Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word-of-mouth, including the six-step process to success and the 30+ (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harness the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!
There are six steps to harnessing word-of-mouth:
- Understand your customers’ values and priorities; this will help you understand why they buy your products.
- Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters, and laggards.
- Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
- Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to determine which wording and word-of-mouth tactics will work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
- Put together the resources for the highest word-of-mouth impact.
- Create and implement your word-of-mouth campaign.
When creating your decision-making matrix, I strongly recommend reading The Secrets of Word of Mouth marketing by George Silverman. However, if you don’t have time, I have included a brief description of the six types of adopters to get you started.
The Innovators want to be the first off the starting block and cross the finish line. They want to be cutting edge, stand out from the crowd, and be the first to adopt the product. So, they want to hear that the product is unique and technologically advanced and that they can be the first to use it. They’re the Alpha testers and the very first users. They are driven by the desire to be outstanding.
The Early Adopters tend to be visionaries who appreciate the possibilities and potential of the product. They want to hear word of mouth about the power of the product and are willing to take chances on it for its eventual advantages. These people are driven by a desire to be excellent.
The Middle Majority tend to be people who are most concerned with the practicalities of applying the product. These people want to read a review before they try it, but they also don’t want to be the last in their friend group to have used it. They are not so much concerned with the far-reaching possibilities and uniqueness of the product as with immediate usability issues, such as quality, consistency, and ease of use. Even the later middle majority are most concerned with the practical nuts-and-bolts issues, such as delivery schedules, price, and availability. These people are driven by a desire to be competent.
The Late Adopters
The Late Adopters are most concerned with issues of self-protection. They want to avoid mistakes. They are not so concerned with the benefits of the products as they are with being right-not being criticized for the decision. They want to avoid undue risk. These people are driven by success without risk.
The Laggards will not use a product until virtually forced to do so. They are the kind of people who were told by their clients to “get an email account or I won’t do business with you.” They are extreme cynics, rejecting most attempts to change their minds. They want safety.
We are now going to move on to the 30+ ways to harness the power of WOM:
Experts can come in many forms, and all their opinions should be considered when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts from whom you could gather information include:
- Subject Matter Experts
- Experts’ roundtables
- Experts’ selling groups
Seminars, Workshops & Speeches
These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather the information you can look over later. Some events to use are:
- Speakers program
- Group selling
- Dinner meetings
- Peer selling groups
- Video conference experts’ panels
- Trade show events/opportunities
As we’ve talked about before, a referral program can help build your business with a variety of things. Using some of the following tactics and opportunities, you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:
- Referral Selling Program
The concept of “new” media is the use of up-and-coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for feedback about them. Most social media options could be considered “newer” media:
- Facebook, Facebook Groups, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook Live
- A host of others
Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth
Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered mainstream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:
- Customer service
- Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
- Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
- Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
- Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)
Internal Word of Mouth
- Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends, and others.
- Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success.
As you can see, there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word-of-mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please book complete the contact form, and in the comments section, write WOM. I give you a free one-hour consultation where you will leave with a complete word-of-mouth campaign.