Word of Mouth Marketing- A must strategy in 2009

With the hard economic condition organizations globally are going to suffer. Recently I have attended an online seminars to study more word of mouth marketing. It is always important for firms to target and concentrate more on WOM to boost their sales. The WOM marketing manifesto are

1 – Happy customers are the best advertisers

2 – Customers will do marketing for u free

3 – Ethics and good service comes first

4- You are the user experience ( UR and UE) its not what your advertisement says about you.

5 – Negative WOM is an opportunity. We have to listen and learn

6 – People are already talking, your only job is to join conversation

7 – Be visible

8 – If its not worth talking about , its not worth doing it

9 – Make the story of your company a good one

10- Honest marketing make more money.

When ever you develop a WOM action plan always remember the above. I will post a sample plan I got from a seminar online.

Then what is word of mouth marketing? In simple it all about making people to talk about your business. There are two ways

1 – Giving people a reason to talk about yourself

2 – Making it easier for that conversation to take place.

A better example to explain the above is, say you are targeting friendship day to promote your product. Send a email message to the customers saying” do not share this except your best friend”, people will definitely forward it and they will post the link in facebook, myspace etc. So you have a reason to talk and you are creating a place for conversation.

I also saw some online WOM speakers relates WOM to love. They are

1 – A new love – really powerful word of mouth

2- Love in Money- Don’t mix it

Avoid paying for recommendation, If you are paying this will work for sometimes but then it won’t. So leave people to recommend you from their heart and not just for money.

3 – No body will talk more if no love

If you loose faith then the WOM is 10 times bigger,always offer a great customer service.

Also when reputed brand always face chocolate problem because the brand is well known. Eg- “Hey drink Coca Cola” – people know Coke well. So no need to recommend them to drink it. But Google came back with a strong strategy in order to overcome the chocolate problem. They start adding new portfolios to their core business and make people to talk about them. “ hey Google Maps are very nice. Have a try” Then people will definitely go for it or try it. By adding new content give people a reason to talk.

Three reason people talk about you

1 – You (Company)

2 – Me

3 – Us

In word of mouth marketing there are five steps such as

1 – Talkers – Find people who will talk

2 – Topics – Give people a reason to talk

3- Tools – Help the message spread

4 – Taking part – Join conversation

5 – Tracking – Measure and understand what people are saying

Lets see each and every steps in detail.

Talkers – They are people who highly recommend you. Its not necessary to be a customer may be a third party as well. How you can identify the talkers? Try to identify your satisfied customers and offer them more and more quality service. People never forget a brand if they receive delighted service and recommend to others as well. Go to online fans clubs, blogs, social medias to identify the potential talkers.

Topics – Make sure the topic is larger enough to get more customers. It is not necessary to be a marketing message because marketing messages are not word of mouth friendly. Try to give accurate reason for people to talk about you. They are special offers, great service, cool product, new features etc.

Tools – Tools help the message to spread. Tell a friend form in your web site is a highly recommend tool you have to implement. Other are viral email, blogs, handouts, samples, online brochures, message boards, online communities etc.

I would also personally think that developing an online community is a great tool. These days I’m in the process of preparing a plan for online community for my work. I came across fantastic valid points when a did a research. Will publish all those soon here.

Talking part – Try to join the conversation if you find it relevant to you. Eg- if you find a positive conversation going on a forum join and say thank you. If its negative always say sorry. This will help the readers to identify how well you are engaged and it will also create a buzz about your product. Try to keep an employee to always monitor the online world and to identify the conversation going about you.

Tracking – Try to measure and understand what people are saying. Search blogs, read message boards, listen to feedbacks,. Use advanced measurement tool to evaluate everything.