Dec 6, 2007 116 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective and long lasting techniques for increasing traffic to a web site. This session will detail effective word of mouth marketing campaigns and how to integrate them into your online advertising mix.


  • Brett Tabke


Louise Rijk, the co-founder and VP of Marketing and Sales, Advanced Media Productions, Inc is speaking first.

Definition of WOM Marketing definition:

  • Oldest form of marketing
  • WOM is when consumers provide honest information to other consumers
  • WOM is driven by large social networks.
  • Organic WOM is when people are naturally happy about the product/service
  • Satisfied customers will praise you
  • Good customer feedback benefits WOM

Amplified WOM. This is when marketers launch campaigns in order to spread word of mouth. With social media, it's easier to build communities around your brand. If you motivate the right group, you can become an evangelist. Advertising helps in creating buzz.

How does WOM marketing work?

  • People need to be given a reason to talk about certain products or services
  • Driven by customer satisfaction, two-way dialog and transparency
  • Online discussions incorporate tools that aid in spreading ideas via social networks

The success of WOM is based on how many people you reach and not how many you can convert.

Recruiting Influencers:

  • 10% of them are those who can reach a lot of people
  • 90% of them are moderate influencers. They reach a smaller number but there's more

Four steps that infuencers go through:

  • Awareness
  • Research
  • Personal experience
  • Recommendations
  1. Begin by listening to what people are saying about your products online. This gives unfiltered experiences. Available are listening services such as BuzzLogic, who return actionable items for you
  2. Remember to tap into your in-house customer service. This way you find your loyal customers and reach out to them
  3. Build something that makes people talk. Focus on authority influencers first and each of their communities. Be honest to the community and engage it
  4. Differences in Social Media Marketing:

    Aspect of WOM marketing

    Unlike WOM marketing, this is online. It can spread by itself without the use of influencers. Perhaps sometimes it is not brand relevant. Message must be outrageous and not just have a great product that inspires excitement.

The latest trend shows big brand marketers shifting from testing WOM marketing to incorporating it into fully integrated marketing campaigns.

Success of WOM campaign depends on:

  • Supported of traditional paid media buys
  • Greater paid media spend equals greater online buzz
  • 64 percent of moderate influencers perform online research after seeing offline promotions, however, only 30 percent will transition in the reverse
  • TV is still a good way to reach influencers albeit being fragmented

If you plan to combine WOM marketing and traditional advertising, it needs massive planning, integrated execution and comprehensive effectiveness measurement. This has to be long term and you have to stick with it.

Reaching the Influencers:

  • Identify
  • Motivate
  • Sustain motivation
  • Track and Measure

Case Study: One time her company created a campaign for a client. It began as a free offer then moved in to social media sites like Flickr and YouTube. They looked out for other influencers as well, bloggers in the space, etc. The company then picked 50 influencers and then asked them to complete some other step in order to pass the buzz along–blogs, photo projects in Flickr and videos to YouTube.

In order to send ripples you have to carry through the whole process.

Next up is Greg Hartnett, President of Best of The Web who says his company succedded thanks to WOMM. Hence, he'll use his company as a case study.

Suggested Reading: Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz and Creating Customer Evangelists by Ben McConnell.

Know your influencers. Are they happy/ eager employees, fans, part-timers, pros or online talkers etc.

What will influencers talk about?

  • Create a Great Product or Service. Eg: Google, they grew entirely by WOM
  • Add Specials or Discounts
  • Extraordinary Customer Service
  • Partner with a Charity

How do you get influencers to start talking?

  • Ask for referrals
  • Send Newsletters/Email
  • Social Network effect
  • Blogs
  • The power of swag

Final thoughts:

  • Be cool and edgy and avoid trampling on things people are sensitive about
  • Greg suggests Google Blog Search and Technorati to find out what people are talking about him
  • Engage in the conversation
  • Honesty and transparency are key
  • While in a thread, help around
  • If you only sell, noone will cares
  • Start your own blog. Ask someone established to comment about you in other industry blogs
  • Be part of the conversation

Important pointers:

  • Foremost, it's about satisfied customers
  • Work with respect and ethics
  • Thank people who are helpful
  • Under promise and over deliver
  • Raise the bar every single time
Word of Mouth Marketing: PubCon Las Vegas Dec 2007, Day 3, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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