Digital marketing ·
The Power of eWOM: The Future of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
In an era where the internet dictates our shopping habits, the influence of electronic word of mouth marketing can't be overstated. As consumers, we are constantly seeking information about products or services online before making a purchase decision. eWOM, therefore, has become an indispensable part of modern marketing strategies.
What is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is a traditional form of marketing where customers share their experiences with a brand's product or service, influencing others' purchase intentions. It is an effective marketing strategy because it leverages person-to-person communication and is seen as trustworthy and reliable.
Electronic Word of Mouth Marketing VS Regular Word of Mouth Marketing
Electronic word-of-mouth marketing is the digital evolution of traditional WOMM. With the rise of social media platforms, blogs, and review sites, consumer information has become more easily accessible. Unlike regular WOMM, which relies on face-to-face interaction, eWOM spreads rapidly to a global audience. User-generated content (UGC), such as online reviews or social media posts, play a significant role in eWOM.
How Effective is Electronic Word of Mouth Marketing?
Global Reach and Speed
eWOM has an unmatched reach and speed. In the digital realm, a single share or review can instantly reach thousands, if not millions, of potential customers worldwide. This global exposure amplifies the effects of word-of-mouth marketing, allowing for quicker brand recognition and customer acquisition.
Consumers trust their peers. This trust extends to the online space where reviews and recommendations from fellow consumers heavily influence purchase decisions. According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers over any other type of advertising, highlighting eWOM's potential impact on consumer behavior.
Influence on Sales
eWOM has a significant influence on sales. In an era where consumers search for reviews before making purchase decisions, positive eWOM can considerably enhance sales. Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in a Yelp rating can lead to a 5-9% increase in business revenue, underlining the sales potential of positive eWOM.
Contribution to Brand Image
eWOM contributes to building a brand's image. Positive reviews and recommendations can enhance a brand's reputation and trustworthiness, while negative feedback can serve as crucial insights for improvement, leading to better products, services, and customer experiences.
eWOM, especially when organically generated, is a cost-effective marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing campaigns that require substantial investment, eWOM leverages customer experiences to promote products and services, often with greater effectiveness and minimal cost.
Strategies to Increase Positive EWOM
Actively encourage customers to leave online reviews after they have purchased or used a product or service. This can be achieved through follow-up emails, incentives, or directly asking for reviews on social media. A simple request can significantly increase the number of reviews your product or service receives.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Outstanding customer service can create brand advocates who willingly share their positive experiences. A customer who receives personalized, prompt, and efficient service is more likely to spread positive word-of-mouth, contributing to your brand's eWOM.
Respond to Reviews
A proactive response to both positive and negative reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are dedicated to improving the customer experience. Addressing negative reviews promptly and professionally can turn a potentially harmful situation into an opportunity for positive eWOM.
Use Social Media
Social media platforms are excellent tools for generating eWOM. Regularly engaging with your audience through posts, comments, and shares can foster a sense of community around your brand. This encourages customers to share their positive experiences, increasing eWOM.
Collaborate with Influencers
Influencer marketing is a modern strategy to generate positive eWOM. Collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values can lead to authentic and impactful promotion, significantly boosting your eWOM reach.
Examples of Electronic Word of Mouth Marketing at Work
Amazon's Customer Reviews
Amazon's success is partly due to its robust customer review system, which has become a go-to source for consumers seeking product reviews. The platform's rating system and customer feedback have significantly influenced purchase decisions, demonstrating the power of eWOM.
Starbucks' UGC Campaign
Starbucks effectively boosted its eWOM through the "White Cup Contest." This user-generated content campaign encouraged customers to decorate their Starbucks cups and share their creations on social media. The campaign generated a buzz on social media platforms and showcased the power of eWOM in promoting a brand.
Wendy's Social Media Presence
Fast-food chain Wendy's has created a unique brand persona on Twitter, engaging with followers through humor and wit. The brand regularly interacts with customers, responds to comments, and even posts memes. This distinctive social media presence has led to high engagement rates and a significant increase in positive eWOM.
Tesla, without spending a dollar on traditional advertising, has managed to build a powerful brand presence. This has been achieved largely through positive eWOM generated by its community of enthusiasts and owners. From online forums to social media groups, the passionate discussions and recommendations from this community significantly contribute to Tesla's eWOM.
Airbnb's Referral Program
Airbnb has leveraged the power of eWOM with its referral program. The program rewards users who refer friends to Airbnb, encouraging users to share their positive experiences with the platform. This strategy has been highly successful in driving growth through eWOM.
The digital age has transformed the landscape of word-of-mouth marketing, bringing in a new era of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) marketing. The global reach and immediate effect of eWOM, combined with the inherent trust consumers have in peer recommendations, make it a powerful marketing tool. It's effectiveness is demonstrated in its ability to significantly influence sales and shape brand image, all the while being an incredibly cost-effective strategy.
Successful examples of eWOM, from Amazon's customer review system to Tesla's community engagement, further highlight the potency of this marketing approach. However, reaping the benefits of eWOM isn't merely about being present in the digital space. It requires active strategies such as encouraging reviews, providing excellent customer service, engaging with customers online, and leveraging influencer marketing.
While the importance of traditional word of mouth marketing remains undiminished, it's clear that eWOM is a force that marketers cannot afford to ignore. Harnessing its potential can lead to exponential growth and a strong brand reputation, making it a fundamental component of modern marketing strategies. In this era where everyone's a critic, a supporter, or a potential customer, eWOM marketing stands as a powerful medium to reach out, engage, and convert.