Why Word of Mouth Marketing Is the Most Important Social Media?

Word of Mouth Marketing This is the original social media platform. Faberge's famous commercial in which a woman told two friends about her product was a familiar one to me. I remember seeing it again and again. Isn't WOM a powerful way for businesses to influence results?

At a conference, I was able to hear from several experts in different forms of mobile and social marketing. Suzanne Fanning, President of WOMMA, Word of Mouth Marketing Association, gave a fascinating, data-based presentation about the power of WOMM, and current efforts to create experiences that can be passed from one person to another. Below are her thoughts and examples of how marketers can take advantage of WOMM.

Why Marketers Should Care About WOMM

Would you rather ignore or abandon what is regarded as the a most effective form of marketing?

You don't have to be a part of the conversation. You must unleash the power and influence of word-of-mouth if you want to win in 2015 marketing race.

Let's examine the facts. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends over any form of advertising. WOMMA and American Marketing Association (AMA), decided to investigate what brands are doing about this fact. A recent survey found that 64% of marketing executives believe word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of marketing. Only 6% of marketing executives claim to have mastered the art.

Marketers believe word of mouth is more effective than advertising, so why don't they spend more time on it?

Problem is, for the past few years marketers have been too focused on "collecting" rather than "connecting" with their fans. It is far more effective to have 100 passionate fans who love your brand and product than 10,000 people who sign up for a chance at winning an iPad.

As in life, if you have friends that you need to buy, are they truly your friends?

Why should we stop at likings? Shoot for LOVE.

Marketers used to be focused on the four P's. These four P's were probably drilled into you as you studied marketing. Marketers now need to be focused on the three E's, Engage, Equip and Empower. These will help you become the most talked about and loved product in your niche, ultimately leading to higher sales. A good WOMM campaign can generate thousands of recommendations, triple sales and even triple sales within a year.

Could you please explain the Three E's more clearly?

Engage - Give your fans the gift you are. Engage with them. Listen to what they have to say. Participate in the conversation about your brand. Your fans will be in your presence. @NikeSupport shows the value of good customer service. They respond to all their followers via Twitter about their apparel, Fuel Band, and other products. You can see them responding to someone every few minutes.

Equip--Give them a reason to talk. You can have amazing products, great services, insider knowledge or funny disclosures. It is up to you. It all depends on your ability to understand your customers and provide the best service possible. Apple revolutionizes technology and delivers incredible products to its customers, allowing them naturally to rave about the new iPhone. Social customer service is another area where Apple excels and which is on the rise.

Empower - Give consumers multiple ways to communicate and share. Let them know how important they are to you. Encourage them to find ways to connect with others in their networks and to find ways to move the conversation around. Lay's is a great example of how they allowed their fans to "Do Us a Flavor" and allow customers to create a new potato chip flavour to go on the shelves. It was one of the most successful marketing campaigns by Frito-Lay owned PepsiCo.

Why should WOMM be the focus of attention now, when it has been around for so long?

You're right. You are correct. It is possible that one caveman shared the information about a popular hunting spot with another caveman, and eventually the site became the most sought-after hunting area within their cave community.

It worked back then and it will continue to work today. Technology has made it possible for consumers to manage your marketing. A simple post written by a fan in a matter of minutes will be seen and shared by hundreds of trusted friends. It can quickly travel to thousands more. Millions have shared well-planned messages in a matter of days. Take a look at the Volvo Epic Split video featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on November 14th. It was viewed more than 6.5 million times and shared more than 32 thousand times within the first 24 hours. In just four weeks, it was shared more than 6 million times on social media. It was quickly voted the most popular YouTube video. It has been featured in approximately 20,000 online editorial pieces. It was impossible to achieve these results without technology, no disrespect to cave people. It is also worth noting that the people who read this post could have millions of conversations offline with their friends, family, acquaintances, or consumers perplexed by the displays in stores.

Your brand will benefit greatly from engaging people and driving passion.

Is there a consistent characteristic that successful WOMM campaigns have?

Remember that a solid WOMM strategy should be credible, social, repeatable and measurable. Dishonesty is not acceptable.

Are there any case studies that you could share?

These three WOMMY winners are a testament to the power of word-of-mouth.

Marina Maher Communications won a WOMMY for their Kimberly-Clark campaign in the Influencer category. The Great American Try On was created by the Depend team to bring the issue out of the toilet and into the most public places. They recruited celebrities and footballers to try it on and tell America what they thought. Then, they asked them to donate to two charitable causes. Sample requests for new products launched a year ago saw 720% more sampling requests than the previous year.