Word of Mouth Marketing – Definition

Cite this article as:"Word of Mouth Marketing – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated September 20, 2019, last accessed August 11, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/word-of-mouth-marketing-definition/.

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Word-of-Mouth Marketing Definition

Word-of-mouth market, or WOM marketing is a type of marketing where the satisfaction and preferences of a customer for a company’s product or service can be seen in the ways they talk. It is a free-of-cost advertising based on customers’ experiences regarding a product or a service. When a product performs beyond the customers’ expectations, WOM marketing takes place. Companies can use this type of marketing in various promotional events. Also, they can influence consumer to marketer or consumer to consumer communications for making the most out of WOM marketing. Social media marketing, publishing blogs about viral content, posting something that creates a buzz are all forms of WOM marketing or word-of-mouth advertising.

A Little More on What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is different from natural word-of-mouth. It involves promoting the products and services of a company, and influencing and persuading people to buy it. For instance, if a person enjoyed having dinner at a specific restaurant, and is very impressed with the overall experience, he or she will post a tweet about it. Another example of word-of-mouth marketing will include someone who used a product in a unique manner, and got impressive results, and now, he or she wants to share it with everybody else. Word-of-mouth marketing is not a matter of a single interaction, instead, it keeps conversations flowing from one person to another, and so on.

A company can encourage its customers through word-of-mouth marketing in several ways. One of the most effective ways for WOM marketing is to give its target customers a fair reason to spread the word about the product, say, maximizing customer satisfaction, or offering insights about a product. They can also follow other strategies such as providing unique and effective ways of sharing information about the products and services of a company, and striking conversations with the customers through exceptional customer service skills. This method is useful for social media-based customer service where there are ample chances of sharing and promoting the content or product.

Efficiency of Word-of-mouth marketing

As per Nielsen (2012), consumers based all around the world agreed that they prefer getting recommendations from family and friends over any other forms of advertising. Comparing with the 2007 results, it represented an increase of 18%.

If a consumer feels that the company is listening to their needs and requirements, he or she gets emotionally attached with that company. That is the reason that some firms hire sales representatives so that they can inform customers about the products and services on a personal level, or via phone. Such engagements with customers followed by promotional events can amplify the chances of more product-based conversations.

According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, marketers need to follow a specific code of ethics, and should ensure that their marketing strategies are quantifiable, authentic, repeatable, social, and respectable. There should not be any misleading elements in marketing.

The word-of-mouth marketing expert named Andy Sernovitz mentions the 3 primary rules that should be followed while carrying out such type of marketing:

  1. Always mention about who you represent.
  2. Speak out if you believe it.
  3. Speak truth about who you are.

References for “Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM Marketing)

https://www.investopedia.com › Business › Marketing Essentials

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word-of-mouth_marketing

https://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/word-of-mouth-marketing.html

Academic research for “Word-of-Mouth Marketing (WOM Marketing)

Networked narratives: Understanding wordofmouth marketing in online communities, Kozinets, R. V., De Valck, K., Wojnicki, A. C., & Wilner, S. J. (2010). Networked narratives: Understanding word-of-mouth marketing in online communities. Journal of marketing, 74(2), 71-89.

[PDF] A new way to measure wordofmouth marketing, Bughin, J., Doogan, J., & Vetvik, O. J. (2010). A new way to measure word-of-mouth marketing. McKinsey Quarterly, 2, 113-116.

Taking control of word of mouth marketing: the case of an entrepreneurial hotelier, Stokes, D., & Lomax, W. (2002). Taking control of word of mouth marketing: the case of an entrepreneurial hotelier. Journal of small business and enterprise development, 9(4), 349-357.

Who is talking? An ontology-based opinion leader identification framework for wordofmouth marketing in online social blogs, Li, F., & Du, T. C. (2011). Who is talking? An ontology-based opinion leader identification framework for word-of-mouth marketing in online social blogs. Decision support systems, 51(1), 190-197.

Identifying influential reviewers for wordofmouth marketing, Li, Y. M., Lin, C. H., & Lai, C. Y. (2010). Identifying influential reviewers for word-of-mouth marketing. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 9(4), 294-304.

Sales and sincerity: The role of relational framing in wordofmouth marketing, Tuk, M. A., Verlegh, P. W., Smidts, A., & Wigboldus, D. H. (2009). Sales and sincerity: The role of relational framing in wordofmouth marketing. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19(1), 38-47.

The role of disclosure in organized wordofmouth marketing programs, Carl, W. J. (2008). The role of disclosure in organized wordofmouth marketing programs. Journal of Marketing Communications, 14(3), 225-241.

The Renaissance of WordofMouth Marketing: A’New’Standard in Twenty-First Century Marketing Management?!, Meiners, N. H., Schwarting, U., & Seeberger, B. (2010). The Renaissance of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: A’New’Standard in Twenty-First Century Marketing Management?!. International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research, 3(2), 79.

Wordofmouth marketing influence on offline and online communications: Evidence from case study research, Groeger, L., & Buttle, F. (2014). Word-of-mouth marketing influence on offline and online communications: Evidence from case study research. Journal of Marketing Communications, 20(1-2), 21-41.

Let your customers do the talking: 301+ wordofmouth marketing tactics guaranteed to boost profits, Cafferky, M. E. (1995). Let your customers do the talking: 301+ word-of-mouth marketing tactics guaranteed to boost profits.

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