Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Word-Of-Mouth (WOM) More Important than Ever!
In this faltering economy, direct marketers need to make use of every possible strategy to gain the loyalty of their customers and prospects. As you know, we're big believers in utilizing social media as part of the overall marketing strategy. Part of participating in this brave, new world is extending your reach via Word-of-Mouth (WOM).
In a recent article from BizReport, WOM is examined and is reported as being "seriously underestimated by many communicators and often overlooked as a valuable component to a communications strategy." These are the new findings in the annual “Media, Myths and Realities” report from Ketchum and the USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center. The study reports that "less than a quarter (24 percent) of communicators have a word-of-mouth strategy in place." At first blush, this may not alarm you, however, when you consider that WOM is estimated to grow from $981 million in 2007 to $1 billion in 2008, with a continuing upward trend forecasted through 2011 . . . well, let's just say it may be high time to get a WOM strategy in place!
WOM is simply about looking at your prospective audience as a "public of one," as opposed to creating messages for the masses. Said differently, this means that marketers must begin to provide "relevant, meaningful and entertaining content that their audiences will feel inclined to share with others."
In this frenetic shopping season, we marketers can't help but feel the impact of advertisers and the myriad of messages aimed at us -- just like the rest of the consumers out there. And, as we examine our own actions, it is now more apparent than ever that we seek out products and services that we are interested in . . . and are becoming better and better at filtering out what is not relevant or meaningful to us. This is exactly why WOM is so important to consider right now as we communicate with our customers and prospects. As the Ketchum-USC study suggests, "Communicators must focus on speaking to individuals, not just broadcasting to the masses, when getting their messages across to this new 'public of one.'"
The net net . . . creating messaging that appears to be highly individualized, highly targeted and perfect for each one of us.