Tuesday, May 30, 2006

What's up with word of mouth

I've been reading a lot of good stuff out there on WOM, and want to pass along some of the highlights to you.

Church of the Customer always has thoughtful posts on WOM, but these in particular are quite interesting:

  • Word of mouth: Mostly offline and positive - this post cites a recent study that revealed 92% of word of mouth happens offline! As Jackie says, "It's pretty clear, though, that the most word of mouth occurs primarily while we're not sitting in front of computer screens." It's a good reminder that we need to keep our eyes and ears open in the "real world" in addition to the online one. Oh, and that we need to get out of the office!
  • Why opt-in is your friend points out the need for marketers to create opportunities for customers/patrons to opt-in to get updated information. In my experience with creating an opt-in e-mail listserv for undergraduates, I've found it to be invaluable. We pass out a sign-up sheet in classes or at events, and in one case we gave a free cup of coffee to those who signed up, and we use the low-traffic listserv to pass along new events and services to students. I've also had a lot of luck recruiting for focus groups using the list. Opt-in is so effective because it reaches the students who care about what's going on at the library without spamming everyone.
  • More on the "new traditionalists" vs. the "WOM progressives" - This post reports on a potential split among WOMers who fall into two camps: those who think WOM should produce immediate, short-term results (new traditionalists) and those who think that WOM is all about nurturing long-term customer relationships (WOM progressives). You can check out the original post for more details. Whichever camp you fall into, you'll still want to know how to measure the effectiveness of your WOM efforts. To do this, Marketing Genius offers 5 very simple steps for tracking marketing effectiveness. The biggie? Ask people how they found out about the library/event/class/whatever.
  • While WOM is a very promising strategy, it doesn't mean turning over all the marketing work to customers. A WOM campaign takes strategy, ongoing attention and a lot of work! For some good advice, Successful Marketing is More Than 'Word of Mouth' addresses how to market effectively.
Categories: tips_to_try | resource_roundup

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