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Negative WOM and the
Power of Rumors
Zeynep Çıkın
Word-of-Mouth Communication
• Word-of-Mouth (WOM):
o Product information transmitted by individuals to individuals.
o Informal discussions among consumers can make or break a product or
store.

• Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors:
o Negative WOM: Consumers weigh negative info from other consumers
more heavily than they do positive comments
Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors
Negative WOM
Word of mouth is not only rapid, it can be a doubleedged sword for marketers.
• 1) Negative WOM is weighted more heavily than
positive WOM.
• 2) Rumours are the chief form. Rumours can easily
be spread online.
• 3) Though most people would rather tell positive
than negative information, rumours tend to reveal
the underlying fears of society.
• 4) Rumours often result in boycotts of products,
companies, or services. These boycotts can be
successful or unsuccessful depending on their
popularity, duration, and strength.
Negative WOM and the Power of
Rumors
o According to a study by the white house office of consumer affairs, 90
percent of unhappy customers will not do business with a company
again.
o Considering a new product or service, the consumer is likely to pay more
attention to negative information than positive information and to relate
news of this experience to others.
Negative WOM and the Power of
Rumors
Rumor
-A rumor even it has no basis in fact, can be a very
dangerous thing.
-In the 1930’s professinonal rumormongers were hired
to organization wom campaings to promote clients’
products and criticize those of competitors.
Rumors

• sikayetvar.com is a complaint sharing
website about customer experiences,
products and services.
Word-of-Mouth

• Tripadvisor.com is a Web site dedicated to
posting reviews and opinions of travelrelated content.
Word-of-Mouth
Communication
Viral Capacity
•As social media becomes
ubiquitous the speed and
frequency of WOM
communication will continue to
increase. The ability for stories to
scale beyond traditional channels
i.e. face to face, phone, etc.
becomes a double-edged sword
for organizations.
•Unfortunately, as quickly as
positive stories get exposed,
negative word of mouth seems to
travel even faster. 
The Transmission of Misinformation
The Transmission of Misinformation
A classic example of Information is transmitted from person to person, as each
perticipant reproduced the figure , it gradually changed from an owl to cat.

Figure 11.2
Changing Information
• Serial Reproduction:
o Technique to examine the phenomenon that information changes as it is
transmitted among consumers
• Assimilation: Distortions tend to follow a pattern from ambiguous to
conventional to fit with existing schemas
• Leveling: Details are omitted to simplify structure
• Sharpening: Prominent details are accentuated
Cutting-Edge WOM Strategies

Various strategies have been used by marketers to try to
influence WOM among consumers. One of these is to create
an environment for a virtual community of consumption to
grow and thrive.

Forms of these communities include:
 a) Multi-User Dungeons (MUD)—environments where fantasy game
players meet.
 b) Rooms, rings, and lists—chat rooms, organizations of related home
pages, and groups of people on a single mailing list who share
information.
 c) Boards—online communities organized around interest-specific
electronic bulletin boards.
 d) Blogs—Weblogs are online personal journals containing random
thoughts of thousands of individuals. The universe of active Weblogs is
known as the Blogosphere.
Multi-User Dungeons
Four Types of Virtual
Community Members
• Tourists:
o Lack strong social ties to the group

• Minglers:
o Maintain strong social ties, but are not
interested in the central consumption activity

• Devotees:
o Express strong interest in the activity, but
have few social attachments to the group

• Insiders:
o Exhibit both strong social ties and strong
interest in the activity
Virtual Communities

Figure 11.3
Advice...
Financial Services
% of
respondents
Automotive
that used
a referral
Travel
to make
Consumer Electronics
one
• of these
Computer
• purchases

•
•
•
•
•

Restaurants
0%

20%

40%

60%

80%
Guerrilla Marketing
• Guerrilla Marketing
o Promotional strategies that use unconventional locations and intensive
word-of-mouth campaigns to push products.
o A growing number of marketers are experimenting with using human
beings as brand ambassadors who pop up eye catching outfits to
announce a new brand or service.
Viral Marketing
• Viral Marketing
o Refers to the strategy of getting customers to sell a product on behalf of
the company that creates it.
o To promote its new pocket paks oral breath care strips, Listerine created a
germinator game on the brand’s website .Players are encouraged to email their scores to friends to goad them into playing.
Guerrilla Marketing Ads

• Ads painted on sidewalks are one form of guerrilla
marketing.

