A great viral marketing case study and why it’s not a word of mouth strategy

Which can be measured?

customer experience. Furthermore, what is the memorable duration of this stunt? Will we remember it next month? In Christmas? Next year?

It is true that there are examples of viral marketing that are beneficial in the long run, but I think they are the very exception that proves the rule. The vast majority of viral stunts – even those that succeed in garnering media attention – have a short shelf life. That doesn’t make them a bad idea, but it doesn’t make them one either word of mouth strategy .

Stunt is not a strategy

Hacker. Viral marketing. PR stunts. The goal of this is:

To create disproportionate media attention by radically changing your behavior and/or your offerings.

At Convince & Convert, when we think about word-of-mouth strategy, we don’t envision a “big bang” stunt. We are not in the elephant rental business.

Instead, as a corporate strategy, we’ve always focused on repeatable strategies that can reliably generate conversations for an extended period of time, long after an attack. The shock and horror of the PR stunt is gone.

For us, the goal of word of mouth strategy is to:

To turn customers into volunteer marketers every day by permanently altering your operations in a way that customers notice and discuss the difference.

The goal of word of mouth is to turn customers into volunteer marketers every day by permanently altering your operations in a way that customers perceive and discuss the difference. Click to Tweet

3 Difference between Viral Marketing and Word of mouth Strategy

1. Speech tube

Viral is how to create conversation in the media.

Word of mouth strategy is to create conversation with customers.

2. Time of impact

Viral Talk about a designated week’s run away.

Word of mouth strategy is to hit a single shot, every day, forever.

3. Activities

Viral It’s about doing something different once that I’ll probably never do again.

Word of mouth strategy is doing something different all the time that you would do every day.

Related articles: Why surprise and delight is an ineffective word-of-mouth strategy

Two days versus thirty years: Imagine the difference in impact

Reese’s Candy Converter is a great idea that has been executed well and delivers the desired effect on media creation.

By contrast, from a word-of-mouth strategy perspective, we’ll look at a brand like DoubleTree by Hilton, which has been giving away a warm chocolate chip cookie to every hotel guest at check-in for 30 years.

We’ve researched this strategy and found that 34% of DoubleTree guests have mentioned cookies to someone else in the past 30 days. On a related note, when was the last time you saw an ad for DoubleTree? They don’t advertise much. Cookies – their word of mouth strategy – IS advertising and their guests are marketing.

Sure, viral stunts can coexist with a long-term word-of-mouth strategy, but companies often want the excitement of the former and not the patience for the latter.

If we can help you with word of mouth strategy , let us know. And for more on the subject, check out my new best-selling book, written in Daniel Lemin . It is called Chat Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Word .

By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.

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