What is the Definition of Word of Mouth Marketing?

By Ted Wright August 30, 2018

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By Ted Wright
Many popular marketing terms are easy to define. When someone talks about email marketing, content marketing, A/B testing, paid advertising, and so on, we all pretty much know what they mean. Word of Mouth Marketing has come to mean something broad for many people, so I often get asked to define the term.
WOMM is the organization of those people out in the public who love to share stories with their friends and make sure those friends have an easy way to learn about products and services worth knowing about.
This group of people is only about 10% of the population, but they have a number of channels to share their stories and opinions as efficiently as possible.

  1. Face-to-face
  2. Social media
  3. Messaging

The core of Word of Mouth Marketing is Influencers

These are real influencers, not just people who have a large social media following. The difference here is that real influencers are the amalgamation of 3 different personality traits.

  1. They like to try new things because they’re new
  2. They love to share stories with friends
  3. They’re intrinsically motivated

One red flag for spotting a faux influencer would be that they ask for money in exchange for discussing or promoting a product. A real influencer doesn’t care about this – they simply love to share. What I always find interesting about real influencers is they’re always out there seeking information to share with their friends.

WOMM is about trying to get your story out to people who are really going to care about it and do it in such a way that they’ll organically come to hear about your story. People will always welcome having things shared with them if they fit into these 3 categories:

  1. This is authentic to the person (or brand) sharing this with me
  2. This is interesting to me
  3. This is relevant to my life

These 3 pieces are the air beneath your brand’s wings that help your brand story fly around.

Why Definitions Make a Difference

It is a lot of work to do Word of Mouth Marketing well. It’s easy to get it confused with other things like experiential marketing or social media. When applying WOMM in real life, there are tools to use and strategies to implement.

  • Social media is about likes, retweets and shares
  • With Experiential marketing you hand out stuff
  • Word of Mouth Marketing is all about conversations and stories

Definitions matter because it helps you create a process and implement it accordingly.
WOMM is where real influencers live, and that’s why it’s so powerful.
When taking surveys for almost any company or brand – from your dentist to your favorite shoe store, they always want to know “How did you hear about us?” and they’ll place this question right at the very top of their surveys.

How Can You Crack the Code to WOMM?

Like most things in life that lead to long term success, there are no shortcuts. WOMM is all about building and building.
If you do the hard work that it takes to stay inside the definition you’ll have a strong foundation that will remain standing like the pyramids. Build it using shortcuts and may end up with a collapsing structure.

With WOMM, defining it correctly is crucial. This will help you avoid getting distracted by all of the other options that are out there. Lack of distraction and focus will allow you to make the most out of this as possible.

Ted Wright is the founder of Fizz, the world’s leading word of mouth marketing (WOMM) agency. Ted is also an acclaimed WOMM keynote speaker and the author of Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth


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