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Word of Mouth Marketing: Why haven’t we nailed it?

Research tells us 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of advertising.

 

In an AMA survey, 64% of marketing executives indicated they believed word of mouth (WOM) is the most effective marketing tactic. Yet only 6% said they had mastered it.

 

If the marketing industry has yet to ace word of mouth marketing, I’d like to suggest a slightly different approach for influencing peer to peer marketing: from within the walls of our own organisations.

 

Brands that work with employees as collaborators, rather than suppliers, will benefit from shared networks that benefit both parties and amplify word of mouth.

 

Every person who walks through your business’ door brings with them a potential network of incredibly talented individuals spanning almost every niche audience.

 

A recent survey found more than one third of millennials have a side job and more than twenty per cent of workers have side ventures.

 

A marketer’s interests outside of work used to be seen as separate from their day job. However, brands would be wise to see the benefits of their team members’ creative pursuits and side hustles in creating additional avenues to new and potentially loyal and lucrative audiences.

 

This approach has widened not only Agency Iceberg’s networks, but that of our team and the things that are important to them.

 

While companies often focus on employee perks and marketing to the external customer, often the most fundamental of motivators are overlooked: your team. Access to regular opportunities for development, flexibility, a supportive working environment and encouraging creativity are all actions which when undertaken genuinely and consistently, will entice employees to evangelise about their workplace experience.

 

Employees can be our best marketers in terms of spreading genuinely positive WOM testimonials to a diverse range of audiences including their friends, family, creative and professional networking groups outside of work. This extends to potential new clients, hires, suppliers and growth opportunities for the brand.

 

Working collaboratively with our employees to be flexible around their side interests has seen them enthuse about the brand. For example, our Social Media Manager, who runs a fashion label on the side, has helped us widen our network to a younger demographic of job seekers who wouldn’t ordinarily reach out to recruiters to land a job. This has exposed Agency Iceberg to a new, wider and more diverse network of talent.

 

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of our team for a minute.

 

What if you were supported to work on projects that spoke to your values, with people who ’got’ you and with access to ongoing development and network opportunities?

 

Wouldn’t that inspire you to tell a friend?

 

Anna O’Dea is the Founder of Agency Iceberg, a recruitment firm specialising in digital, advertising, PR and marketing.