What does Word of Mouth Mean?

Marketing is a big topic for almost every entrepreneur. Advertising and the advertising messages must be targeted by you and address your target group. But recently there has been a certain amount of advertising fatigue because people are flooded with too much advertising. Does that make Word of Mouth all the more important for you ? You can find out what is behind this in the following article.

What does word of mouth mean?

Short for WOM by abbreviationfinder, Word of Mouth translated means nothing else than word of mouth. The face-to-face conversation between two or more people who share their experiences with products or services directly with one another. At Word of Mouth, information and recommendations are disseminated orally in conversation. However, this advertising in the form of Word of Mouth cannot usually be controlled without planning and cannot be carried out across the board. Of course there is a certain influence, for example by yourself, by offering your customers a recommendation. With a targeted strategy for Word of Mouth Marketing, however, you can use this method very efficiently and use it for yourself.

How can you use Word of Mouth for your marketing?

Word of Mouth, or word of mouth in German, can be used very well for your marketing. In this context, Word of Mouth is to be understood as an informal and judgmental expression of opinion between consumers . This exchange can concern products, services, but also certain brands and companies. With Word-of-Mouth Marketing you have the chance to speak positively about you for the target groups that match your offers. This makes it possible to arouse more attention and interest and to increase the level of awareness and the image of your company. These factors, in turn, can then make themselves felt in higher sales. In order to design your Word of Mouth Marketing successfully, however, you need the right strategy.

Encourage customers to communicate with one another

To get Word of Mouth going, you need to motivate customers to communicate with each other. There are a few ways you can do this.

Possibility Description
Call for social sharing Social sharing means the parts , Comment , Liken or Retweet in social media such as Facebook. Above all, the possibilities for commenting are very important. This gives customers the opportunity to publicly share their experiences with one another.
Call for rating or recommendation As a rule, a customer tends to buy when there is already experience of a product or service. Of course, positive experience is a prerequisite here. Positive empirical values ​​can be realized via certain review portals, via targeted blogs or via large retailers such as Amazon.
Email Marketing If you send a personalized email to a customer or an interested party instead of a general standard email, then the probability increases significantly that he will tell others about your personal offer to him and thus conduct word of mouth for you.
Use influencers Don’t underestimate the reach of influencers . They can help you a lot with your word-of-mouth strategy.

Where does the Word of Mouth come from?

One of the first researchers to study the Word of Mouth and its influence was Arndt in 1967 . At that time he dealt with the influence on consumer behavior. It was also Arndt who put the term Word of Mouth on paper in a way that everyone can understand and grasp. In 2006 , Nyilasy came on the scene and divided Arndt’s definition into three essential parts .

  1. He claimed that traditional word of mouth is an interpersonal communication . This means that it clearly differs from mass communication and other forms of communication of the impersonal kind. Word of Mouth is characterized by the fact that it is a communication that can go in both directions.
  2. The second essential part says that the content of the communication at Word of Mouth is commercial content . Therefore, according to Nyilasy, it is important that this commercial communication is to be clearly separated from everyday language.
  3. In the third part, Nyilasy says that the content of the conversation at Word of Mouth is commercial, but the sender does not perceive the recipient to be commercial.

What advantages and disadvantages does Word of Mouth offer you?

Word of Mouth can have both advantages and disadvantages for you. It is therefore important for you to differentiate between the positive word of mouth and the negative word of mouth. You may have already made the experience that a negative opinion or rating gets around much faster than a positive rating. As a rule, the example of a customer who shares his enthusiasm with three friends applies here. But of these three it is only passed on once in most cases. But if this customer has a negative experience with you, then they will share this with significantly more than just three other people. And they then pass it on much more often to their circle of friends.

What does this mean for you now? This means that you should absolutely avoid negative Word of Mouth . This can do a lot of damage to you and your company. But it also means that one of the advantages of word-of-mouth is the very positive effect. To do this, however, you have to make some effort so that the transmission of this positive message does not end after the third station.

What are the requirements for Word of Mouth?

In order to incorporate Word of Mouth into your marketing strategy, the prerequisites must of course be present or created. In order to be able to use WOM, as word-of-mouth is also called, you need an interesting offer as a basis. If this is not the case, hardly anyone will talk about it or recommend it to others. You have to initiate and promote the exchange between consumers with an attractive offer. For example, if you are an online retailer, you have three great options.

  • Site for free information or other goodies available
  • In many cases, an offer based on bundled knowledge is ideally suited. This can be an e-book or white paper, for example.
  • Offer your customers or potential customers content that either brings them a kind of entertainment or represents added value.

But be careful not to exaggerate and above all not to provoke. It is true that an action or content that provokes attracts more attention. But this also increases the risk for you that users will see precisely these provocations negatively and communicate this accordingly. Your ideal goal must be to get your content discussed or shared as often as possible, so that it goes viral. It is therefore not surprising that this effect is particularly desirable in viral marketing.

Important! Did you know that viral marketing is a special form of word-of-mouth marketing?

What boundaries to Word of Mouth should you know?

The word-of-mouth strategy is difficult to distinguish from other marketing strategies. There is buzz marketing , viral marketing , influencer marketing, and social media marketing , all of which are sub-categories of the Word of Mouth. Word of mouth alone, on the other hand, extends into social media marketing. Many experts disagree on the topic of demarcation. Some are of the opinion that buzz marketing and viral marketing in particular should be strictly separated from the word-of-mouth. Others, however, see buzz marketing and viral marketing as part of word-of-mouth marketing, as mentioned.


In recent years, there has been a sensory overload for customers and potential customers in advertising . Many just find it annoying or even annoying. Because of this, word of mouth, or word of mouth, is becoming increasingly important. Purchasing decisions are increasingly made on the basis of recommendations and positive experience from acquaintances or friends. For the successful use of Word of Mouth it is important to have a corresponding strategy with which this procedure flows into the overall marketing strategy .

Frequently asked questions about the “Word of Mouth”

What role does Word of Mouth play in marketing?

WOM plays an important role in marketing because people tell others free of charge what positive experiences they have had with a product or service and how satisfied they are with it.

How effective is Word of Mouth?

Due to the increasing sensory overload in advertising, WOM is becoming more and more important. Recommendations from a well-known person therefore play a very important role. For this reason, word-of-mouth marketing that is well thought out and designed is a very effective measure.

How does the Word of Mouth work?

Word-of-Mouth is a form of marketing that uses word of mouth or word-of-mouth propaganda to disseminate recommendations or information through oral communication in face-to-face conversations. WOM marketing is a form of recommendation marketing .

Word of Mouth