by Ayodeji Ayopo
Word of mouth is a potent marketing tool that can be used to engage consumers. It has been proven and tested over the years as one that can either make or mar a brand. It is true indeed that consumers value opinions expressed directly by them. This reflects in the way they utilize the messages transmitted by their fellow consumers.
Words of mouth do not just happen like a sudden flash but a process that evolves over a specific period of time. Consumers would have found a brand reliable and trust worthy and through this, they spread positive messages about such brands to one another. It is one powerful promotional tool that companies should consider as a critical part of corporate business strategy.
This is as a result of its major impact in driving positive image for an organization and its brands. Words of mouth takes it form through viral marketing, blogs, face to face communication and other techniques to either promote a brand negatively and positively Consumers utilize word of mouth as a positi9ve marketing message as a form of interpersonal communication. A positive word of mouth usually translates to a good brand experience for the consumers.
The messages are spread by consumers who confer themselves as “brand ambassadors” positively promote the brands. I have also utilized the word of mouth concept because I believe so much in the brand. I was at a GTB branch and I had to assuage the feelings of a fellow customer. All I had to do was to promote the good customer centric services of the bank.
It yielded results and all other customers could not but believe my message. Consumers do not only make up their minds through advertising messages but through word of mouth recommendation from a trusted source. Word of mouth marketing cuts through the noise of advertising and effectively promises the brand image. There is no quicker way to destroy a brand than by negative word of mouth advertising. This is because word of mouth is difficult to control and measure.
It spreads rapidly like a raging fire and destroys the existence of a brand within the twinkling of an eye. Some responses taht i always recieve during dipstick surveys revealed that several consumers are disenchanted with some brands. I once narrated my own experience with Glo but a friend also used word of mouth negatively about Glo that I could never retrieve my lost sim.
Now, the same person has vowed never to use the network again. Most companies do not know how to build their brands through words of mouth. When a brand does well, consumers are happy to become unpaid endorsers and ambassadors of such brands.
Brands need to build a cohesive strategy that can help them leverage on words of mouth marketing to build brand image and equity. Consumers now utilize social media to either praise or discredit brands. With the rising influence of social media, consumers now engage in virtual networking to either promote brands positively or negatively.
Consumers now create blogs to register their displeasure about brands. Without any iota of doubt, digital revolution has amplified and equally increased the reach of word of mouth marketing. Words of mouth messages are discuses through the social media and other viable communicational channels.