Why you need to understand Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth is old hat; we all know that! So if 80% of business comes via WoM, why don’t we spend more time on it? Why don’t you understand it? Why do you focus on digital and social media that only delivers 20%? Habit and fear?


When I mention WoM, people tell me they do it. So I ask who their advocates are, sometimes they know, often they think they are the ones that buy the most [wrong] they usually struggle to identify who their champions are and what the difference is. Yet Advocates are key to effective WoM. They behave in specific ways. Bottom line; most people talk and think this is WoM.

WoM is a science; there is a formula. We spent over 15 years developing and delivering a programme looking at over 200 case studies and comprehensive research. As a result, we uncovered the formula. This includes how to make a referral. Brits, in particular, are bad at this, and again there is a method.


We know that people believe in word of mouth. 92% of people believe in it over all other forms of marketing. About 60% of marketers think word of mouth is the best form of advertising, but only 6% know how to do it. The results of our work are shocking, and they suggest that marketers aren’t investing in a balanced way, and it’s certainly not evidence-based. Entrepreneurs and small business owners follow the pack and feel they must do digital as they get bombarded by countless emails telling them this every day.
What’s more, it seems we don’t trust the internet anymore. We’ve taken the time to get original data to look at trust in the internet (October 2018). Fake reviews are rife, and we don’t trust the so-called trusted social media giants. Our data also shows that trust in digital advertising is falling off a cliff.


According to an independent study we commissioned, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Google all have trust levels at less than 5%. Linked in comes in at a hefty 11%, Trust in Facebook is down 72% over the past 2 years. Please feel free to e-mail us for the original data, as you might find this challenging. jake@womtwo.com

We were surprised and what’s scary is most businesses are still putting all their time and budget investment there. It has been shown a business needs to master around 16 Platforms to deliver digitally, yet each platform has its own full-time experts? A recipe for us to fail then? And didn’t we want to sell the products we love? If you don’t know who your advocates are, you probably ask the wrong people about your brand and their experiences. WoM goes beyond referral. It’s about how we involve and connect; it’s a way to do business if you are prepared to become a listening organisation.


WoM will show you how to build a community that love what you do, they talk more than anyone, because they love it, they are probably the best sales resource you can imagine.


Zappo’s was sold for over $1Billion; all they did was WoM, nothing else. Convincing isn’t it!


Our 15 years of workshops are now the first online learning program for WoM; you should have a look and start to market to build on the bigger opportunity at WoMTWo.

Graham Wilson

About the author: Graham Wilson
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