Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jack Trout on WOM

An article on word of mouth (WOM) has some marketing bloggers up in arms.

Jack Trout, reknowned co-author of the classic book, Positioning, wrote a piece in Forbes in which he states that word-of-mouth marketing is nothing new, and that it is not the "next big thing".

I must say that I find Trout's piece to be entirely reasonable despite his characteristically provocative tone. Trout sums up his point near the end of the article:

"[Word of mouth is] not the next big thing. It's just another tool in your arsenal."
It makes sense that consumers have grown increasingly tired of, and immune to, constant bombardment of advertisements. The Internet has amplified and accelerated the effects of word of mouth. It's therefore true that word of mouth and other forms of PR have greater relevance these days. But word of mouth has its limitations and is no panacea.