Influencing Word-of-Mouth Marketing

DISCUSSION TOPIC:  Friends and Family Seal the Deal


If you want to influence a consumer’s purchasing decisions, then it’s almost always best to get to their family and friends first. If you can convince family and friends to recommend a product or service, then you’re a long way down the road to making the sale. But how, just exactly, do you get friends and family to make a recommendation? That is the grail that most marketers seek and few find.

According to ZenithOptimedia, word-of-mouth (WOM), specifically those recommendations from family and friends, ranked highest in purchasing influences in the firm’s Touchpoints ROI Tracker study.

Discussion questions:  How do brands that generate positive word-of-mouth and personal references do it? How is it that (any brand you’d like to identify) is able to generate recommendations from family and friends when others do not?

My post:

The only way to generate positive word-of-mouth and personal references is by having a great product/service delivered in a manner that exceeds customer expectations.  Companies cannot manufacture referrals and positive comments.  When they try, it is usually disastrous.  The way to have engaged customers is through engaged employees.  If companies want positive word-of-mouth and referrals, they must start by focusing on their employees.

That said, there are tools that companies can use to analyze, if not influence, the dialogue.  The growing influence of social media outlets like Facebook, YouTube and others provides companies with both a way to analyze current word-of-mouth opinions and a means to react to any negative perceptions.  Used wisely and sincerely, communication through these portals can provide a company with good intelligence and a platform for customers to speak out.

Mike Osorio, your Dare to be Contagious! TM strategist

Go to the full discussion at    


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2 Responses to Influencing Word-of-Mouth Marketing

  1. Great brands do it by making their operating strategy their brand strategy. By ensuring that the customer experience at every brand touch point meets or exceeds expectations they are able to inspire customers to become advocates and evangelists for the brand. Witness what companies such as Lexus, Nordstrom, Jet Blue do and are willing to do on behalf of their customers and you’ll see best practices in effect.

  2. Mike Osorio says:

    Thanks for the comment. I agree completely. Isn’t it amazing how if we just witness the greats (Nordstrom, Lexus, etc.) it becomes obvious what companies must do to create brand fanatics? And yet so few do it! The field will always be wide open for great leaders to develop extraordinary brands with similar passion as shown by the greats.

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