Word of Mouth

Revised 2018.02.20

Word of mouth is a powerful way of natural advertising. When genuine people have a good experience with a product, they recommend it to others honestly and with compelling persuasion between trusted contacts. Consider the factors you can control within these conversations, such as properly setting the name of your business/product to be easy to pronounce and associate with positive, relevant ideas.

In practice, the most common way that entrepreneurs use word-of-mouth directly is by simply talking with friends and family, followed by acquaintances and strangers. This is a small-scale process that takes time but is a great low-cost way to get early-stage feedback. Just make sure that you only engage interested people and make it clear that you only want their honest opinion.

Feedback conversations can go more smoothly if you prepare a few simple questions, such as whether the business website looks good on a scale of 1 to 5. Also, ask compelling questions that make it easier to return honest answers, such as asking what would need to be added or changed in order for them to be willing to mention the product/website to others. If they truly like your product, ask them to share it with their own friends and other contacts.

The indirect potential of word-of-mouth is something to consider when designing any type of advertisement. Often, people will discuss a product with others before committing to a purchase. During these conversations, they will invariably convey the ideas and wording of the advertisement that drew their attention initially. This is where good knowledge-oriented advertisements shine, containing clear ideas and a focus on the most compelling features that help ensuing conversations to be well-informed and objectively persuasive. It is important to consider how natural word-of-mouth will be affected by its precursor experiences.