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Negative wom and power of rumors

  • 1. Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors Zeynep Çıkın
  • 2. Word-of-Mouth Communication • Word-of-Mouth (WOM): o Product information transmitted by individuals to individuals. o Informal discussions among consumers can make or break a product or store. • Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors: o Negative WOM: Consumers weigh negative info from other consumers more heavily than they do positive comments
  • 3. Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors Negative WOM Word of mouth is not only rapid, it can be a doubleedged sword for marketers. • 1) Negative WOM is weighted more heavily than positive WOM. • 2) Rumours are the chief form. Rumours can easily be spread online. • 3) Though most people would rather tell positive than negative information, rumours tend to reveal the underlying fears of society. • 4) Rumours often result in boycotts of products, companies, or services. These boycotts can be successful or unsuccessful depending on their popularity, duration, and strength.
  • 4. Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors o According to a study by the white house office of consumer affairs, 90 percent of unhappy customers will not do business with a company again. o Considering a new product or service, the consumer is likely to pay more attention to negative information than positive information and to relate news of this experience to others.
  • 5. Negative WOM and the Power of Rumors Rumor -A rumor even it has no basis in fact, can be a very dangerous thing. -In the 1930’s professinonal rumormongers were hired to organization wom campaings to promote clients’ products and criticize those of competitors.
  • 6. Rumors • sikayetvar.com is a complaint sharing website about customer experiences, products and services.
  • 7. Word-of-Mouth • Tripadvisor.com is a Web site dedicated to posting reviews and opinions of travelrelated content.
  • 8. Word-of-Mouth Communication Viral Capacity •As social media becomes ubiquitous the speed and frequency of WOM communication will continue to increase. The ability for stories to scale beyond traditional channels i.e. face to face, phone, etc. becomes a double-edged sword for organizations. •Unfortunately, as quickly as positive stories get exposed, negative word of mouth seems to travel even faster. 
  • 9. The Transmission of Misinformation The Transmission of Misinformation A classic example of Information is transmitted from person to person, as each perticipant reproduced the figure , it gradually changed from an owl to cat. Figure 11.2
  • 10. Changing Information • Serial Reproduction: o Technique to examine the phenomenon that information changes as it is transmitted among consumers • Assimilation: Distortions tend to follow a pattern from ambiguous to conventional to fit with existing schemas • Leveling: Details are omitted to simplify structure • Sharpening: Prominent details are accentuated
  • 11. Cutting-Edge WOM Strategies Various strategies have been used by marketers to try to influence WOM among consumers. One of these is to create an environment for a virtual community of consumption to grow and thrive. Forms of these communities include:  a) Multi-User Dungeons (MUD)—environments where fantasy game players meet.  b) Rooms, rings, and lists—chat rooms, organizations of related home pages, and groups of people on a single mailing list who share information.  c) Boards—online communities organized around interest-specific electronic bulletin boards.  d) Blogs—Weblogs are online personal journals containing random thoughts of thousands of individuals. The universe of active Weblogs is known as the Blogosphere.
  • 13. Four Types of Virtual Community Members • Tourists: o Lack strong social ties to the group • Minglers: o Maintain strong social ties, but are not interested in the central consumption activity • Devotees: o Express strong interest in the activity, but have few social attachments to the group • Insiders: o Exhibit both strong social ties and strong interest in the activity
  • 15. Advice... Financial Services % of respondents Automotive that used a referral Travel to make Consumer Electronics one • of these Computer • purchases • • • • • Restaurants 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
  • 16. Guerrilla Marketing • Guerrilla Marketing o Promotional strategies that use unconventional locations and intensive word-of-mouth campaigns to push products. o A growing number of marketers are experimenting with using human beings as brand ambassadors who pop up eye catching outfits to announce a new brand or service.
  • 17. Viral Marketing • Viral Marketing o Refers to the strategy of getting customers to sell a product on behalf of the company that creates it. o To promote its new pocket paks oral breath care strips, Listerine created a germinator game on the brand’s website .Players are encouraged to email their scores to friends to goad them into playing.
  • 18. Guerrilla Marketing Ads • Ads painted on sidewalks are one form of guerrilla marketing.