Word of Mouth Marketing: An Underserved Online Marketing Partner
Word of mouth marketing has been around long before the dawn of modern electronic communications and long before the Internet. Therefore, it is surprising to see that to this day, the two concepts are considered mutually exclusive and not complementary to each other.
What is word of mouth marketing?
This form of marketing is often also known as Word of mouth advertising, which involves the process of actively encouraging and influencing organic word-of-mouth discussion about a specific product, brand, resource, or even a specific corporate message or event. It is then left up to your employees, customers, or clients to spread the news and champion the core message. A more commonly used phrase for this is to refer to it as viral marketing.
It is well known that it comes with the advantages of being positively accepted if it reaches an intended market. However, it has its drawbacks if the message is not clear and has an intentional bias towards a certain group, be it racial, cultural, sexist, religious, rich, poor, etc.
Online marketing, on the other hand, needs little introduction as we are being bombarded daily through websites, social media, and other digital media platforms. In more formal terms, it’s about capturing and extending the customer experience at crucial points. It’s also about building a relationship and continually adapting across different channels to reach specific customers.
So where is the synergy between word of mouth marketing and online marketing?
The answer is definitely with affiliate marketing that involves selling or promoting someone else’s goods and services and then get paid for it. They can be physical goods through Amazon or digital goods through online marketing platforms like ClickBank. The affiliate simply searches for a product that has high external or personal appeal, then promotes that product or service and is rewarded in one way or another.
In many cases, companies encourage their workers to inform friends or relatives about new offers and issue discount coupons, etc. Employees in turn will be incentivized according to the level of commitment. In this case, the marketing is most likely word of mouth, but essentially the employee is now acting as an “affiliate marketer” for the company.
Online marketing has the potential to make people a lot of money regardless of the same differences mentioned above, i.e. race, gender, social position, etc. It has a very low barrier to entry and a multitude of companies to join. Another advantage is the global reach, so you are certainly not restricted to just marketing in your local or national geographic area.
If an affiliate marketer has a great product and uses a properly executed word of mouth strategy as a free form of advertising, costs significantly less than any paid marketing channel. Potential buyers generally tend to look for reviews and information online before making a purchase decision. However, a substantial amount also depends on friends, family and colleagues before making the purchase decision.
Therefore, it is obvious that the vast potential of integrating the above two concepts has not been fully explored. I would suggest that people looking for methods in how to make extra moneySeriously consider getting a good grip on affiliate marketing and using word of mouth to expand your customer base.