What’s the role of word of mouth marketing in branding?

By Ted Wright January 6, 2020


A brand is a symbol for trust. A brand is something in people’s mind stands for something. As a marketer, you want your branding to stand for something as valuable as possible.  Ideally, as quickly as possible.

Lucky for you, word of mouth marketing is the most efficient channel you have at getting that trust established for your brand and have that trust spread as quickly as possible to as many people as possible. It’s 100 times more likely to get somebody to check you out than any other tactic you could choose, and ten times more trusted.

And this brings us to the Oreo of marketing –  WOMM and digital combined.

Branding and the wonderful stuff in the middle

Think about an Oreo cookie. It is three parts. There’s the yummy crispy chocolatey cookie on two sides and then there’s the gooey, wonderful stuff in the middle.

Now divorce those three. So now you have an amorphous white gooey thing. There’s nothing to hold it together. It just doesn’t stand on its own.

And then you’ve got two cookies. And sure, a cookie is good. But damn, it’s so much better when it has the white goodness stuck to it.

That’s basically the model for word of mouth, digital and branding. The intersection of word of mouth marketing and digital marketing is the Oreo cookie of marketing.

The outer layer of our marketing cookie – the first piece you come to — is one person sharing a story with another person. Then comes the delicious gooey middle — That’s the digital component. The word of mouth marketing is stuck to digital because once people hear the story, they want to go online and check it out. So, it all works together.

Then the third piece is the cookie again – word of mouth marketing a second time. If the consumer is buying something expensive, our research tells us it’s more than $5,000 – it becomes really important to go back to your friends and check it out again, to verify and validate the idea of purchasing something that big.

So, word of mouth marketing surrounds digital when building a branding strategy.

Unfortunately, marketers are making a fetish out of digital.  It’s one piece of the puzzle but just one piece.  In the complex world of human interaction, you need a cookie — this WOMM/digital cookie — to survive.

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.

Illustration courtesy Unsplash.com

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