We know that word-of-mouth (WOM) recommendations–whether it’s a call from a friend, a link that your friend sent you or a re-tweet that grabs your attention– is all the rage in marketing. But what motivates someone to be a WOM champion for their favourite brand? According to a brand new study by loyalty marketing researcher COLLOQUY, WOM marketing is motivated because of two things: people want prestige and personal gain.
A WOM Champion is a customer who is “actively recommending” a brand, in a conversation with a relative, in an email to friends, in a Twitter posting or a Facebook wall message. “The personal nature of the communication by a WOM Champion adds credibility. And a Champion’s endorsement is highly valued by marketers because it cannot be bought.
When COLLOQUY asked more than 3,500 Canadians why they engage in WOM activity the top response was that they wanted to be the first to discover new items (71%). This was followed by getting free product samples (66%), getting more informed about products and services (66%) and then sharing their opinion with manufacturers (63%) and others (58%).
These research results will touch a nerve with every Canadian who relishes the chance to tout a restaurant, favourite hotel, car company or mobile phone service. We all like to compare ourselves to the guy down the street, in the next city or across the country, especially when it comes to something as personal as recommending an experience.
The research also revealed that loyalty program members (127%) were more likely to use WOM than non-members.
This research shows that a company’s loyalty marketing database is an under-utilized social network that marketers would do well to exploit.