Harnessing Word of Mouth vs. Creating It: Work Smart not Hard

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is what it’s all about. It’s cool. It’s current. It’s authentic. It’s the reason you go to recommended, local hot spots when you travel and not where the outdated guidebooks tell you to go. Among these hot spots, are hotels, clubs, and restaurants. In fact, our very own Marketing Manager, Cara Fuggetta and CEO Rob Fuggetta blogged about their “dynamic customer journey” to GT Fish and Oyster in Chicago. It was the positive WOM surrounding this place that guided the pair to their seafood destination. It is this advocacy that businesses within the service sector and beyond crave, as they know how powerful it is.

But how should the car dealerships and the software companies of the world go about utilizing Word of Mouth Marketing? Do they need to create more buzz or harness it where it already exists? Which route is easier and which route boosts sales faster?

Harnessing it!

WebCanada blogged about getting consumers to interact with their brands to increase engagement. For example, Banana Republic hosted a live photo shoot featuring actual customers doing their shopping in the store.

Getting consumers to interact with what you’re selling is important. Anyone who has taken their picture with the shirtless eye candy outside Abercrombie and Fitch stores will understand this process.

But how far does this approach actually get you in terms of driving sales? I’d say just to third base. Engagement is great, but it doesn’t get you all the way home. Banana Republic might get a bunch of “likes” based on their photo shoots, the ripped models outside Abercrombie might get shoppers excited, but the energy, money, and time it takes to search for man babes or organize a photo shoot, all in an effort to create buzz, is not as easy, not as quick, and not as powerful as honing in on pre-existing, die hard Abercrombie/Banana Republic Advocates and giving them the tools to spread the word for you!

Listen up marketers! Energize your existing Brand Advocates. Find them, engage them, and take it all the way home by giving them the tools to spread their excitement for your brand.

Please share your thoughts about advocacy, WOMM, or even shirtless men.

-Beau Cowan, Marketing Coordinator, Zuberance