I have never seen this as a section, subject or even draft discussion document in any marketing plan. Yet when you think about it, it should be an integral part of any marketing, selling and promotion campaign for all businesses serious about expanding. Marketing plans will include:
• Hosting events
• Producing designs
• Creating literature e.g. brochures, business cards, newsletters etc.
• PR campaigns
• Free giveaways
• Corporate entertaining
Now, add to this the word of mouth marketing campaign.
1. Who should be giving the message?
2. To whom it should be given.
3. What the message is.
4. Where and when it should be given.
Number 4 is easy when you have sorted 1 to 3. The answer to number 4 is everywhere and as often as possible.
Most people who work in marketing see word of mouth promotion as a result of good advertising not a strategy for conveying it. Just because there has been a great ad campaign doesn’t mean that the power of buzz is automatically generated. My thoughts are these: advertising is floodlight marketing, networking, i.e. word of mouth marketing, is spotlight marketing.
Once a decision is taken to go down this route, the protagonists need a script. Do they know:
• What services are on offer?
• What the target client market is?
• The answer to: “So why should we use you?”
Unless they’re armed with these answers, there is no point in moving forward.
Effective networkers understand that word of mouth marketing is not just an expression; it’s a way of life. Like the old Martini advert “any time, any place, anywhere.”