Word of Mouth Marketing Advantages, Disadvantages and Meaning

word of mouth marketing

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Word of Mouth Marketing Meaning

Word of mouth marketing is referred to as the passing of information from one person to another. Initially, it was associated only with oral communication, but now it includes all forms of human interaction, such as face-to-face conversations, email, telephone and text messaging. Positive word of mouth promotion is only possible when customers have a positive experience with an organization. By providing services of high quality, organizations can develop positive word of mouth marketing. Marketers very well understand the potential of a customer talking enthusiastically with their friends family or colleagues about a product or service. Whenever a customer talks well about a product or service and suggests others buy it,  they are more believable because they do not have a strong personal interest in promoting that product or service.

Most people tend to rely on the opinion of those people whom they know and trust, rather than advertisement, promotion or opinion from someone they’ve never met.

The Influence of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

If a consumer receives a positive review of a product from their friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues, or someone else in their life, they are more likely to believe that the person is providing an authentic, honest description of their experience with a brand. Then they are often willing to try that product. This emphasises the importance of word of mouth marketing and the power of personal recommendations in influencing consumer behaviour.

When customers learn that a product or service is interesting then it captivates them to talk about it. They never hesitate to talk about it to other people and are even eager to share their excitement with others. With the increase in the use of technology, customers can now connect to a considerable number of fellow customers immediately and simultaneously, amplifying the impact of their recommendations. As a result, word of mouth promotion has emerged as a highly effective means of communication that can effortlessly reach new customers.

As satisfied customers, people share their positive experiences with others, and the message is amplified and reaches a wider audience. This type of passive marketing approach is highly effective, as it does not cost any money and even creates a positive attitude towards the product from satisfied customers.

What is Word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing is a marketing strategy which makes use of one-to-one communication with contented customers, it creates awareness about the organisation’s products and services and drives sales.

Social, and business networks and communities act as a channel for word of mouth marketing approaches. It is considered an impressive, quick, and cost-effective means of spreading information about an organization’s offerings. To boost this approach organizations follow the techniques such as customer referral plans and customer partnerships. These techniques encourage customers to share their positive experiences with others, ultimately expanding the reach of the organization’s message. 

Social, and business networks and communities act as a channel for word of mouth marketing approach. It is considered an impressive, quick, and cost-effective means of spreading information about an organization’s offerings. To boost this approach organizations follow the techniques such as customer referral plans and customer partnerships. These techniques encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences with others quickly and effectively, expanding the reach of the organization’s message and ultimately, leading to increased success and growth.

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Word of Mouth Marketing Advantages

The influence of word of mouth marketing cannot be underestimated. It is a highly effective marketing technique that can help businesses reach their target audience quickly and cost-effectively. By leveraging its power, businesses can boost brand awareness and generate income from local and global markets.

Given below are some of the key advantages of this marketing approach:

1) Cost Effectiveness

Word of mouth marketing is a cost-effective way of promoting the products and services of any organisation. Unlike paid advertising, the customers are not paid to communicate or share any kind of positive feedback about the offerings of the organization.

2) Speed

Speed is a key strength of word of mouth marketing. This approach enables information to spread rapidly, outpacing other communication channels such as television commercials, social media and other advertising techniques. Speed is a key strength of word of mouth marketing. This approach enables information to spread rapidly, outpacing other communication channels such as television commercials, social media and other advertising techniques. It is the fastest and most effective way of sharing information about a product or service. By harnessing the power of personal recommendations and social networks, businesses by leveraging the speed of word of mouth can reach a wider audience and build brand awareness. 

3) Easy to Set up

Marketers can easily create an artificial word of mouth campaign by creating a buzz through a famous personality or other means. Word of mouth marketing is a powerful platform that enables companies to generate income from local interest in their ventures. By leveraging the impact of word of mouth marketing, businesses can tap into the trust and credibility that comes with personal recommendations. This can be achieved strategically by targeting key influencers and opinion leaders in society, or by creating compelling content that encourages people to share their experiences with others.

