With WOMM (word-of-mouth marketing) driving billions of dollars in sales every year, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most coveted sources of marketing. Positive word-of-mouth interactions can exponentially drive sales when leveraged through channels like referral marketing, affiliate programs, influencer marketing, and partnerships.

What exactly is WOMM?

Word-of-mouth marketing is a naturally occurring conversation, typically face-to-face, that results in a recommendation of a product/service. Transitioning this naturally occurring conversation into a marketing strategy, word-of-mouth marketing actively influences and encourages consumers to share their recommendations.

But thanks to technology, word-of-mouth marketing is no longer limited to face-to-face conversations.

As marketers, we know that countless online conversations about our brands are happening every day. In fact, curious customers have learned all that they need to know about your brand long before your company can formally introduce its own products or services via marketing campaigns. So where are customers learning about your product?

Online, of course!

Forrester reports that by 2020, 80% of the buying process is expected to occur without any direct human-to-human interaction.

Sure, you could leave your brand reputation and offerings in the hands of anonymous commenters and third-party websites. You can even hold out for a life-changing viral hit if you’d like. Or you can intentionally drive word-of-mouth by proactively putting strategies in place.

Now you might be thinking, “WOMM strategies sound like they would work for eCommerce brands, but what about for B2B companies?”

Well, we discovered that B2B WOMM programs, like referral marketing, not only stack up, but surpass the eCommerce and financial services industry. In fact, dove into the data to find that B2B software and services clients had average revenue three times higher than eCommerce.

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3 WOMM Tips for B2B Marketers

Forging authentic, long-lasting bonds with your customers takes time, but we’ve gathered three simple steps to get you started.

Tip #1: Build Trust

According to Nielsen’s, 84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family and friends about products. That means customer-to-customer recommendations are the highest ranked source of trustworthiness.

While it may seem like a long road ahead to convert curious website visitors to loyal customers and then to active brand ambassadors, trust is the shortest path to reach this goal.

Tip #2: Appeal to Existing Customers

WOMM strategies, like a referral program, empower companies to track the sharing behavior of their most valuable business asset — existing customers. Just think about it, one good brand experience can inspire your customers to make repeat purchases and open the floodgates for new leads. This could potentially lay the foundation for future business and revenue.

In fact, according to the Journal of Marketing, recommended customers are 18% more likely to stay with a business than other customers. More so, referred customers tend to spend more and stay longer. Which is why you want to ensure that sharing your brand is easy and the reward for doing so is appropriate.

Tip #3: Automate Manual Processes

There are a lot of uncontrollable variables involved in building trust with your customer base and attracting new customers. Thanks to marketing automation, your WOMM programs don’t have to exist beyond your control. Technology ensures that ambassadors are easily enrolled in referral programs, influencers are effectively reached, and affiliates are rewarded in a timely manner.

They get rewards and you get cost-effective, high-quality leads and sales. That’s a win-win for ambassadors and marketers alike.

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Making The Push for WOMM

If your B2B marketing goals include getting in front of as many responsive prospects as possible and increasing leads, then there’s no reason that WOMM shouldn’t be a priority. You’ll be surprised at how many of your existing clients are willing to be your ambassadors, and how many potential clients are waiting to find your product.