Advocacy Marketing

Word-of-Mouth Marketing and a New Obsession

September 28, 2021
Stacy Wells

There are many different ways to get the word out about your product or service, but word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is one of the most effective and believable. It's also transitioned well into the digital era.

Understanding an idea is usually made easier with the use of a narrative. Well, this might be a personal perspective. Regardless, you are going to get a story. So here we go.

Several of our team members at Wooly live in Texas. A few months ago, they shared on Slack some mouth-watering pics of pizza and some great news. The pizza restaurant just posted on Instagram that they were expanding to Utah, my home state.

Our co-workers raved about the pizza and said we absolutely had to go as soon as it opened. We actually started an informal countdown until we could experience the same gastronomical joy. 

One lucky Wooly-ite has had the privilege of eating the pizza. And she concurs, it’s the best pizza she’s ever eaten. 

So a few weeks ago, I was attending a college football game 25 miles from home, which luckily just so happened to be very near this new restaurant. Figuring it would be crowded, we left one hour earlier. Shockingly, the wait for a take-out pizza was one hour and 40 minutes. Yes, 100 minutes for take-out! 

How many people are talking about this? 

Unfortunately, we couldn't wait that long, and our anticipation was crushed. So the following week, we made reservations before the college game to try yet again to experience this elusive pizza. 

I wish the story ended with success, but sadly, the restaurant does not take reservations even though we had one. And the wait was again more than an hour. 

Word-of-mouth is powerful! From the first mention of this fantastic eatery opening in my area, I was hooked.

The ironic thing is, I really don’t like pizza. But the reviews and descriptions of friends replaced my personal preferences. Hearing co-workers rave and seeing their selfies eating the pizza reinforces my passion for getting some of that food. This is a quest I will not abandon. And expect to have a successful ending soon. 

Chances are, just sharing this story about how word-of-mouth keeps me driving 50 miles to experience the deliciousness also makes you crave pizza. 

-> Organic conversations and genuine opinions have a greater impact than advertising, long travel distances, and, to be honest, even personal tastes.

This is word- of-mouth, and it works!

When a community of individuals share their own experiences and recommendations, it has a significant influence. Occasionally, the effect is so profound that it becomes an obsession.

What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing?

Word-of-mouth or WOM is the age-old, natural approach to spreading product and service information from person to person. 

Word-of-mouth marketing is a work associate extolling the virtues of a restaurant and encouraging others to dine there as well. We know and trust the source, so we believe what they say about the food or service or product.

The grassroots nature of WOM is not easy to replicate. The fact is, the very premise of word-of-mouth is that it occurs between individuals. WOM is a peer-to-peer communication system.

While some companies have had notable success in getting customers talking about them, the overall results have been mediocre. 

However, the digital revolution opened the way for word-of-mouth marketing or WOMM. Now brands finally have the platforms and resources necessary to execute WOMM initiatives successfully. It's a highly effective fusion of traditional advertising and personal interactions, making it a perfect fit for the social media age.

Wooly defines and describes WOMM the following way.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the practice of using informal social networks and interactions to promote a product or service.  

The Purpose of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

One of the primary purposes of WOMM is to influence and direct the conversations that people are having about your brand and products. In fact, referrals from family and friends account for 74% of all consumer purchasing decisions.

word of mouth marketing

For a long time, word-of-mouth marketing relied on recommendations to pass from one person to another. Today, when it comes to modern word-of-mouth marketing, it includes both targeted campaigns and unplanned situations where customers talk.

Millennials ranked word-of-mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions. (Source: Radius Global) 

In terms of facts and outcomes, word-of-mouth marketing is compelling and effective. To more fully understand the power, get the data behind word-of- mouth marketing.

Advantages of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

#1 - TRUST

Building and leveraging trust are at the heart of word-of-mouth marketing. While on the other hands, trust is almost completely void in traditional advertising.

According to HubSpot, 75% of consumers say they don't believe ads, while 90% say they trust recommendations from friends and family, and 70% say they believe customer reviews. When compared with ads, word-of-mouth wins in every area.

People's increasing trust in the virtual world makes it just as normal for them to communicate with one other on social media as in person.

One of the most challenging aspects of a relationship marketing approach is earning the trust of the customer.

A peer's suggestion, a known face, or an internet review is more trustworthy because of this, rather than a brand just yelling into the vacuum about how amazing they are. Word-of-mouth referrals are naturally reliable.

Word-of-mouth marketing has the potential to be extremely powerful in spreading the message of an ad campaign since it provides a way to penetrate consumer defenses and get people talking about a particular product.

Notably, 84% of customers said they totally or partly trusted recommendations about items from family, colleagues, and friends.  – Nielsen

This places recommendations as the most trustworthy information source in the market.


Additionally, WOMM is a budget-friendly strategy to reach both online and offline groups. 

Increasingly, word-of-mouth is becoming a necessary part of every brand's marketing approach. Companies are turning to other marketing strategies as it becomes more challenging to maintain healthy ROAS (return on ad spend) and CAC (customer acquisition costs). Ones that have better economics and lower financial commitment, which is exactly what WOMM offers. 


Many word-of-mouth marketing strategies focus on getting people to share, post, and communication. User-generated content, recommendations, and praises are all ways they honestly communicate about businesses.

A company's goal in word-of-mouth marketing is to develop strategies to encourage customers to spread positive words about their company, goods, and services.


Digital communities now dominate commerce, and businesses are seeing the growing importance of investing in word-of-mouth marketing. 

WOMM builds trust through cost-effective strategies. Ultimately, WOMM broadens a brand's reach, creates high-quality content, and increases conversions.

If you are looking to drive sales with word-of-mouth marketing, Wooly has a free how-to-guide. And here's some word-of-mouth advice...  

Please go get yourself some pizza! It pairs perfectly with the WOMM guide!!

Grow your ecommerce sales with people who love you. Request a demo today!

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