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Stefan Kazakis on 22 February 2020

The best WORD OF MOUTH strategies we’ve heard

To keep in theme of referral month, I thought I would share some of the best word of mouth strategies I’ve seen.  

Word of Mouth strategy (WOM) is all about what the customer does and says, right? WRONG!  You need to implement tactics that will encourage your customers to talk about you to their friends - WOM marketing may become one of your biggest tools in business!

As we spoke about in our blog from 2 weeks ago, some companies are built purely off WOM marketing! 

REMEMBER: In business, never leave anything to chance!

There’s a whole world of WOM examples out there! But, before we get into it, what exactly is WORD OF MOUTH marketing?

Word-of-Mouth Marketing is when a consumer’s interest in a company’s product or service becomes apart of their daily dialogue. They speak to their friends, social networks and colleagues about an amazing service or product they were provided with, which then turns said group into hot leads.

So, what are some of the best WOM strategies out there?  Here’s a few examples.

The Double Tree Cookie

 Upon check-in at any Hilton Doubletree hotel, the guests (every single one of them) are greeted with a warm chocolate chip cookie.

Social media is flooded with posts about the chocolate chip cookie - there are countless tweets about it, all because the cookie adds something to the customer's experience that encourages them to share their experience.

75,000 cookies are given out each day! 34% of guests tell their friends. That’s a massive 25,000 stories being told about DoubleTree, every single day!

It only costs DoubleTree 20c per cookie (that’s $15,000 per day) but the word of mouth strategy this has then created is worth much more than that!


Number 2 is one we talked about two weeks ago when I was discussing How to build a referral program that gets results 

Skip’s Kitchen

Skip’s Kitchen is in California. Their word of mouth strategy is very simple, yet very effective.

Every time a customer goes to pay for their meal, they must pull a card from the deck. If they pull the joker, they get their meal for free.

This costs Skip’s Kitchen $2 for every $100 they make. They’ve never had to invest any money on marketing, because their business is built purely off WOM strategy including lots of shares on social media!


The Neptune Theatre

 In 1973, John Neville became the director of the Neptune Theatre. His method was a very simple one that changed the success of the Theatre!

Every time a new show opened at the Theatre, John would give free tickets to all the local taxi drivers. In exchange, they’d talk up the shows to their passengers.

After two years of implementing this strategy, the Theatre had doubled in subscriptions!

Penn & Teller

You have probably heard of Penn & Teller before, the famous comedic act that is world-wide known.

Well, if you’ve ever been to one of their shows, you would know the drill. Here’s how it works:

At the end of every show, the magicians run up the centre aisle of the theatre and wait in the foyer to greet their fans.

They take photos with their fans, shake their hands and answer questions. Each night 200 people leave with a story to tell.  As a result, Penn & Teller are the longest-running headline act in Vegas history!

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Often the simple ideas are the best. 

There is so much focus on paid advertising – and a certain level of imitation when it comes to marketing. However, sometimes, the most original, creative and simple ideas generate the most referrals.

Referral strategies don’t have to cost a pretty penny. They don’t have to be overly fancy and they don’t need to be hard to execute. Just add a little ‘extra’ to your service and you’ll end up having a happier customer who’s willing to tell a story about you! 

WOM strategies are used worldwide.

Here are some more ideas that might inspire you in your business:

  • Ikea offers free refills when you order a coffee
  • T2  gives samples of their teas,
  • Nescafe will make you a coffee if you are in their store to buy pods

The list goes on!  It doesn’t need to be a big, elaborate strategy. You just need is something small, thoughtful and worth talking about and you can build your referral strategy around it.

Don’t be afraid to do something different, give your customers a story to tell and they will do your marketing for you!


 Stefan Kazakis 

CEO, Business Benchmark Group

Looking for a business coach? Find out more about the Board of Directors 12 Business Coaching Program.

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