In continuing our series on word of mouth marketing, let’s dive into how to research this marketing tactic to ensure your brand stands out. In general, people usually remember the extraordinary, surprising, unusual and strange things they encounter, see or hear. This means your marketing ideas should try to elicit these reactions.
Of course, this doesn’t mean making your products or services need to be outlandish. In fact, being too different could drive customers away. The key is creating a high quality and easily marketable product/service that’s extraordinary and new compared to the competition.
Researching Word Of Mouth
To better understand how to market your products/services, you need to research current word of mouth to see exactly what users are willing to tell others. It’s hard to know what people are actually saying until you do the research. After all, you want to be sure they’re highlighting the best things about your product/service and brand.
Some of the best questions to ask yourself include:
- How do customers describe your product?
- What do other people ask current customers?
- What important questions aren’t people asking?
- What happens when people find out the answers to things they’re not willing to ask?
- What information do customers need to share in order to trigger a purchase?
- How do your customers answer concerns, objections and more from others?
- What do customers say to persuade friends to choose your brand?
- What do customers recommend others to try first?
- What type of warnings, tips or suggestions do customers suggest?
- Are your branding, marketing and important product/service facts getting through via word of mouth?
- What messages need to be spread to increase purchases?
- How will you deliver those messages?
As you can see, the more you know, the easier it is to adjust your marketing to get the right messages across to potential customers.
Understanding the 2-2-2 Model
Word of mouth research is critical to get a real impression and feedback from customers. It also helps define word of mouth for your brand and the concept it creates among potential customers.
To make research easier, use the 2-2-2 model. This involves:
- 2 groups of customers
- 2 focus groups of prospects
- 2 mixed groups (including enthusiasts and skeptics)
For each group, you should ask the following:
- What would you tell a friend?
- What would you say to persuade a skeptic?
- What do you anticipate a skeptic asking?
- How would you respond to objections and concerns?
Ideally, conduct your 2-2-2 research via teleconference. This gives you more varied demographics for both current and potential customers. People also feel more comfortable sharing their true feelings. To avoid any bias or pressure during the research, let an independent party handle the teleconference.
Constructing A Word Of Mouth Campaign
Now that we’ve talked about research, let’s transition more into how to construct a word of mouth campaign, starting with the essential ingredients you need:
- Superior product
- A way of reaching key influencers
- Experts willing to endorse you
- Large number of enthusiastic consumers
- Methods of reaching the right prospects
- Compelling stories people will want to share to illustrate your product’s superiority
- Trustworthy ways to back up any product/service claims
- A risk-free trial, sample or experience
- An ironclad guarantee
Now that that’s taken care of, it’s time to break down the situations that could benefit from word of mouth campaigns. These include:
- When credibility issues arise
- When there are major breakthroughs or marginal improvements
- When your product needs to be tried/tested by numerous people or over a set period
- Whenever there’s a high risk in trying the product
- When you want to boost older products/services
- To fight back against unfair competitive practices, such as false rumors and lies
- When you’re dealing with governmental claims or restrictions
While many word of mouth strategies are positive for your campaign, there are a few things you might want to avoid, such as:
- Using a seminar that doesn’t provide meaningful value
- Promoting products that can’t be tried and experts don’t agree
- When products actually are inferior without any notable value over the competition
- Products that tend to be too personal or emotional
- Low-price and low-volume products where campaigns aren’t cost effective
In these instances, spending time and effort on a word of mouth campaign won’t benefit your brand much at all. Instead, draw people in with the products/services and announcements that help your brand stand apart from the rest.
Stay tuned for the next word of mouth post with a list of incredible ideas you can put into action for your next campaign. As always, if you need any help with your research and plan, contact us today for a free consultation call to get your brand on track with word of mouth marketing.