4) Effectively Target Market

People tend to always share information about products with others whom they believe will have an interest in the product.  Therefore, word of mouth marketing successively allows catering target audience by leveraging the power of personal recommendations. This technique also acts as a filter, preventing buzz from spreading to the non-targeted audiences, who aren’t likely to be interested in the product. Focusing on building relationships with the target market and encouraging them to share their positive experiences with others, can create a powerful marketing strategy that drives actual results.

5) Enhances Brand Awareness

Word of mouth marketing has the potential to significantly boost brand awareness and improve a company’s image in the market. For business organisations, Word of mouth marketing remains a potent tool to stay ahead of the curve.

6) Global Reach

By utilizing the internet’s vast connectivity across the globe, businesses can effectively spread the word of mouth marketing to a worldwide audience. This strategy enables businesses to connect with their target demographic on a global scale.

Disadvantages of Word of Mouth Marketing

There are several disadvantages associated with word of mouth communication. Some of these are as follows:

1) Negative word of mouth

The saying “Bad news has wings” holds in this case. Generally, people tend to spread negative news faster than positive news. Therefore, any kind of negative news will spread more rapidly than positive news about the same product or service.

2) Human Error

There is a high possibility that every individual makes some mistakes when conveying a message. They may alter the original message of a product to suit their interests which will be beneficial to them. As a result, the original message may be transmitted to the target market in a different form, deviating from the intended message, something distinct from what was initially conveyed. People may receive distorted information, which may lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations which can have a considerable impact on the success of a product or service. 

3) Selective Attention

It is possible for word of mouth marketing to experience delays, as people tend to only pay attention to those messages that are relevant or useful to them. It is possible for word of mouth marketing to experience delays, as people tend to only pay attention to those messages which are of interest or useful to them. This kind of phenomenon is known as selective attention. When people are bombarded with plenty of information they filter out the messages that do not align with their interests or needs. This can create challenges for marketers who are trying to spread the word about their products or services through word of mouth marketing.

4) Customer Dissatisfaction

Excessive word of mouth discussion can lead to a complete loss of control over the message, resulting in harmful situations such as stockouts that ultimately lead to customer dissatisfaction. Nowadays, due to social media and other digital platforms word of mouth can spread like wildfire, and if not managed properly, it can have an effective impact on a business’s reputation and bottom line. 

5) Competition Prone

Sharing information with unfamiliar people or groups can lead to competitors gaining access to it. Any indication of a competitor’s presence in the generated link through groups or people can reduce the intended effect. It is important to exert caution while communicating sensitive information to ensure that it remains confidential and does not fall into the wrong hands. 

6) Limited Reach

Word of mouth communication is limited only to those people who are directly involved in the conversation, resulting in a limited audience.  Therefore,   the message may not reach a broader demographic area. 

7) Lack of Control

The sender has little control over the message conveyed through word of mouth communication. Therefore,  it can result in the message being misinterpreted or distorted, leading to potential misunderstandings.

8) Inaccuracy

Word of mouth communication can be problematic, inaccurate or unreliable as the accuracy of information depends on the memory and perception of the sender.  This can result in false information and misunderstandings being spread. The information should be verified before sharing it to ensure its accuracy and reliability. This can be done by fact-checking with credible sources or seeking out multiple viewpoints. By following these steps, it can be ensured that the information shared is trustworthy and valuable

9) Biasness

Word of mouth communication can be biased as it may be influenced by the sender’s personal opinions and experiences. This can result in a one-sided perspective of the message being conveyed.  It is essential to understand that people may unintentionally inject their own biases into their communication, which can change the message’s accuracy and objectivity. Therefore, it is important to approach word of mouth communication with a critical eye and consider the possible biases that may be present. By doing so we can understand the message and can make informed decisions based on a complete and unbiased viewpoint.

