Talk is Cheap, Buzz is Vital, Viral is Worth it and WOM is Where it’s At


Thought I’d share some resources I find valuable. If you are not already aware of WOMMA, Word of Mouth Marketing Association, you should be. Here’s the deal…working in a small business bubble, we need all the WOM we can get, and we need it to spread like wildfire.

WOMMA hosts conferences, sends out e-zines, blogs, podcasts and more. I’ve gained plenty of juicy nuggets just from subscribing to “Word of Mouth Basic Training” – Learn to Master Word of Mouth, Viral, Buzz, and Blog Marketing newsletter (plus it’s FREE).

This week WOMMA contributor Greg Clemson, shares these tips on “Joining the Conversation”…
5 Tips from Informative’s Greg Clemenson

“A brand is defined not by what we tell the customer but by what customers tell each other,” says Greg Clemenson, CTO of Informative. “But that doesn’t mean brands are helplessly adrift, unable to control or even influence the currents of consumer empowerment.”

Greg shares these tips on joining and staying involved in the consumer conversation:

Tip #1. Have a valid place in the conversation
Consumers talk about brands every day. While it may not be the first place they look, eventually consumers visit a brand or manufacturer’s web site to find information about a product. Be sure to offer information that answers questions.

Tip #2. Use your voice and have an opinion
Think about “voice.” How does your voice tie in with your conventional advertising? What are you doing and saying on the website? Are you reflecting your brand’s personality across your entire communications strategy? Listen to what people are saying about you, and have an opinion.

Tip #3. Be relevant
Understand what’s important to consumers as they talk about your product. Then be relevant when responding to their needs.
For example, one of Informative’s customers, Royal Mail, is rolling out an electronically available stamp aimed at small businesses. Initially, they thought that businesses would choose it as a faster, more convenient way of getting postage. But the most important aspect of the product to real people turned out to be the fact that it made them look professional. That changed Royal Mail’s whole marketing message.

Tip #4. Be responsible
You can have all kinds of modes of communication with people, but they’ll only appreciate it if you’re up front about who you are. Be responsible about your identity.

Tip #5. Remember that it’s a social phenomenon
Companies that feel they have to isolate participants in market research to keep them from talking with each other (“unaided awareness”) are forgetting that WOM is a social phenomenon. Always keep in mind that when people make a decision about something, it very seldom happens in isolation.

I’m a big fan of WOM. As my own business is starting to take off, I’ve noticed that viral, buzz, and WOM are the biggest contributors.

I also happened across “How Do People Find You” – at Get Known Now. Suzanne Falter Barnes is a top-notch creativity coach who uses WOM to increase her traffic flow as well. Numbers 2, 3, & 4 on the list of how people find you are WOM related.

Curious how to get WOM started for your business? Check out this handy little checklist at CMO magazine:
How To Build A Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Campaign
Michèle Bouquet, Jim Nail with Fiona McDonnell and Jaap Favier, share tips on how to create a WOM campaign. These folks get to the nuts and bolts of what the heck WOM is all about.

“The buzz itself is the objective of WOM marketing — to have as many consumers talk about a brand or a product to as many friends and acquaintances as possible. Marketers can create buzz by choosing the right:

Targets: evangelists or influencers
Channels: viral or traditional
Content: anything consumers want to share

“With WOM, consumers become an extension of the marketing department by helping spread the word and create buzz. While some of the tactics are different, marketers who wish to “recruit” consumers need to address the same four planning questions as in any marketing effort.”

Who do I target?
How do I get the word out?
What’s the message?
How do I measure the effect?

Are you ready to dig deep and ask yourself the tough questions? Are you ready for the WOM to take over and get the customers/clients/fans of your products or services to your door? When we focus on the foundation of our message, who we are targeting, how we are getting the word out, and how can we measure these results realistically – we begin to align ourselves with why the heck we’re in business in the first place.

Walking through these questions has pushed me to take a long hard look at whom I really do want to target. To ask what is my message? And to get crystal clear about my “voice” (see Tip #2) and what it is I’m really trying to say.

If you haven’t taken a focused look at your branding, or perhaps it’s been a while, DO! Ask your clients/customers/fans for feedback and see if the message you think you’re sending out is the same message everyone is hearing.

What kind of WOM is buzzing about your company/service/you? Is it inline with your true vision and mission or is it just petty water cooler gossip?

WOM Rules!
Kammie K.


  1. Of the four tips, I think finding a place in the conversation is the hardest. A few tips on how to do that would be miraculous!

  2. Hello Chris,

    How do you think you might you be able to get in the conversation? Where are your prospective customers/clients hanging out? What are some techniques your competition is using to create a “buzz”?

    Could you ask current clients for feedback? Surveys can work for feedback as well…maybe polling some of your top clients and asking them how they heard about you and where they might have come across you sooner?

    Good luck getting in the game and creating a buzz!

  3. We created an online tool that helps with some of the nuts and bolts of getting in the conversation–asking for feedback, managing email and encouraging pass alongs. You can check it out at

  4. Dave~

    Thanks for the tag and the tool…looks intersting.