How to Get Your Boss On Board with Word of Mouth Marketing
By Ted Wright September 10, 2018
By Ted Wright
Many companies have been using the same marketing playbook for years.
As times change, company strategies should too. Many have adopted social media marketing in recent years, but Word of Mouth Marketing, when done right, is one strategy every company has access to, and should experiment with.
Word of Mouth Marketing can seem weird and scary. This is not how your boss did marketing, it’s not how your company has done it in the past, and it doesn’t fit into the existing company marketing dashboard.
Shifting Company Culture
If the company culture isn’t ready for something bold and new, it might take a period of executive education to get people to understand why this approach is vital – especially when the stuff they’ve been doing for years stopped working long ago.
There is no such thing as a grassroots change of a company culture. Most companies like sticking with the playbook they’re used to, because, let’s face it, nobody likes change.
But for a shift in company culture to happen, it has to come from the top – the person who controls the strategy and budget. And that internal sponsor has to be active in the project and the cultural change, by setting goals and expectations, holding people accountable, and showing interest by asking questions about the project’s progress.
Soft Skills for Successful Word of Mouth Marketing
Again, shifting company culture is no easy feat. But if your company’s marketing strategy needs an upgrade, your boss will be happy to know that Word of Mouth Marketing does not require a big budget – just a few soft skills…
Work with what you have
Creating a new marketing strategy from scratch may deter some bosses from hopping on board, but it’s important to have an honest reflection to determine if what you’ve been doing is actually working. If it hasn’t been, Word of Mouth Marketing is an inexpensive option.
Word of Mouth Marketing is all about sparking conversations, and most companies already have marketing materials that point to what is conversational about your business.
Even if you’re small, you can scale conversations in your community without a lot of investment. Small businesses do well with Word of Mouth Marketing when the owner is personally invested in the process.
If your boss is worried about budget, here are some key items to keep in mind:
- Owners probably have a lot of routine connection with customers and instinctively know what is “talkable.”
- Look for ways to make the ordinary conversational
- The key to success is taking the time to create face-to-face conversations
- Sometimes how you act is more conversational than what you say.
- The right employees can be natural Word of Mouth Marketing advocates for your business.
- Online reviews via Yelp and Trip Advisor are like an online Word of Mouth Marketing forum. They are very important. Don’t be afraid to ask customers for reviews.
Although Word of Mouth Marketing is inexpensive to experiment with, it’s still a new approach for your company, so it’s important to reflect before taking the leap. I always recommend thinking about these three things:
- Are you ready to financially support and sustain a new, patient approach to marketing?
- Do you have the patience and tenacity to see it through?
- Are you forward-thinking, or more dependent on maintaining a status quo?
If your company needs a new approach to marketing, Word of Mouth Marketing is a proven method. Getting your boss on board with a new idea may not be easy, but it’ll be a shift in the right direction long-term.
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.