How Do You Begin A Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy?
By Ted Wright September 19, 2018
By Ted Wright
All good marketing begins with research and every good Word of Mouth Marketing strategy starts with insight.
In many ways, marketing has strayed away from the basics of this important principle. We’ve become reliant on social media dashboards, we may be overwhelmed by big data, or we may simply not have the resources to conduct complex research.
But research is vital for the health of any good marketing strategy, especially at the beginning.
Word of Mouth Marketing is all about sharing stories
To construct the best story for your business, you will need to spend some time with the data available to your business, whether that is embedded in a customer report system, analyzing Google Analytics, or a compilation of customer service calls. Sit with it for a few days and try to determine:
- What do I think is happening with my customers?
- What do I suspect they need from us?
- What’s changing this year?
- How can we connect to them through our stories?
Getting Started with Word of Mouth Marketing
Step number one with Word of Mouth Marketing is taking all of the data surrounding your brand. The data should cover every aspect of your brand from “Who buys our stuff?” and “Where do they buy it?” to which products sell best, who are our competitors, what are people saying about us, and so on.
Once you have the data, sort through it.
The data then needs to go through a 3 tier test.
You may be biased, considering it’s either your company, or the company you work for, so it’s extremely important to be hard on yourself here. It’s extremely important to think about what’s going on outside the 4 walls of your company, and be able to bring whatever it is your selling into the real world. This test will make sure you do that.
- Authentic: When you explain your brand and work to others, are you using your own, authentic voice and excitement, or do you sound more like a lawyer?
- Interesting: If you bring it up at brunch, are people interested? This is of course subjective to the type of group you’re at brunch with – mothers with 3 young children will have different interests and concerns than a group of young adults looking for their first post-college job, but the story should be interesting for the demographic it’s meant to be targeted to.
- Relevant: Really, is this going to make a difference in anyone’s lives?
This is What Word of Mouth Marketing Looks Like:
Let’s break it down.
- Goal: What is the goal you hope to accomplish? A goal might be awareness, consideration, referrals, loyalty, leads, and sales, for example.
- Story: Like mentioned previously, this is something about you, your business, your employees, and/or your company that is conversational. It is something that is Authentic, Interesting, and Relevant.
- Focus audience: It’s improbable that the whole world will be interested in everything you have to say. More likely, a focus audience or community, might be more specific, like veterans, realtors, or fishing enthusiasts. In the old days, we used to classify our customers as “targets” that we would mail or broadcast to or even spam. But through WOMM, we will create stories and the focus audience just might come to us.
- Activation: These three considerations guide us to the activation … what are you going to do to create these conversations?
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 certainly lead to business benefits over time.
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.