Word of mouth marketing is the foundation of experience-sharing marketing

Marketers agree that getting strong, positive word of mouth (WOM) for their products, services or ideas is a sure way to accelerate their sales growth. Today, the idea of word of mouth could encompass a wide range of tactics and delivery methods, however, the basic definition remains the same:

Word of Mouth is the communication about products and services between people who are perceived to be independent of the company providing the product or service in a medium perceived to be independent of the company. 

Organic WOM

occurs naturally when people become advocates because they are happy with a product and have a natural desire to share their support and enthusiasm. Practices that enhance organic word of mouth activity include:

  • Focusing on customer satisfaction
  • Improving product quality and usability
  • Responding to concerns and criticism
  • Opening a dialog and listening to people
  • Earning customer loyalty

Harnessed WOM

occurs when marketers launch campaigns designed to encourage or accelerate WOM in existing or new communities. Practices that amplify word of mouth activity include:

  • Creating communities
  • Developing tools that enable people to share their opinions
  • Motivating advocates and evangelists to actively promote
  • Giving advocates information that they can share
  • Identifying and reaching out to influential individuals and communities
  • Researching and tracking online conversations

What word of mouth marketing is not and never should be:

Stealth Marketing: Any practice designed to deceive people about the involvement of marketers in a communication.

Shilling: Paying people to talk about (or promote) a product without disclosing that they are working for the company; impersonating a customer.

Infiltration: Using fake identities in an online discussion to promote a product; taking over a web site, conversation, or live event against the wishes or rules set by the proprietor.

Comment Spam: Using automated software (‘bots’) to post unrelated or inappropriate comments to blogs or other online communities.

Defacement: Vandalizing or damaging property to promote a product.

Spam: Sending bulk or unsolicited email or other messages without clear, voluntary permission.

Falsification: Knowingly disseminating false or misleading information.

Beck Ag builds on WOM

Beck Ag goes beyond word of mouth marketing with programs and processes that are designed to more effectively manage the word-of-mouth dynamic. We call it Experience-Sharing Marketing (ESM). We create experience-sharing forums that allow the voice of the customer to be heard in a way that is honest and genuine. We provide people with the opportunity to talk about the products, services, techniques, and ideas that they have experienced and to seek the advice of experts and peers.

Where does Experience-Sharing Marketing fit?

Experience sharing marketing is a strong strategy to deploy when a product, service or concept is or is perceived as:

  • Expensive or a significant investment
  • Complicated or complex
  • New or innovative
  • Mature with new uses
  • Requiring repositioning