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Word of Mouth Marketing: Building Your 2023 Strategy

It’s no surprise that word of mouth marketing and testimonials are an extremely effective way to promote your products, brand and generate brand advocates for your business. As one of the oldest forms of marketing, word of mouth is directly responsible for 90% of all purchases and in Australia, 38% of people discover new brands through word-of-mouth recommendations

But the key to success when it comes to word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is to ensure you provide excellent customer service so the consumer has only positive comments to share with their community. So, what word of mouth marketing strategies should you consider for 2023? We break it down below.

What is word of mouth marketing?

Word of mouth marketing, also referred to as WOMM, is the process of encouraging organic discussions where a customer’s interest in a business’s product, service or brand is reflected in their dialogues. 

People tend to trust the opinions of their friends when it comes to brands and businesses they love and also making purchasing decisions. The excitement to share is what drives WOMM which can kickstart a chain of referrals that can drive leads and sales for your brand completely free to your business.

Types of word of mouth marketing

Word of mouth marketing can be divided into two main types or categories; amplified and organic. 

Amplified WOMM is when your business sets a marketing campaign in motion to encourage word of mouth and are usually incentive driven. This could include referrals, affiliate, brand ambassador, influencer marketing as well as social media campaigns that encourage sharing and tagging to create engagement. 

Organic WOMM occurs when someone recommends your brand to friends and family without any direct prompting. Exceptional customer service, a gift with purchase, an amazing promotion or sale and other types of events are common triggers and can result in spontaneous social media sharing, positive Google and customer reviews and organic storytelling of your brand or products.

Building your WOMM strategy

First thing first, when it comes to word of mouth it is important to continue to balance the positive with the negative. Positive comments can trickle down to the right buyer decision makers however everyone knows the negative comments are what spread like wildfire and can damage a brand’s reputation. As a business owner, you need to monitor what is being said about your brand within the community and quickly address any negative comments to minimise ongoing negative impact.

In terms of building your WOM strategy, focus on identifying something about your brand that can generate a buzz (organic) or create a campaign (amplify) that will generate that buzz for you within the market. This buzz can be created through storytelling by offering a unique share-worthy experience to your customers; anything can become newsworthy with the right story behind it. If you give your customers something memorable they cannot get anywhere else, they’re bound to naturally share it with their loved ones even if you don’t ask them to.

Formal referral programs can be designed to help you increase the success of your word of mouth marketing campaigns. A good referral program makes spreading the word quick and easy, allows for ROI measurement and usually makes it worthwhile for both parties through incentives or other benefits i.e. you can offer either monetary or non-monetary perks for different levels of promotion or each approved referral a customer makes.

Lastly, user-generated content such as customer reviews, specific campaign hashtags and incentivising your community on social media to share content can be a powerful tool when it comes to WOMM. One strategy you could consider is a customer review campaign where you are actively asking your customers for their feedback via a review platform such as Google, Facebook or Trustpilot, whatever your business chooses to use. Ensure to ask them at the right time, in the right way via the right channel and if possible even offer a reward for writing one.


There are very few marketing strategies that can match WOMM in terms of cost-efficiency but your overall strategy requires positive customer engagement with the target audience to make it successful. It is a meaningful connection, rather than the marketing technique itself, that motivates customers to become brand ambassadors or advocates. Therefore, consider every touch point in your business that a consumer will engage with to encourage positive reviews and organic recommendations to their community.

Smartpay’s referral program offers a guaranteed $100 bonus and a chance to win $5,000 in our quarterly draw if your referred business signs up with Smartpay! T&C’s apply.

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