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Word of mouth – There are different ways to get your brand out there. There are many people to follow, there is lots advice, so whose advice should you be listening to and who should you be avoiding? Firstly as marketers it is important to understand who your consumers trust enough to take advice from and secondly how do you become a trusted source for customers to follow you?

Forrester’s Marketing Forum shed some light on some interesting findings about influencers, adopters and general consumption habits of how people follow advice and who your customers could be listening to. We need to realise that those influences are diverse and we need to find way ways to target them directly.

The forum pinpoints 3 categories that influence consumption; firstly there are Social Broadcasters, Mass Influences and Potential Influences. Social Broadcasters are your top bloggers, connected people who have a broad following base. They reach the mass but not always the most trusted source. People will still perform their own evaluation of the content they write about. Social Broadcasters need to feel unique when you communicate with them so traditional media is usually a no-no.

Secondly there are the mass influencers, the 80/20 rule applies to them. They are the minority (20%) that create the majority (80%) influence. They are the people that influence impressions about products and services. You need to keep this group talking about your brand not necessarily on on-line. Don’t underestimate the off-line presence of this group.

Thirdly, you have the potential influencers. This is where the trust lies. They are the average consumer who listens to their friends, families and peers. They make up the majority of the population. To increase an adoption rate make things easy and relevant to understand. They require continuous engagement.

Each different group should have a different strategy which reaches them directly. This might be a great start to getting your product out there by good ‘ol word of mouth!

Lianne du Toit