Word of Mouth Advertising

It’s a red hot topic right now in marketing and advertising circles – “word of mouth advertis…..”   OUCH – sorry, almost dropped it.  Burning my fingers here.   It’s “word of mouth advertising.”

Word of mouth advertising is a natural fit for women.   Women are more likely to ask opinions from people they know and trust before buying a product or service.   If they have a positive experience, they’re more likely to share it with their friends.  And if they have a negative experience?  You better believe they’re going to share it…with everyone they know.

Unlike men, who may shy away from having to share that they were “scammed” or in any way made a poor decision, women are very upfront about it. 

Don’t believe me?  When was the last time you heard a guy say “Yeah, that used car dealership?  Totally hosed me.  Yeah, I got taken for a real ride.  Fell for the sales pitch hook line and sinker.  Stupidest thing I ever did.”   Chances are he has the car in the garage, hood up, desperately tinkering with it in an attempt to prove that it really was a great deal and his decision to buy it was a perfectly sound one. 

Women have their faults, too.  When they have a bad experience, they are more likely to walk away and tell everyone they know, but not actually tell the offending business or service.  It’s a discomfort with confrontation.   So often, the business or service has no idea they did anything wrong.  But if you exceeded her expectations, you can bet she’s going to be singing your praises.

Word of mouth can work in very powerful manner for you and against you.

Word of mouth advertising is especially critical in the service industries.   With a product, you can touch it, feel it, try it on, see how it feels.   Not so with a financial planner, or doctor or therapist.   For some great ideas on building your word of mouth advertising if you’re a business owner, especially one in a service industry, Yvonne DiVita has some great suggestions for actions you can take to build some positive word of mouth.

Here are the big questions:

  • How can you incorporate word of mouth into your more traditional advertising efforts?
  • How can you measure word of mouth – positive and negative?
  • How can you control word of mouth?

And the answers are……

I don’t know.   That’s why I’m going to WOMMA September 28 in NYC.  Care to join me?   I can get you a discount – (don’t worry – you don’t have to admit to knowing me) When you sign up, look for the promotional code box and type in…..futurenowisawsome.   It will get you $50 off.   

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12 Responses to Word of Mouth Advertising

  1. Mary Schmidt says:

    I’d love to join you at WOMMA (and I’d even admit to knowing you, at least virtually)
    So, so true re the differences in men and women when it comes to word of mouth…And, some of us tough old broads like – ahem – me also write letters to the CEO of the offending company, post on blogs, and just generally do everything we can to make sure others either don’t fall for the same scam – or the offending company learns a lesson (at least in some small way.) I hope one of these days “smash and grab” marketing will largely be a thing of the past.

  2. Holly, you are always right on. However, let’s not discount the guys on this issue — more and more men are passing that bad news around, via word of mouth. Here’s the thing — they hardly EVER share GOOD news. It’s only when they’re pissed that they speak up.
    Women will eagerly announce bad experiences, also…but, we like to gush over good experiences, too. That’s why it’s a good bet to market to women, especially online.

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  12. Word of Mouth advertising is still potent even in modern times because of its social application. Being good or bad has a backlash in reputation even through word of mouth.

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