Monday, 7 November 2011

The WOM Revolution

Ever since the social networking websites conquered this planet, marketing and brand positioning have taken extremely different dimensions. Due to the ever evolving trends and shift from a national to a globalized world, people are becoming more conscious of their choices. The era of mass customization due to individual preferences is how we define today’s business world. Choice of brands and thus the buying process is now very complex since brands define an individual’s personality. The clutter of innumerable products, brands and services have made competition tough; and has directed the endeavors of businesses towards customer focused strategies.

The growing intricacies of these dynamic changes have made marketers ponder over what factors shape these conditions. Through research and trial and error marketers have come to learn that consumers are highly influenced nowadays by their reference groups and peers. Word of Mouth is a very powerful tool. Studies have revealed that the factor which most influences the consumer decision making process is the review of the product (what the users have to say about it). Social Media is playing a very crucial role in fostering this. Customer views can be shared easily through these social networking sites in contemporary times.

Companies are thus taking concrete steps to ensure proper placement of their products and to boost their sales. They are now interacting with their customers 24/7 through these social networks and their Marketing objectives are directed towards a common man. It has been observed lately that many firms are now doing these to stand out:

1) A proper well maintained blog through which they share news about their products and complimentary services.
2) An interactive and updated Facebook page through which communication has improved manifold.
3) Promotion of their products and services through Testimonials and publications.
4) Using Public Relations as a means to achieve their Marketing objectives.
5) Interacting with Media which is a major opinion former and trend setter.

Huge multinationals like Procter and Gamble are using this new approach now. Their entire Marketing plan for Ariel is built on PR tactics and thus their advertisements are made in a testimonial form. Even Zong in the telecom sector is responding to the immense competition through these. Upcoming Marketers now need to adapt to this Word of Mouth and customer- oriented revolution that will transform the future of their businesses.