1. Understanding WOM Marketing in IMC Steps

 Although WOM marketing is very popular and proven strategy these days, WOM marketing should be considered as one of components in IMC and also should comply with the final goal of IMC campaign. To try to understand the clear position of WOM marketing, I devised new concepts called ‘Above The Mouth(ATM)’ and ‘Below The Mouth(BTM).’ The former term refers to the marketing campaign that employs the active & visible WOM marketing strategy, while latter one refers to the traditional IMC campaign that does not use the WOM marketing explicitly. Those two strategies are not mutually exclusive, instead those are supplementary to achieve final IMC goal.

2. Understanding WOM Marketing Roles in Buying Process

 Although ATM and BTM strategies should be integrated into one to achieve the final IMC goal, role of each approaches is different in terms of consumers’ buying process. I conceptualized my idea about roles of each approaches in buyer-readiness stages as follows:

According to Jonah Bloom, more than 90% of consumers trust recommendations from other consumers, whereas trust in ads runs from a high of about 40% to less than 10%. From the statement I conclude that applying ATM strategy to preference & conviction stages of buying process will be more efficient while applying BTM strategy to increase awareness, knowledge and liking of products and brands.

3. Designing WOM Marketing Offer Strategy

One of the essential characteristics of WOM marketing is that WOM marketing is driven mainly by ‘influencers’ through customers buying process and WOM effect is reinforced by network effects. Influencers are very important because they convey the ‘messages’ to other people around them regardless s/he is in on-line or off-line. Considering these facts, I propose step-by-step approach for designing WOM marketing offer like follows.

Step1: Analysis of Market Environment around Products and Brands

This analysis is tightly related to target audience of main IMC. The research should be conducted to figure out who are the main story tellers(influencers) about products and brands, how messages from influencers are distributed to or among target audience. After the research marketers could get some implications how to approach the channel or network, what type or formats of messages should be conveyed through network. For example, if target audiences are teenage girls who want fashionable jeans, they usually enjoy ‘Always-On’ style media like Facebook, MySpace and share their ideas about jeans through social media.

 Step2: Select Channel to Approach Target Audience

Based on analysis result conducted in Step1, Marketers need to select the appropriate channel or network to approach target audience. Word of Mouth, Word of Fingers/Mouse, Word of Mobile could be options for approaching target audience based on analysis result. Word of Mouth is for off-line, Word of Fingers/Mouse is for computer & internet based and Word of Mobile is for mobile environment based WOM marketing respectively. If target audiences were youngsters, generation Y or ‘Digital Natives’ then Word of Fingers/Mouse, Word of Mobile will be the best channel or best network to deliver messages to the target audience.

 Step3: Design Messages and Campaign

Message contents and format will vary based on WOM marketing channel. Simple story telling style could be used for traditional off-line WOM marketing and rich contents(eg. pictures, movies) could be used for on-line WOM marketing. So, marketers should consider the way how to organize the message and what format of message should be used carefully. Whether messages are delivered through traditional IMC channel or through WOM marketing channel, messages should be consistent along with final IMC goal. 

 Step4: Approach Influencers or Network Hub

After selecting proper channel and designing messages, marketers need to understand the dynamics and the mechanism of the channel to reach the influencers who will leverage the WOM effects. Power bloggers, community leaders, opinion leaders, hot spots and so on could be seen as influencers or network hub. By reaching these influencers or network hub, marketers could expect WOM effects. Marketers could find influencers by conducting survey, observation, ratings and digital trace. 

2010년 5월 11일

* 마케팅 수업 리포트 용으로 작성한 것.. 

Posted by 뚜와띠엔

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