this post, my goal is to understand two things: 1) who are these people, and 2) how can they influence a Business (product, brand, service…).
Companies are facing a new scenario, a scenario with high levels of globalisation, where the internet is connecting and informing people, and the technology changing the way one lives. When facing this scenario companies like people can adopt one of two approaches: the chameleon (adapting and evolving) or the ostrich (and bury their heads in sand, like the popular belief says). I believe that the chameleon is the best approach. Although, my objective today is not to elaborate on the “how” to react or deal with the WOM on the 21st century, it is important to understand that the world is different and influencing people in the way and where they express (the channels they use to do it). WOM is now a public conversation broadcasted on the internet and through different social media channels where everybody can listen and participate. I wrote previously on Being Just a click away! that we live a click away from almost everything. With just a click one can read, learn, interact, communicate, share or comment. WOM is more democratized, powerful and interesting as a marketing tool than ever, it must be addressed by companies and marketers wisely. Who are those behind today’s WOM? Everybody with a voice and something to say, a lot of people I shall say!
How can people’s different voices affect Business and companies? Well, each time that people express their opinion they maybe recommend or praise a product or a brand, which is positive. Though, they may also criticize or show disappointment regarding that same brand or product, which is not so good. WOM can influence and impact negatively or positively a business (and companies), and that impact will vary with reach and speed. In my point of view, companies must at least monitor what is being said about their products, brands or actions in order to identify trends, reactions and opinions. As I use to say, the Audience (customers, prospects, communities or other people worth to be monitored) should be the first think to be analysed before defining a marketing strategy. In this sense, WOM should be part of this first analysis and after that a strategy should be put in place in order to keep monitoring it along the time and different channels.
Ideas to keep in mind about the 21st century WOM:
a) Public conversations broadcasted offline and online (internet)
b) Easily given, they are just a click away
c) democratized with a powerful impact on people and businesses
d) Its monitoring should be done continuously and after a strong analysis on the relevant audience
Please share your ideas and insights with us.