RetailWire – Can offline word-of-mouth be used to drive business results?

Despite the hype, conversations about retail and apparel brands still mostly happen offline, in face-to-face conversations, as opposed to online conversations taking place via social media, according to Engagement Labs.

The word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing researcher also notes that offline conversations drive two or three times as many sales as online, according to studies.

Unfortunately, it’s easier to drive WOM online than offline. Online, marketers can target key influencers and brand advocates based on metrics such as followers indicating their social clout. Having compelling shareable content can also support online conversations. Categories involving more innovation, style or higher price points tend to get more sharing on social media.

Engagement Labs also notes that offline and online WOM work differently.

“Offline conversations, which are mostly in one-on-one settings, are more personal and intimate by nature and thus allow people to share emotions such as excitement and satisfaction,” according to a study from Keller Fay, owned by Engagement Labs. “Online WOM, which usually involves ‘broadcasting’ to many people (e.g., Twitter), is more appropriate for social signaling (e.g., uniqueness).”

Read the full RetailWire article, here.

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