Most would acknowledge that word of mouth is the most effective marketing channel there is, then promptly forget that fact as they set about preparing and implementing their programs.

Discounts, bundles, making ads, facebook likes, social media mentions, retweets and shares, and many other activities all get a guernsey, but when was the last time you explicitly set about creating word of mouth, real life endorsements, Margie from Marrickville telling her neighbor over the fence that your product is the best thing since sliced bread?

How much of your marketing budget has as its specific aim to create personal endorsements?

We all know that “WOM” is the original marketing channel, so I was surprised to see this research that reflected that only 28% of small businesses when asked to identify their best marketing channel noted Word of mouth in its proper place.

Have we just forgotten the basics, been seduced by the the welter of choices available?

Perhaps it is just the sample, choices, or that it is from the US, but I asked a small group last week a similar question, albeit open-ended, and word of mouth came in at about the same level.

We can now target messages to specific behaviors practiced by very discrete subgroups, why would we not seek to ensure we deliver outstanding value to them, then encourage them to spread the word amongst those they know who are similarly interested?

Word of mouth, the original and still the best social media platform.