Why Word of Mouth Marketing matters more than ever
By Ted Wright February 18, 2019
A guest post by Mark Schaefer
For the last two years, I’ve been immersed in study and research, preparing to write a new book, Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins.
The process forced me to face some very uncomfortable facts. At the top of the list — our traditional approaches to marketing don’t work any more!
We are rapidly and inexorably moving to an ad-free, loyalty-free, sales-funnel-free world where the customers are the marketers. As somebody who has been in the field of marketing for more than 35 years, this certainly made me squirm. Perhaps it makes you squirm, too.
Fact is, nobody really believes what companies or brands say any more. 80% of Americans don’t trust advertising in any form and that number is even higher for younger consumers.
What do people trust? Each other. When you think about it, nothing else really matters. People trust people and the stories we tell each other.
The consumer carries our story forward
Consumers today are hyper-empowered. They’re talking about their experiences and opinions with their friends and family constantly. And in the social media age, those opinions can be amplified far beyond their immediate social circles. An opinion on a site like TripAdvisor might be seen tens of thousands of times and then carried forward into infinity through personal conversations.
The only rational strategy in this environment is to try to become part of that conversation. And that leads me to the conclusion that is also the title of this post – word of mouth marketing is more important than ever.
As a student of marketing for most of my life and a teacher of marketing for a decade, I really see no choice. Every company must consider a word of mouth marketing component in their strategic mix.
WOMM may not be as familiar as a newspaper ad or as easy to pump out as a press release, but it simply must be done.
The customer is the marketer. Now, go help them do their job.
Mark Schaefer is executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant.