What is word of mouth marketing

WOM Marketing - The modern form of word of mouth

The marketing blog for the region
By Stephanie Peter, published on 07/24/2018

Does it actually need English terms and paraphrases for everything now? Apparently yes. Word-of-mouth (WOM) becomes the marketing form of word-of-mouth, and it sounds more important and more professional. As the name suggests, word of mouth marketing is about the personal exchange between consumers or customers about products or services. We look at what this form of marketing is all about and how you can use word-of-mouth marketing profitably for your company, especially in the online area.

What is WOM?

Word-of-Mouth, the English term for word of mouth or recommendation marketing, is a modern form of marketing: customers or consumers recommend or talk about a company's products or services to one another.

We have always trusted friends or acquaintances - real people - more and more when it comes to "advertising". If a friend recommends a certain product to us, we are more inclined to believe and test it than if we have seen or read the same thing in advertising. True to the motto: “If my neighbor recommends this saucepan, then it has to be good. After all, she's already used it and I trust her. "

This form of recommendation is authentic and very credible. Companies can also take advantage of this.

Word of mouth marketing for businesses

Especially in times when consumers are flooded with advertising, be it on television, in the print media or, above all, online in social networks, word-of-mouth is becoming increasingly important. Because there is a form of advertising fatigue among consumers. A personal recommendation from the immediate environment is usually quite right. And it is trustworthy and credible. This can have a strong influence on the purchase decision.

For many companies, it makes sense to include WOM in the marketing mix. Recommendation marketing can perfectly complement the mix of TV, print or other online campaigns because it is not classic advertising, but is more subtly received by the consumer. With the WOM, in the best case scenario, the benefits of the product get around or can be found in reviews on appropriate platforms or in online shops. Especially when introducing new products, it can make sense to involve the community or testers. This not only leads to reach and recommendations, but also to a good target group analysis by providing direct insights into the thinking of the consumers.

However, it should always be kept in mind that word-of-mouth marketing is about communication between consumers. This form of marketing also harbors the risk that people will express themselves negatively about brands or products. Bad news or negative experiences usually spread faster than positive ones.

It is therefore important to approach WOM correctly and carefully consider which products are suitable. You should also come up with a precise concept and define goals that you want to achieve with a WOM campaign.

Possibilities and examples for WOM in online marketing

Companies have various options for implementing word-of-mouth marketing online. The following list gives an initial overview:

  • Include letters of reference or reviews from other customers on your own website.
  • Reviews on portals such as amazon and Co. You can also offer this option in your online shops in order to offer customers another form of information and to rely on credibility.
  • Offer your customers the opportunity to recommend products directly by email or to share them on social networks.
  • Vouchers / discount campaigns ask customers to leave their rating on the platform / online shop. (see online pharmacies, dawanda or airbnb).
  • Let your customers benefit when you recruit new customers (known from the offline world of fitness studios).
  • Social media also offers a variety of WOM variants:
    • Shares from websites, products, posts
    • Sweepstakes that attract / involve new customers
    • Posts that provoke other users to be tagged
    • Influencer (You can find out how to find the right influencer for your company in the article "Which influencer is right for me?")

But how can you start your own WOM campaign for your company and what tools are there that can help?

WOM campaign

A WOM campaign usually means that a large number of people test products and share their experiences on WOM platforms, in social networks and portals such as amazon or the like, and give ratings. Using word-of-mouth marketing for a product launch can have many advantages if it is a good product. You get reviews and experiences about the product and can see how it is received by the customers. In addition, this credible form of marketing influences the purchase decision and creates reach. However, if it is not a good product from the consumer's point of view, this is also expressed accordingly. As a company, you should be aware of this. Therefore, it is better to only use recommendation marketing if the product or service is also suitable for it.

Of course, you can also start supplying test portals or test profiles from social networks with products and samples yourself and thus try to achieve a reasonable reach. But this requires a lot of work and patience.

There are now tools and agencies that relieve companies of work when it comes to WOM. In this way, the company does not have to find testers itself and implement dispatch and briefing. For a large WOM campaign, this would mean a lot of work and coordination. However, you should keep in mind that a WOM campaign is not cheap, but it does bring in qualified feedback and thus probably the most authentic form of "advertising". Rarely do you get so much insight into the thinking of your customers. Successes are also achieved faster with the help of professional platforms than if one patiently waits for reviews to spread themselves or for a certain number of them to accumulate on the website or in social networks.

Trnd.com describes itself as Europe's largest platform for word-of-mouth and participation & recommendation marketing. Trnd provides testers and micro-influencers to companies and can thus set up large campaigns. The platform offers 730,000 everyday and micro influencers and testers. This creates reach. On the other hand, testers can also apply for products or members can read their way through test reports and ratings.

The right testers and influencers are found for companies and, above all, reach is created. In addition, it will be distributed in social media and online shops.

WOM campaigns are actually not always about the online dissemination of the rating, but also about the personal recommendation in the conversation. Classic word of mouth - rethought. The advantage: All content resulting from the campaign can also be used for further measures in the marketing mix. So you can recycle the input on the website or your own social media channels. In addition, as a company, you will gain insights into the thinking of your consumers and get to know your target group better.

There are many other platforms that rely on WOM. The portals of the magazine Freund (brands you love) or von Gruner und Jahr (brand jury), who also joined trnd, are particularly interesting for women and corresponding products.

Last tips

  1. WOM can support your marketing mix very promisingly if you as a company are sure that you have a strong product that is suitable for recommendations. Keep in mind that if it doesn't, bad news can be much more likely to get around and the product can quickly fall out of favor.
  2. There are many different ways in which you can implement WOM for your company. It is best to test different ones in order to find the most successful for your particular case or to be able to combine the best with one another.
  3. To tackle an independent WOM campaign yourself is a lot of work, which is why it is best to work with appropriate platforms.

Photo: pexels.com

Stephanie Peter

is content manager in an association for the furniture industry. After two years as a social media manager at Dr. Wolff Group, she is now devoting herself to new challenges. Before that she studied Media Communication & Journalism (BA) and Crossmedia & Communication Management (MA) in Bielefeld. During this time she worked as a temporary editorial assistant at Radio Bielefeld and in the digital department of ams - Radio and MediaSolutions. She is primarily interested in press and PR work and all trends relating to social networks.