Long before the Internet existed and content became “viral,” word-of-mouth advertising firmly established itself as one of the most effective types of marketing available. But generating and controlling the message via word-of-mouth advertising is nearly impossible. That lack of control is the very reason word-of-mouth is so effective. Consumers know they are not being fed a premade marketing concoction designed to generate a specific outcome. Instead, they are witnessing a truly authentic appraisal of a good or service and relaying it.
Trusted Sources Have Most Sway Over Consumers
When the opinion on a good or service is voiced by a trusted source, such as a parent, instructor, mentor, boss or other influential opinion-leader, people tend to give the source more credibility. That is why celebrities often times find themselves promoting causes in which they have virtually no credibility, such as politics. Enough people blindly trust them and accept their opinions on nearly any topic. When the source of an opinion is a known expert, such as a highly trusted family doctor opining on a new over-the-counter medication, that one opinion can be incredibly influential.
Third-Party Corroboration Counts
Another element of word-of-mouth marketing is third party corroboration. When a completely separate party opines on a good or service, that third party has no vested interest, which can be make it more credible. The same goes for word-of-mouth. When a consumer hears enough of the right people voice positive opinions on a product, such as a movie, restaurant, breakfast cereal or some other tangible good or service, that consumer becomes much more likely to make use of that product or service. Word-of-mouth has the power to move a consumer from being a disinterested public into someone who now places a product or service among his or her consideration set when exposed to enough positive reinforcement.
Have you ever seen or bought something because you heard good things about it?
Originally posted 2014-06-22 22:42:37.