Word of mouth communication is a powerful approach but it is not without its drawbacks. To overcome these weaknesses when relying on word of mouth communication as a marketing strategy, a combination of communication channels, including digital and traditional media can be used. This will ensure the availability, accuracy and efficiency of the message conveyed to a wider audience.  Additionally, Companies should take steps to mitigate risks and remove distortion and misinterpretation. To ensure accuracy and efficiency monitoring and managing of the message should be done. By following these steps, the message can be communicated professionally and understandably, leading to better results.

Word of mouth marketing strategies

Word of mouth marketing is often organic, businesses can encourage customers to spread information about their products in a few different ways. Given below are some strategies to grow a business through word of mouth marketing:

  1. Encourage customers to leave reviews.
  2. Offer incentives to customers who refer others.
  3. Creating engaging social media content for followers that causes an emotional response.
  4. Making it easy for people to share their experiences on social media by maintaining a social media presence and creating a unique tag for images and posts.
  5. Provide products to effective social media users to review for their audience.
  6. Treating customers well and working to provide a positive experience during every interaction.
  7. Understanding the customer base and tailoring social media experience and strategies to them.
  8. Develop and convey unique value as a brand. For example, a business may support the local community in some way or create products in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Word of Mouth in Advertising and Marketing Strategy

The process of spreading information about a business and its products through verbal communication among the public is known as Word of Mouth advertising. This type of advertising is essential for professional service companies, such as medical, accounting, law, and consulting, who typically avoid traditional advertising methods due to long-standing taboos. Nearly every professional business out of these relies heavily on word of mouth advertising to attract new clients.

Word of mouth advertising can be a highly effective and successful way of acquiring new clientele without investing a lot of money in different marketing programs. In today’s digital age, word of mouth advertising has become increasingly important as social media platforms have made it effortless for people to share their experiences and opinions about a company’s products and services with a broader audience.

Various methods can use word of mouth communication for marketing purposes. Some of these methods include the following:

1) Buzz Marketing and Viral Marketing

Buzz Marketing and Viral Marketing is a business strategy which involves creating a buzz or hype around a product or service through different means such as social media, events, and influencer marketing. This type of marketing creates excitement and interest in the product or service through social media and user-generated content to reach a wider audience and create a buzz around the product or service, which can lead to increased sales and brand awareness.

i) Buzz marketing: Buzz marketing is a modern and innovative marketing technique which aims to capture the attention of the target audience and create an interest and buzz around a product or service through word of mouth marketing.

ii) Viral Marketing: Viral Marketing is used in a creative way to spread information, ideas, and products through audio, video, or any other type of content, related to an organization’s products or services through the Internet or email. The purpose of viral marketing is to inspire individuals to share a marketing message with family, friends, colleagues and other people to create exponential growth in the number of its recipients. It relies on social media to create a buzz and generate interest among individuals and groups, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness and sales.

Both forms of word of mouth marketing, namely buzz and viral marketing, aim to highlight a particular product or service and its exceptional features in the market. it is necessary to understand the nuances of each approach and tailor the strategy accordingly. Buzz marketing involves creating excitement about a product or service through different means such as events, stunts, or word-of-mouth communication. On the other hand, viral marketing depends on the internet, email, social media, and other online platforms to spread a message or content that is informative, entertaining, or thought-provoking.

2) Opinion Leaders

An opinion leader is a well-known person or organization that can influence public opinion on the subject matter. Opinion leaders can be business leaders, politicians, community leaders, journalists, educators, celebrities, sports stars, etc. Rather than investing heavily in mass advertising campaigns, businesses can greatly reduce their marketing cost by focusing on opinion leaders who can sway the opinions of other people.

3) Blogging

Blogging is a creative outlet that can be used by organisations to generate positive word of mouth among people about a product, service or company in the market. The blogosphere, where bloggers operate, is mainly a non-compliant and decentralised sphere. Nowadays, bloggers by creating engaging content that resonates with readers can influence the consumer’s thinking, acts and purchasing behaviour. Bloggers can motivate or demotivate the audience to use or not a product or service.

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