3-Minute WOM Lesson: Reasons your word of mouth program may not be working

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Word of mouth is easy to try out — anyone can get involved. But that’s not to suggest success is guaranteed. Three reasons your program may not be working like you’d hoped:

1> You forgot WOM doesn’t begin with marketing
2> It’s confined to one department
3> You’re getting in the way

1> You forgot WOM doesn’t begin with marketing

Word of mouth doesn’t begin with clever marketing, it begins with great products and services, sold by great companies who employ great people. This isn’t to suggest some “boring” brands are naturally doomed — we have tons of examples proving people love to talk about duct tape, invoicing companies, and lawn care businesses all the same. But they all have one thing in common: The products themselves are fantastic — the smart marketing just amplifies it.

2> It’s confined to one department

While a hard-working, dedicated word of mouth marketer can do wonders for a brand — they can’t do everything. Word of mouth really takes off when the philosophy of earning the respect and recommendation of customers seeps into every department. When everyone is asking one another, “Would anyone tell a friend about this?” — that’s when you start to see real success.

3> You’re getting in the way

As a word of mouth marketer, your job is to make it easier for conversations to take place. Often, this simply means getting out of the way. Avoid constricting things by letting them share wherever they want, using whatever technology they want, in whatever language they want.

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