Debate Recording: Incentivizing Word of Mouth, or Not- Featuring Joe Jaffe & Rob Fuggetta

Rob Fuggetta (@zuberance), Founder and CEO of Zuberance, and Joe Jaffe (@jaffejuice), author of “Flip the Funnel” and creator of Jaffe Juice TV, held a debate via live Podcast this past Monday to discuss whether or not marketers need to incentivize Word of Mouth to yield results. (This debate was a result of "Flip the Funnel- No Incentives Necessary," a recent blog post written by Fuggetta.) Listen to the Podcast:

IN FAVOR ARGUMENT – NEED TO INCETIVIZE WOM

In his recent book “Flip the Funnel,” Jaffe says companies should start by focusing their efforts on the customer purchase rather than ending with it. He points to successful examples like Zappos and USAA who are focusing on customer retention, customer experience, relationship building, and the networked effects of customer-originated Word of Mouth. Jaffe contends that Word of Mouth marketing works for passion brands like Apple. But, he states that for nearly all other brands, marketers have to provide incentives to yield results.

AGAINST ARGUMENT – INCENTIVIZING WOM NOT NEEDED

Zuberance argues that it is not necessary to provide incentives to get Brand Advocates to recommend you (even for brands in categories like telecom, software and financial services).  The key to energizing Word of Mouth marketing at scale is to have a systematic approach to brand advocacy that automates the process of identifying and mobilizing a company’s authentic Brand Advocates, generating a measurable 10X ROI.

What are your thoughts? Does energizing Word of Mouth require incentives? Leave your comments here!