Writing the book that will help traditional brick and mortar businesses move to a progressive internet marketing plan

Word Of Mouth Advertising Is Back!

by Joe Manausa, MBA on March 21, 2011

Word Of Mouth Advertising ImageI do not proclaim to be a student of the history of advertising, but I think it is an important discussion point in our journey to understand why we have seen companies struggle with adjusting to the new marketing paradigm.

Advertising most likely got its start when the first caveman had something of value that he wished to offer to others. Even in primitive times, there was a process…

  • First There Was Word Of Mouth – One caveman says to the other, Ugg killed deer. Deer is fresh, you eat Ugg deer. And it developed from there…
  • Signage – Ugg was always killing deer, so he figured more people would know he had the freshest deer in Cave Valley if he put up a sign. Fresh Deer At Uggs …
  • Print Media – A sign was a stationary advertisement. The consumer had to be in the vicinity of the sign for it to have value, thus a need for mobile signage was born.
  • Newspapers – Newspapers allowed people to advertise to a large group of people in the community. With little competition, consumers were soon drawn to newspapers as a communal center for certain products and services.
  • Magazines – Magazines crossed community lines and had the ability to spread the word on a broader scale. It also allowed for the concept of targeting in an advertising campaign.
  • Specialty Magazines – As advertising budgets grew, so did the number of publications that catered to the larger advertisers. From industry “rags” to consumers lists, specialty magazines were often used to attract and isolate a higher conversion consumer.
  • Radio – By 1933, more than half of all US homes had radios, and advertisers had a captured market for their pitch.
  • Television – By 1954 more than half of all US homes had televisions. This fast-growing medium eventually led to cable and satellite. Advertisers now had so many choices and so many ways to spend money.
  • The Internet – It is estimated that nearly 30% of the world’s population is using the internet. That is a gross number of 2 billion people and growing. The internet has made the world a marketplace and advertisers know they have to be on the internet.
  • And Then There Was Word Of Mouth – The next step in the evolution of advertising does not merely give the advertiser another medium in which to speak to the consumer, rather it has created a new environment for socializing the value component for the good or service of the organization.

The cumulative effect of social media on the infrastructure of the internet is going to organize the concept of “word of mouth” advertising to a level that could never have been conceived even ten years ago. And that is why The Internet Squeeze will make you rich(er).

If we follow this simplistic history of advertising, the medium for the advertisement continuously changes, but the message is still delivered in a similar manner. Whether somebody is reading a sign or an ad in the paper, or an ad on the radio or even a commercial on TV, the advertiser is using one of these mediums to reach out and deliver a message to anybody who happens by. This is a very critical point in the foundation of this book.

The mistake being made by 99% of the “advertisers” on the internet is that they do not understand what is truly occurring and that the act of merely “advertising” on the internet is missing the point entirely.

The internet allows the wise marketing-savvy organization and individuals to reverse-engineer the selling process and to deliver not an advertisement, but rather a purchasing experience from “A to Z” based upon the forecast-able, repeat-able, duplicatable actions of the consumers for their products and services.

If you will follow the Internet Squeeze through to the end, I believe you will reach an epiphany; an enlightenment on how to use the internet, not as an advertising platform, but rather as a marketing medium that will allow your organization to gain a strong advantage against your immediate competition.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly April 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Loved the “Ugg deer” part – too funny. Word of mouth has become so powerful when the internet gives everyone a voice that’s as big as they choose to make it. Consumers are overwhelmed by the “broadcasted” messages they’ve been receiving since just about the days of Ugg, and are looking for something more personally relevant. Great post.

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Joe Manausa, MBA April 11, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Thanks Kelly and you are spot-on “as big as they choose to make it!”

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