I usually bluster that professional and business service firms (PSFs and B2Bs) get short shrift in research on marketing practices. And I am sometimes concerned when PSF and B2B marketers tell me they are challenged about undertaking even (arguably) traditional measurements like brand awareness.
But when it comes to Word-of-Mouth marketing -- much less measuring it -- it's a new world for PSFs and B2Bs. And so, when I just stumbled across a thought piece on measuring word of mouth (WOM) marketing, I looked to see if it has some relevance for PSFs and B2Bs.
I think it just might.
Take a look at Exhibit 1 -- a chart showing three stages of buying consideration (Initial Consideration Set, Active Evaluation, and Moment of Purchase) when the article's authors suggest WOM can be best measured. These stages are further illuminated by looking at whether the decisions are being made in a mature or developing market.
Even though this study is focused on consumer purchasers of expensive products, just the chart alone suggests that PSF and B2B marketers could break out the various points along a buyer's decision-making process for a complex professional or business service. And once those decision-points are defined, they could be measured. Exhibit 2 is also thought-provoking.
WOM marketing is an intriguing possibility for marketing and selling intangible services. It may take a full recovery from a recession to see this take off, but I suspect it will.
Let me know If your firm is undertaking WOM marketing or measurement, and I'll write a post or online newsletter article about it!)