Do you know- word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50% of all purchasing decisions? Let’s explore what this concept is, why it is so important and how marketers can start implementing it by using data analytics.
Are you leveraging Digital Word of Mouth?
What is Digital Word Of Mouth (D-WoM)?
Digital Word of Mouth (D-WoM) is the strategy everyone must adopt, word of mouth is trigged when a consumer experiences something beyond what was expected and shares their positives experiences with others. It is one of the most influential forms of advertising because customers “who don’t stand to gain personally by promoting something put their reputation on the line every time they make a recommendation”.
There is often a confusion between a D-WoM and viral marketing. Viral marketing is a strategy focused on the goal of causing viewers of that promotion to spread it by sharing it simultaneously with their friends. These are typically campaigns created with the intention of ‘going viral’ whereas the D-WoM strategy is made to utilize digital marketing to create brand’s loyal audience which will spread positive reviews and recommendations on an ongoing basis & create an environment to facilitate this further.
Why go for D-WoM?
The reason is “TRUST- People Trust People”. People are far more likely to trust the opinions & reviews of their peers rather than what a brand says. Recommendation from a trustable source is one of the most powerful and highly effective sources of marketing. Large numbers of forums to post comments and feedback means there’s no place to hide for brands. They must update themselves with the right tools, strategies & approach with accurate data insight informing the most beneficial tactics & channels in which to operate to gain most from D-WoM.
How to strategize?
3 steps to implement D-WoM strategy:
1. Target smartly
We need both offline and online approach for D-WoM. The big question is – Can you match the habits of your online customers with offline data? Connecting the numerous data emerging from social interactions or online transactions with offline data & linking it back to anonymised user profiles is the best practice in the advertising world. Now with the advent of advanced tools and techniques to achieve this, the industry can target consumers across multiple channels.
But still, many marketers tend to take the short view, optimizing on metrics such as clicks and ignoring more powerful measures such as customer lifetime value and transaction history.
Ask these question to yourself –
Is your database really segmented according to the habits of your consumers?
Are you serving specific content to the specific target audience to enhance their experience & deliver more personalized communications?
Is this communication served at a right time and through their preferred channel?
Have you adopted analytics to measure online conversation and mentions?
Do you use this data to re-shape your strategy?
If these questions bring you more questions, then you must give a second thought to your data management and targeting strategy.
You need to identify those consumers that are more likely to become your brand’s voice in the market. Brands should target influencers and loyalists, with a higher expectancy to share, spread your messages and do word of mouth promotion. CRM database must be scrutinized, every customer is important as each one can be turned into a promoter, but some of them have a higher chance than others to be more valuable to you. And you need to put them “under the spotlight’.
Whom to target?
Your targeting strategy shouldn’t be totally focused on your existing customers. You must target lookalikes of your existing customers of competitor companies; they may be dissatisfied with their products or services. A right offer, made at the right time, with the right message, may cause them to switch brands.
2. Be personal
The primary motive for any D-WoM strategy is converting your happy customer into promoters: but how to achieve this?
Consumers become brand loyal to more personalized communications. So study them, know what do they like, talk in their language, delight them and turn them into brand promoters. Brands must understand their consumers and data insight is crucial to achieving this understanding. You need to turn data into insights, and action into an advantage.
You need to build a two-way communication. Make conversations with your customers and prospects, don’t just talk at them, talk and engage with them. Social media is a perfect platform to build this connection. Utilize data insight to monitor their behaviour and evaluate what they what. Analyze what they really do rather than what they say they do. And reward customers who refer you to their friends, recommend your products and services.
This varies from customer to customer. You need to know what do they value most- financial reward or community status and plan accordingly.
Make your consumers “Feel Special”. The real challenge facing brands is how to make the audience feel unique & delight them with more personalized offerings, engaging with them and how to funnel them into becoming brand promoters. Making personalized connections is the most important element for reaching customers and enhancing the relationship. Your focus should be on getting customers to leave more reviews. How to do this? The timings of the messaging as well as the medium to facilitate sharing are essential to achieving this aim.
3. Be Interesting
Position yourself as “a leader with innovative thoughts who cares about consumers”. To do this would you need to ask yourself some critical questions.
What do my consumers really want?
What are their interests?
Once you find the answers, you need to be relevant and engaging. You want consumers to talk about you. You need to seduce them with compelling content, create a point of difference and stand out from others. How many of us delete an email without opening from a company that’s trying to sell us something? How many of us remember even one of the ads we watched last night on the TV? How about recalling ads in this morning’s newspaper. To create an impression, we must always put the customer first & at the heart of our activities.
Are you delivering specially tailored messages to pre-defined segments of your target audience? If not, then Why Not? Consumers value opinions which will add up into the end goal of creating brand promoters who will help your D-WoM strategy by sharing your content and promoting your brand.
Adopting a Digital Word of Mouth strategy covers many important points but, “placing the customer at the heart of the strategy” while concurrently using data analytics smartly is “the fundamental”. Using right tool to facilitate easy sharing, personalizing messages to customers and responding in real-time when your brand is mentioned are all elements which will feed into developing a highly effective D-WoM strategy.
To learn more about some of the technologies that can help you achieve these goals, you can contact us anytime at [email protected]