The State of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

While increasing brand awareness is a natural outcome of word-of-mouth marketing, when does brand awareness transition to brand preference?

Coming off the heels of the #WOMMASummit, we’re taking a deeper look at the value of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) and exactly what it means beyond social media. While increasing brand awareness is a natural outcome of WOMM, when does brand awareness transition to brand preference and revenue?

One of the most captivating keynotes at the Summit was “How to Fix Word of Mouth Marketing” presented by Nate Elliott, VP & Principal Analyst, Forrester. Elliott shared research that showed word-of-mouth is highly trusted and drives brand discovery across categories, but he blamed both vendors and brand buyers for falling short of its potential. He criticized social media strategies that aim to increase brand awareness but are ultimately used as “post and pray” tactics. Not only is WOMM being used improperly by brands, but vendors are not able to provide the metrics necessary to determine success.

Inflated statistics and misleading numbers can pull the wool over a brand’s eyes, but access and visibility to real data and metrics are a must-have when reviewing vendors. By trusting a vendor-partner that provides insights that includes shares, clicks, referrals, and most importantly, revenue generated, brands are able to see the true value in referral marketing software.

"Forrester is shining a much-needed light on the obstacles to the growth of our industry. While emphasizing the enormous commercial opportunity in the word of mouth space, Forrester challenges vendors and clients alike to raise our game to deliver our full potential," said Suzanne Fanning, WOMMA President.

Another common challenge for brands that are running word-of-mouth marketing programs manually is losing the ability to capitalize on the large opportunity of gaining new loyal customers. People that have been referred by a peer typically stay loyal to a brand longer than those that found the company by other means. By automating the manual process of enrolling, tracking, managing and rewarding referrals, referral marketing automation enables brands to quickly scale their WOMM efforts.

While it’s a well-known fact that positive word-of-mouth is the most effective way to generate brand awareness, how can brands harness the power of word-of-mouth to gain new leads and immediate sales? We discussed this (and more!) with WOMMA next during the webinar, “Beyond Tweets & Likes: The Future of WOM.”

Suzanne Fanning and Jeff Epstein, Founder & CEO of Ambassador, next Wednesday shared word-of-mouth best practices on how to easily turn fans and customers into brand ambassadors and then convert them into revenue generators.

Webinar Recording


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