Why Should Marketers Care About Word of Mouth Marketing?

By Ted Wright November 12, 2018


By Ted Wright

While trust in companies and advertising is on the decline, trust in friends, experts, and entrepreneurs is up.

People trust people.

If Word of Mouth Marketing has always worked so well, why aren’t more business professionals using it?

Simple because Word of Mouth Marketing is hard work.

More time. More effort.

It’s also not a flashy Super Bowl commercial or a glamorous celebrity shoot.

Word of Mouth Marketing works

It’s easy to pay for an ad and wait for something to happen, or to purchase a mailing list and count on a small fraction of people to call you, but in the long-term, the most effective way to build relationships is through human, face-to-face connections.

There are thousands of people in your community who love to share stories about what is new and interesting.

What are you doing to be part of their supply line of information?

If your business can become part of the community conversation, that will undoubtedly lead to business benefits over time.

This probably seems logical, but in case you’re on the fence about this idea, here are some relevant statistics:

  • An average American spends about 30% of their day in conversation and 15% of those conversations mention a product or brand.
  • 92% of Americans view word of mouth conversations as the best source for product recommendations.
  • Nearly 20% of the people you know make product decisions ONLY based on word of mouth recommendations.
  • More than 70% of these trusted conversations take place face-to-face.

For marketers sick of trying the same ideas over and over again, all data points to Word of Mouth Marketing as your surest bet.

Word of Mouth Marketing is the very earliest form of marketing. Before Facebook, before advertising, before direct mail (before ANY mail!), a face-to-face conversation was how people learned about new products and ideas, and then shared their love of those products with others.

Why do marketers need to re-visit this ancient concept? The very foundations of traditional marketing are crumbling before our eyes. The reliable methods that worked just a few years ago may not be as effective in our world today:

  • Traditional advertising options are less available, as local newspapers, radio, and television channels struggle to survive. Advertising on some of those channels are down to 1950 spending levels!
  • People are viewing less broadcast ads as subscription models such as Netflix, Sirius XM, and digital news eliminate the need for advertising.
  • If your ad is seen at all, it may not be believed. Nearly 80% of Americans do not believe advertising by companies, and trust in businesses, brands and ads has tumbled for 10 consecutive years.
  • Social media, meant to be the great equalizer for organizations of all sizes, is under suspicion as people wade through advertising scams and fake news. The average reach for your company Facebook is probably well below 5%
  • Research shows that direct mail responses are in decline nationwide. The reason? There’s simply too much of it and people do not have the time.

Not sold yet? Give Fizz a call, we have plenty of happy clients that will convince you.

Photo Credit: Unsplash.com

Ted Wright


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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