According to the Business Dictionary, Word of mouth marketing to be:
An oral or written recommendation from a satisfied customer to a potential customer for a good or service. Considered the most effective form of promotion, it is also known as word of mouth advertising which is incorrect because by definition advertising is a paid and non-personal form of communication.
We define Word of Mouth Marketing a little differently here at Persuasion & Conversion:
Turn your customers into your most effective sales and marketing assets by doing something they weren't expecting, thus giving them a story to tell.
But as a matter of fact, that's also not nuanced enough. Because even if you succeed in getting customers to talk about your business, there are two different types of word of mouth: word of mouth response and proactive word of mouth .
To achieve this, you first need to understand that competence doesn't create conversation. When you do exactly what the client expects and know in advance you will, they won't mention it to anyone because there is no STORY there.
I never said – to anyone – “Hey, let me tell you about this perfectly fitting experience I had recently. "It would be a terrible story. Not interesting to tell and not interesting to hear. Word of mouth requires story integration. If we could help you create and spread the story of your company , let us know.
After you have story catalysts (we call them Chat trigger ), you will prompt one or both types of word of mouth.
To demonstrate the difference between reactive word of mouth and proactive word of mouth, let's use one of our favorite examples, the chocolate chip cookie at DoubleTree Hotels. Every day, for almost 30 years, DoubleTree has given each guest a warm chocolate chip cookie upon check-in.
Those cookies are LEGAL. And people tell stories about those cookies all the time. How long? Our research found that 34% of DoubleTree guests told a cookie story. That means they were giving out 75,000 cookies a day, the story being told about 22,500 times every 24 hours. That's a lot of word of mouth.
And that's why you don't see many ads from DoubleTree. Cookies are advertising, and guests are media.
Definition of Reactive Word of Mouth
When your customer mentions your product or service when prompted, in the middle of an offline conversation, an online conversation, or the like.
For example, if I'm with some friends for dinner and someone asks, "We're taking a trip to Houston, do you know where we should be?" I can say “Yes! The DoubleTree at the Galleria is amazing and the chocolate chip cookies at the front desk are the best. ”
I am reacting to the situation and making suggestions within it. “Referral” is what word of mouth response is called in some cases.
Active words defined orally
When your customer recommends or inserts your product or service into an unrelated offline conversation about the topic, online exchange or the like.
For example, if I'm having dinner with the same people and someone asks, "Has anyone done anything interesting lately?" I can answer “Yes! I was in Houston last week. I was at the DoubleTree, and you won't believe the amazing chocolate chip cookies they hand out at the front desk. ”
In this case, I don't wait for the topic to come around the hotels before mentioning DoubleTree and their famous cookies. Instead, I'll insert cookies into a broader conversation and switch the topic to DoubleTree.
What Kind of Mouth Is Best?
Both are important. In fact, word of mouth is the most persuasive and popular way people make purchasing decisions.
However, proactive word of mouth is the way to go because it requires your customers to be. They're passionate about your product or service, and they're forced to find a way to bring it up in the conversation, even if it's off-topic, to their liking.
Telling a story when asked is one Thing. Telling a story without being asked is another thing entirely. It requires more faith and more passion.
To ensure as much proactive word-of-mouth as possible, you need to make sure that your Talk Trigger is truly different. You have to do something different that your customers weren't expecting, and then find irresistible.
The book that Daniel Lemin and I wrote on the subject Includes dozens of case studies that might inspire you to find your own differentiator that generates the initiative.