The transition from one-way to two-way communication in marketing

Word-of-mouth is powerful
Word-of-mouth is powerful

Reading “A New Odd Couple: Google, P&G Swap Workers to Spur Innovation” on WSJ.com and attending the Internet Summit 08, there is a new shift in traditional marketing thinking. The old school of thoughts was that a marketer was the beacon or held the megaphone to tout the message to the silent masses. While this still happens in some mediums (e.g. TV), it is no longer a one-way street entirely. Via social networks, blogs, microblogging (e.g. twitter), and mobile communications, consumers have the chance to talk back and in some cases unite for the benefit or detriment of a company, brand, product or service. One recent example for consideration is the Motrin Mom campaign.

I think this trend is interesting, but it is not a new concept! It is human nature to tell others about good and bad experiences and to help those we know whether it is find a plumber or buy detergent. What is new are that tools and technology have “democratized influence”, as Tim Schigel, CEO of ShareThis, stated at the Internet Summit 08. It is now easier and more efficient to spread word-of-mouth and people are now using these tools as their source for information in purchase decisions whether online of offline.

For more visit the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association 101 site.

2 comments

  1. Alan – This was exactly the topic of an AMA lunch in Raleigh that featured Sean McDonald of Dell talking about the work they are doing in social media. I thought the most interesting part was that they started really small with just one blogger out there and they’ve built on that effort both on their own site and external sites like facebook. Pretty crazy stuff.

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