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Word of Mouth Sampling
David Clark, President & CEO
TALK Marketing Enterprises, Inc.
TALK Marketing Consumer Outreach program:
How to generate WOM in the grassroots, peer group
70,000 community-based groups, clubs and
Working through the Group Leader at her scheduled
Why does the Group Leader agree to participate?
Bring samples, prepare food, conduct demonstration, or
try product in advance
Focus groups conducted by client: Results
Everybody likes getting something for free.
Group Leaders/Influencers/Ambassadors enjoy being
the first to know about relevant new products and
sharing that information with their friends.
It’s fun to learn about/experience new things in a group
setting. I want my meeting to be fun.
Inspiring WOM in the peer group setting:
Programs are more memorable when sample included.
If impractical to give everyone a sample, raffle off 1 or 2
full-size products. Keeps the product front and center
and adds to the fun.
If you can only give a coupon, be sure it is of high
value. Make it better than the Sunday paper.
Ask yourself: “When the meeting attendees leave the
room, what is the one thing I would like them to
remember about my brand?” When you have this
answer, you will have the USP, the point of
differentiation between your brand and all the others.
This difference is the basis for WOM.
Inspiring WOM in the peer group setting:
Make it fun:
Client with a new wipe made a stain emergency kit. Each
attendee got kit with gauze, ketchup and mustard. Make a
stain and watch it get removed. Assured demonstration of
Is there an interesting story behind the brand that is worth
repeating or will resonate with a particular audience?
Campaign for immune system booster:
Developed by a teacher who wanted to stay healthy in the
closed environment of the classroom.
Distribute samples and tell this story to moms at PTA
meetings and teachers associations.
Where are the most fertile WOM opportunities?
Who are the Influencers that should be approached ?
Client was introducing new mascara.
Went to groups & clubs whose members were in their target.
Where else might it be natural to recruit mascara “fans” who would
talk about the brand?
Pre-qualified to make sure clientele (age) was right.
Worked through owner/manager to get agreement. (Not selling
Sent samples to all the stylists to try in advance and hand out to
their best clients.
The right people in the right atmosphere talked to their clients
about an idea to improve their appearance. On average each
stylist told 12 of her clients.
Be realistic when planning WOM:
When arranging a wine tasting, ask Group Leader, “Do
you regularly or occasionally drink wine?” Make-up
campaign: “Do you use foundation?”
By asking a Group Leader to try a product in advance,
you screen out negative endorsements. After trial, the
endorsement and recommendation are genuine. White
Explored a WOM campaign for a manufacturer of a
drug to treat ADHD. Problem: Most moms do not want
to talk about this problem in a group setting.
Have you given the Influencers what they need?
If your goal is to get visits to your web site, offer an
attractive incentive. Consumers are inundated with
invitations to web sites. Consumers are protective of
their personal information. Give them a good reason
to open the door to your company and brand.
Put yourself in the position of the would-be
evangelist. Has the brand given me a reason to
share relevant information with my friends? After
learning about this brand, is there something
important/interesting/fun I should pass on to my
Measuring WOM recommendations
and purchase activity:
How can we demonstrate that the
WOM effort made a difference?
Foot Cream Treatment
Target: Appearance conscious women
Action: Targeted consumers were provided an informational brochure with coupons for each group member
in one Test cell and brochures with coupons and samples in a second Test cell. Group Leader Gift and door
prize for one attending member—full size product and a pair of socks.
Research: Conducted a customized survey among random participants 8 weeks following program.
90% 82% Control cell
40% 37% 33%
Awareness Trial/Usage Purchases 1st Time P.I. W.O.M.*
Program Objectives: Generation of awareness, trial & usage, word of mouth, and purchase
Dave Clark, President
973-540-8333, ext. # 19