Why word-of-mouth marketing is driving purchasing decisions

Influencer marketing guru Geno Church tells marketers in Sydney to drive brand affiliation through word-of-mouth marketing both on and offline

Word-of-mouth marketing is responsible for up to 50 per cent of all purchase decisions and should be an increasingly important part of a marketer’s on and offline brand approach, global word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing expert, Geno Church, claims.

Speaking at the first of a new series of industry breakfast briefings in Sydney on 23 October hosted by consultancy, The Influence Group, Church pointed out 90 per cent of consumer conversations about brands and companies are still happening in the offline world. Three quarters, meanwhile, are face-to-face.

Church is the co-author of two books, Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful Sustainable, Word-of-Mouth Movements and The Passion Conversation. His presentation in Sydney was entitled The Passion Conversation: Inspiring Your Staff and Supporters to Love Your Brand.

“With more and more brands looking to build strong relationships with their community and successfully launch products to that community, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to explore all of their marketing options both off and online,” Church told attendees.

This is especially critical given 78 per cent of conversations that people have about brands today are not prompted by advertising, he said.

Church also highlighted three key triggers behind why people talk – functional, social and emotional – and pointed out emotion is the number one trigger for offline conversations. He called on brands to embrace and encourage emotional ties with communities, adding that influence marketing is as much about online as it is offline communication.

“Brands must embrace and encourage people talking in their private settings,” Church said. “The power of that conversation is invaluable as consumers want brands to see them as a family member or friend.

“Today your brand is the lens that people look through to see what you stand for and they want to know what is behind the lens.

“Today, people have power, so how will your brand inspire love, not hate?”

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