Word of mouth marketing: the second oldest job in the world

Word of mouth marketing: it has a new name but has existed since the origin of man. People always liked to talk, talk, talk. This is why an  appreciated product spontaneously generates conversations and positive opinions. Moreover, when we listen to the opinion of a friend, it is natural to trust his words. The advice received from our dear ones have greater authority and persuasive power than brand communication, and often even more than the traditional media. The recent development of social media has amplified this phenomenon, giving people powerful tools to spread their opinions and preferences.

Talking with friends

Word of Mouth Marketing techniques (WOM marketing, or “marketing passaparola” in Italian) are for guiding this natural phenomenon, fueling spontaneous and genuine conversations in favor of a brand and its products. It is important to give people the best possible conditions to learn and share their passion for a product, confront themselves on a service deal and communicate with the companies. This is without putting ideas in their heads and words in their mouth, but on the contrary by releasing theirs.

Word of mouth marketing Ethics

Word of mouth can be triggered, accelerated and measured. Without making use of either remuneration or incentives which are typical, for example, of referral marketing or multilevel marketing: any form of manipulation or forcing of natural communication between people is to be avoided, because it refrains rather than amplifies spontaneous word of mouth. Thus we need an ethical approach, in which the relationship between the brand, the consumer’s opinion and his true identity is based on principles of transparency and honesty.

The first ones in Italy

IAKI was the first Italian agency to believe in word of mouth, joining the most important international authority on the subject, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) since its founding in 2004. IAKI is still an active member, and over the years has taken part in the Leadership Committee, the Research Council and Metrics Task Force created by WOMMA, acquiring culture on word of mouth marketing, and benefiting from the experience of other members. We can follow each stage of a word of mouth program:

  • Strategy conception
  • Dedicated creative developments (the “talkable idea”)
  • Ethical evaluation
  • Operational asset management
  • Monitoring and measuring of the results

In depth analysis: