Look from the inside out
Starcom Mediavest has recently undertaken research to assess the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth has always been a difficult element of marketing to quantify and assess, but Starcom believe research shows that 76 per cent of people talk about a brand at least once a day.
At the same time, many companies from Virgin to UBS are concentrating increasing resources on managing the brand experience. They are demonstrating an understanding that a strong brand is built on the customers' actual experiences, and these are of course likely to be the ones that are passed on by word-of-mouth.
Creating an emotional bond with the brand through a compelling and interesting brand experience is difficult enough in a consumer environment, but would seem almost impossible in B2B, where logic and rationality are supposed to play such a big part in the buying process. In addition, the experience channels and possible brand touch- points are themselves so much less frequent in the B2B environment that it would appear a peripheral concern at best to consider and manage the customer experience with your brand. However, I would argue that it is even more imperative in the lower-budget B2B environment to take a holistic approach to managing your brand, than in the consumer world.