Mention the term ‘Word-of-mouth’ marketing to any business owner and they’ll most definitely respond beaming with how effective it is over ALL other modes of marketing. As a matter of fact, one could argue that it’s undisputedly the best marketing method.
Because after all, what could beat the positive aspects of your products and services being acclaimed by the same people who have experienced them first-hand?
Having been in the heart of the mobile marketing industry for well over a decade, we’ve often come across campaigns that go viral and end up being mentioned frequently in everyday conversations. And that’s when we know that it has successfully graduated to the word-of-mouth channels.
Being behind the scenes of campaigns, we get to witness the rise of the best marketing initiatives.
You see, as magical as it gets there is plenty of science behind how information propagates through communities and finds itself in the talk of the mainstream. And what we’ve noticed is that the birth of trends are often incited by 3 factors of a campaign. Think of these 3 components as volume knobs that you either tune up, or down. They are:
- Practical Value
- Social Currency
1. Practical Value
The first piece is to inciting word-of-mouth growth is Practical Value. This gives us (consumers) a valid reason to make a purchase because of its worth. It comes in the form of being well-priced, reliable, or pleasing to the eye. Think of Practical Value as something which gives customers the confidence to spread the word about your product or service because of its intrinsic properties.
2. Social Currency
Secondly, good ol’ Social Currency. Really it’s the stuff that makes everything and anything interesting; the latest information, juiciest news and insider secrets. The content that people gravitate towards that arouses lively group conversations about the newest happenings. Social Currency makes people look good when they share the information with their peers. Hence, bolstering word-of-mouth growth.
Next up are Triggers. Just like how Holiday catalogues can trigger discussions of holiday plans with friends, Triggers can be used to remind consumers of your brand. Just like how Budget airlines are immediately associated with JetStar or TigerAir. Remember, things that are at the top of our minds are more likely to be tip of tongue, so be sure to anchor your brand name to the most relevant elements; be it in the form of images, sounds or even frequent scenarios.
But take heed, leave any one piece out and we’ll find ourselves on vastly different trajectories.
Still, it’s not enough to say that these 3 components are guaranteed to have our next marketing campaign achieve rock star status. Remember those metaphorical knobs? They have to be well-tuned too. If we launch a super catchy commercial that provides a low level of value, stocks are not going to be flying off shelves any time soon. Campaigns that lack Social Currency will find themselves failing to achieve any form of traction. And without Triggers, marketing initiatives fizzle out by simply being forgotten. So be sure to tune levels so that they are ‘loud’ enough to be heard over all the noise – after all, we’re trying to engineer some buzz here.
And of course, word-of-mouth marketing has to happen somewhere and somehow, it’s really about taking the first step and refining your methods. So if your sales-copy got you a couple of new customers via email, try a condensed version using SMS or MMS as well. And if they work, consider push-notifications marketing too. Some people like to purchase online, while others prefer physical stores.
There’s no saying how much money we’re leaving on the table if mediums of marketing communications are not even explored.
Steuart Henderson Britt, a consumer behavior specialist once said “doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.” And this encapsulates the very idea that we are exploring today.
If your campaign is to attain word-of-mouth growth it has to start broadcasting to the public over multiple channels. Coupled with the proper ‘levels’ of Social Currency, Triggers and Practical Value, and we have a working prototype designed for spreading the word.
To explore more modes of marketing communications and advertising options for your business, check out what you have available here.