WOMM – Any business action that earns a customer recommendation (WOMMA, 2011)
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it relies on the positive recommendation from the consumer. Consumers share their experiences with friends and family, creating a subtle push for the brand they talk about. WOMM is a free alternative to advertising and begging journalists to write something nice about a brand, product or service. Of course, word-of-mouth can work against a brand if the consumer experiences a negative interaction thus causing negative conversations and brand reputation.
“One of the coolest things about the Web is that when an idea takes off, it can propel a brand or company to seemingly instant fame and fortune.” (Scott, D. 2008)
While traditional word-of-mouth is one thing, looking at the role of WOMM online is an exciting concept that can create great buzz and anticipation around brands and services. With user generated content sweeping the internet, people are talking more than ever and even more people are likely to be listening. From blogs, reviews, ratings and likes WOMM can be seen across many online channels, in a variety of forms.
With consumers feeling bombarded by advertising and marketing speak user generated content is easier to trust as the recommendations come from people who have experienced interactions with brands and services. Consumers are more likely to read a review or comment from a real person rather than branded webpages with biased views. With transparent conversations consumers can gauge whether a product or service is worth trusting and ultimately consuming.
In order for brands to make the most of word-of-mouth marketing, it is crucial to always remain transparent and honest. Consumer trust is at a low and if a brand acts badly or tries to hide behind smoke and mirrors, chances are someone will find out and negative WOM will easily litter the many user generated channels across the internet.