We all know about the role of positive word-of-mouth advertising (WOMA) and its impact on influencing prospective buyers. In the past this has largely come through friends and colleagues. More recently, grass-root organizations have sprung up as the ‘go-to’ site for prospective purchasers, for example of home services, such as Angie’s List. More and more prospective shoppers are surfing the Web to look at others’ evaluations of products and services that they are in the market for. Shopping sites, such as Amazon support this by asking for and providing reviews of products by those customers who have purchased.
I think the world is amazed at the role of social networking in initiating and sustaining the uprising in Iran following the recent election. As expressed by Daniel Nations in About.com , "If there were any doubts just how important a role social media was playing in today’s society, those doubts were quelched in the aftermath of Iran’s election."
Do we have any idea of how impactful social networks are going to be in the future in terms of marketing of products – both being for them as well as against? Are these social networks going to make customer loyalty more volatile? Some savvy organizations are both participating in social networks, as well as incorporating them into their customer loyalty research and overall customer relationship strategy.
Pamela Toft, Ph.D.