Recommendation marketing is activities aiming to evoke a wave of recommendations of a product, services and ideas among consumers. Participants of referral campaigns are perfectly selected consumers of a given brand. These people get engaged in campaigns voluntarily and for free. They like to test new products, they want to be the first to obtain information about new products. They are not paid. Participants of campaigns share their voluntary and honest opinions with their friends, family and immediate environment. Opinions are provided in the form of reports to the agency, which gives a basis to prepare a consumer research for the client. Recommendation marketing can be used in almost all industries, services, and even for promoting ideas.
An opinion leader is a person who, because of their knowledge, experience, features of personality, as well as held positions or prestige, sets an example for others to follow and whose advice, opinions or exceptions are considered to be important information which shapes attitudes and influences conduct on the market.
The function of an opinion leader can be fulfilled by public or private persons appearing in several different roles: a “general” authority, authority in a particular field, personal adviser and institutional adviser. Their tasks plays an important role in the flow of information about new and innovative products. Leaders are the first who, meeting their own needs, reach for novelties and want to broaden their knowledge about them.
According to the research by Millward Brown Company, opinion leaders are most often people living in cities of more than 100,000 inhabitants, mostly male at the age of 25-35, with at least secondary education, with a permanent job, having no children, in good economic condition. General opinion leaders have a more active way of life and a greater involvement in what they are doing. Their interests and the way of spending time seem to be less common, and even more snobbish. They show much greater willingness to obtain interesting information than other people.
This is a form of reaching specific customers through interactive tools.
Using the capabilities provided by interactive marketing has many advantages. Activities of this kind allow to precisely determine the target group and move the advertisement only in their direction. By Interactive activities, the following aims can be fulfilled:
Social media – a term which relates to generally understood usage of internet and mobile technologies in order to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.
A campaign in social media is a number of activities which consist in the maximum use of characteristics of social networks for marketing purposes connected with building the company image and making a particular brand exist in the minds of potential customers, both directly and indirectly.
Consumer research is the key to understand the needs of consumers. In the research, we can choose a right target group, profile and describe it. Such information will protect the company against wrong brand or product positioning and addressing them to wrong consumers.
Moreover, having knowledge about consumers, the content of messages can be adjusted accordingly by underlining the strongest incentives to purchase with simultaneous elimination of barriers. Recognising certain consumer habits connected with a category, we can better understand which factors have influence on purchase decisions – this is the key to a choice of a proper marketing strategy.
Product seeding is providing a full value product together with samples to the participants of a campaign. They receive free products to test. On the basis of their own direct experience, they start to talk about the product and distribute the samples among their friends. Product seeding is not only testing cosmetics or food. The products for testing can be various and there are no limits here. They include things like free goods for children, electronic equipment, as well as services.
Product seeding is the basis for referral marketing activities and this is the most effective form of the word-of-mouth marketing. Often as the first on the market, participants of a product seeding campaign receive products, which gives them a feeling of distinction and opportunity to advise well-known brands.
Full value products for testing allow a personal conviction about attractiveness and effectiveness of a given article. On this basis, participants can share their own honest and reliable information about a product. It builds their brand loyalty and engagement.
Product seeding is much more effective than simple sampling (distribution of product samples), which gives an opportunity to test a product only once.
A trendsetter is a person who can be called a barometer of trends. He or she is familiar with fashion and the latest trends, they attend trendy clubs. They are well informed about what and where is going on, what is currently on top. They have a large circle of friends who respect their opinions. A trendsetter sets and creates new trends.
Trendsetters (alternatively called opinion formers) are an elite group of people who are the first to accept and test new products or services.
A trendsetter operating among students is usually 18-25 years old. He or she is a student or has a job. They have much more friends than they average university mates, and in their midst they play a role of a charismatic leader. Not only are they interested in fashion or technical novelties, but they can also convincingly present things that are brand new and that others do not know yet. Not only do they spend time in the clubs, but they also easily make contacts, they can talk to strange people and create around themselves an atmosphere of interest. Trendsetters are social by nature, open to new ideas, challenges, products and they willingly share the information with others.
At the beginning of its activities in the years 2004 and 2005, Streetcom was mainly engaged in working with trendsetters, self-promoters, marketing of lifestyle products. In fact, the word-of-mouth marketing implemented in this segment is very effective, but it is quite a narrow and niche market segment.
Answering the question whether trendsetting is developing in our country, it can be easily said that there are not many products suitable for this type of activity, and real trendsetters are even fewer.
These are marketing activities which influence consumers so that they create and pass to others marketing important information about products or services.
It can be said that the word-of-mouth marketing is just giving people a reason to talk about a product/service. The reasons may be different and on this basis, we can distinguish different forms of the word-of-mouth marketing.
The most important features of the word-of-mouth marketing:
• Consumer to consumer communication
• Informal conversations
• Not paid opinions and recommendations
• Open relations with a marketer
Word of mouth marketing
WOM, that is Word of mouth – a direct, spontaneous communication between people, independent conversations which are not influenced by marketers.
WOMM, that is Word of mouth marketing – activities aiming at encouraging informal communication by providing consumers with reasons to talk about products or services.
The word-of-mouth marketing consists in reinforcing and encouraging communication which exists in a natural way, and not in creating informal communication. 21% of all consumer conversations are related just to products. In the case when marketers try to create WOM themselves, they commit unethical actions pretending to be consumers.
A global organisation determining MOMM standards is World of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). WOMMA associates over 380 companies from the whole world, which are engaged in WOMM. It regularly publishes reports related to this field, results of the latest research and the most interesting case studies. WOMMA was the first to develop a set of word-of-mouth marketing principles, creating a code of ethics (WOMMA Ethics Code).
One of the biggest authorities of the word-of-mouth marketing is Emmanuel Rosen, who published the first book on WOMM: The Anatomy of Buzz.
Jednym z największych autorytetów Word of mouth marketing jest Emmanuel Rosen, który wydał pierwszą książkę dotyczącą WOMM: “The anatomy of buzz”, znanej pod polskim tytułem jako „FAMA, Anatomia, marketingu, szeptanego”.