The Digital Vibes

Word of Mouth 101: Organic vs Amplified
June 1, 2008, 10:15 am
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , ,

I’m again citing from the WOMMA’s guide to word of mouth (WOM) marketing, this time outlining the differences between organic (user as origin) WOM and amplified (organization as origin) WOM.

Organic WOM occurs naturally when people become advocates because they are happy with a product and have a natural desire to share their support and enthusiasm. Practices that enhance organic word of mouth activity include:

  • Focusing on customer satisfaction
  • Improving product quality and usability
  • Responding to concerns and criticism
  • Opening a dialog and listening to people
  • Earning customer loyalty

Amplified WOM occurs when marketers launch campaigns designed to encourage or accelerate WOM in existing or new communities. Practices that amplify word of mouth activity include:

  • Creating communities
  • Developing tools that enable people to share their opinions
  • Motivating advocates and evangelists to actively promote a product
  • Giving advocates information that they can share
  • Using advertising or publicity designed to create buzz or start a conversation
  • Identifying and reaching out to influential individuals and communities
  • Researching and tracking online conversation

It is undoubtedly beneficial to your organization or client should organic WOM already exist on the web, but more importantly it’s what kind of amplified WOM you can inject to start conversation about the organization or its products and services. To start, it’s important to know what is currently being said on the Internet, and if you haven’t already it’s time to start arming yourself with tools to find out.


Word of Mouth 101: Types
May 31, 2008, 6:25 pm
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: ,

For newbies to the field of Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing, do visit the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s (WOMMA) website at:

Like you, I was surprised to learn that there is an association dedicated to WOM, I guess if we are curious enough we do learn something new everyday. Anyway, its website is a good resource for those of us looking to build greater buzz for our brands online.

Listed below are common types of word-of-mouth marketing described by WOMMA:

  • Buzz Marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.
  • Viral Marketing: Creating entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion, often electronically or by email.
  • Community Marketing: Forming or supporting niche communities that are likely to share interests about the brand (such as user groups, fan clubs, and discussion forums); providing tools, content, and information to support those communities.
  • Grassroots Marketing: Organizing and motivating volunteers to engage in personal or local outreach.
  • Evangelist Marketing: Cultivating evangelists, advocates, or volunteers who are encouraged to take a leadership role in actively spreading the word on your behalf.
  • Product Seeding: Placing the right product into the right hands at the right time, providing information or samples to influential individuals.
  • Influencer Marketing: Identifying key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others.
  • Cause Marketing: Supporting social causes to earn respect and support from people who feel strongly about the cause.
  • Conversation Creation: Interesting or fun advertising, emails, catch phrases, entertainment, or promotions designed to start word of mouth activity.
  • Brand Blogging: Creating blogs and participating in the blogosphere, in the spirit of open, transparent communications; sharing information of value that the blog community may talk about.
  • Referral Programs: Creating tools that enable satisfied customers to refer their friends

I’ll be keeping you updated with more knowledge of WOM, stay tuned!