Marketing Leadership: Word of Mouth Marketing Your Way

Kara Redoutey, MBA


This is the last week we will be focusing on word of mouth marketing specifically.  Over the next 6 weeks, we will focus on another important organizational leadership opportunity; however, I would like to take this last week to address some similar questions and comments that I have received throughout the last few weeks.  “How can I participate in word of mouth marketing?  I’m not sure I really know how to make referrals or recommendations. Marketing isn’t my area of expertise.”

What are the barriers to doing this?

Many individuals believe there is a particular way to participate in word of mouth marketing or that there is a set of rules that they just aren’t sure how to follow.  They believe that they must possess a certain level of expertise to be able to participate or that they can’t make a difference all on their own. 

What is the case for doing it anyway?

Word of mouth marketing is not prescriptive.  There isn’t one right way to participate.  Word of mouth marketing should be authentic and not forced.  The power of word of mouth is that it doesn’t feel like it’s something written and produced by an organization’s marketing department.  People want real recommendations that they can trust.  If a person organically promotes a product or service, it is much more effective.  It can be a lot of fun to bring new business to your organization and to impress your customers, friends, and family by helping them find a product or service that they need.  

How can you do it?

  1. Tell YOUR story.  All of us have a story.  Just share yours.  It’s that simple.  Share it however you feel comfortable sharing it, such as social media, face to face, with your parents, with your friends, write on online review, or comment on a blog post.  There are many different ways you can do it and they all help to generate awareness.  
  2.  Be honest and be helpful.  If you don’t know much about the product or service, you can always say, “I know my organization offers this, but I’m not familiar with it.  I’d be happy to provide you with more information or connect you with an expert from that area.”  You can generate more referrals by simply generating awareness.
  3. When you don’t know what to do, ask. If you have questions about word of mouth marketing and how you can participate, ask your marketing team or other leaders.  Find a web site that gives helpful tips and information on word of mouth marketing.

Do you have a story you would like to share?


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