Word of Mouth or Word of Mouse

word_of_mouse

Recently I had someone question that I was leading my company’s  marketing strategy down a social media path that was forgetting about good ol’ fashioned “word of mouth” as a communication/marketing tool. 

Without even thinking for a second I responded that it’s no longer “word of mouth” it’s “word of mouse”. I wish I could claim that I was that clever to come up with this term, but I heard about it when I read David Meerman Scott’s ebook  “The New Rules of Viral Marketing: how word-of-mouse spreads your ideas for free”

I love the case study he used of the success that Cindy Gordon had at Universal Orlando Resort when she launched “the Wizarding World of Harry Potter”.  Instead of spending millions of dollars on an advertising campaign she identified seven “influential” everyday people to tell. Through their “word of mouse” those people told tens of thousands of people. Funny enough when you do a google search on the topic 80 percent of the top results are blogs. And guess what, all those blogs have other people who link to them and so on.

There is extreme power in that mouse. These days it’s not you creating your company’s brand (or even your own personal brand), other people are doing it for you whether you like it or not. That is the power of “word of mouse” marketing. influence_ripples1

David Armano‘s  Influence Ripples does a wonderful job illustrating the power that “word of mouse” marketing can have.  All ripples matter, whether they are big or small, because at some level they are still building your brand.

So how do you find these “influencers” or evangelists? Easy. Start by listening. There are several great ways to monitor what is being said about you or your company. Google blogsearch allows you to search blogs and Twitter search provides great results on what is being talked about on Twitter. 

One of the most brilliant marketers out there Mack Collier recently posted about this exact thing on his blog using Tropicana as an example. As he says it takes some time to really drill this down but isn’t it worth the effort!

What do you think, has “word of mouse” marketing taken us away from “word of mouth”? Or has it exponentially changed the power?

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4 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Word of Mouth

4 responses to “Word of Mouth or Word of Mouse

  1. Exactly. And people want to trust the source too, which is why I’m leery of Yelp and Amazon (and even tripadvisor) user reviews.

    It can be hard to be heard in the blogosphere, but it’s still worthwhile.

  2. These days “you can’t have one without the other.” Word-of-mouse should accompany word-of-mouth. The dinosaurs in the newspaper industry need to evolve with the times.

    When my husband worked in New Media for the newspaper, he was constantly frustrated with their lack of vision re: harnessing technology’s power. And that is why newspapers are dying off today!

  3. I think “word of mouse” has exponentially increased the power of “word of mouth.” We’re in front of our computers all day, so it’s natural that the conversations are happening online. And while it’s one thing for me to tell someone about product X or vacation Y over a cup of coffee, it’s more likely to stick if they’ve also been given a link that they can explore, pass along, save to de.licio.us, etc.

    I really like the idea of the Universal example you gave in which she focused on 7 people per day. I just wrote MKTG 101: Social Media Marketing is still marketing—know your audience as a way of explaining targeted marketing to the social media newbies who think they should just blast their message to everyone they find on Twitter. It’s just about connecting people to other people, products and services that match their interests.

    Word of mouse works the way word of mouth does because it’s about interested parties sharing with others of the same interest set. As long as we remember that it can be very powerful.

  4. goodncrazy

    Krista?! I hadn’t seen this post yet! Oh my gosh I just had a long conversation about exactly this with a company yesterday. I soooo wish I had that phrase to use with them!

    I’m off to google wizarding world of harry potter!

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