Friday, November 04, 2005

Battle of the Titans: + WOM vs. - WOM

WOM (Word of Mouth) Happens. If you are lucky, it happens in a positive way and you reap unexpected benefits. If you are smart, it is part of your PR and Marketing and you make it happen and amplify the volume. If you are a stagnant giant, there may be very little talk about you , even though everyone knows who you are. (Some of our research found almost no mention of big brands that are just part of the landscape.) If you have an inferior brand, poor customer service or a Monopoly (Which means you have both), you will go under or get steadily increasing negative word of mouth. What about the less obvious but more prevalent example? A small to medium sized business that is just fine. Not extrordinary, not spectacular... just fine. Even if you do not think you need a WOM Strategy, you do. Why do you buy fire insurance? Do you know for a fact that your business will eventually burn down? Only if you are planning on starting the fire. Positive WOM started now is an insurance policy against negative WOM that could occur in the future. It only takes one service rep with a headache to be rude to the wrong uber connected person to start a negative WOM fire. It is a lot better if the Internet is already full of great stories about you. Better when there are already advocates walking around singing your praise. Good WOM is not only a benefit today, it is also insurance for the future.