Word of Mouth (WOM)

Word of Mouth (WOM)

Also commonly known as Viva Voce (VV)

When to use it?

To assess how many people are being referred to you by customers who had a positive purchasing experience with your company.

How to solve for Word of Mouth (WOM)?

\[ {{WOM}_{P}} = \frac{{{c}_{d}} + {{c}_{recp}} + {{c}_{revp}} + {{c}_{ref}} }{{{c}_{d}}} \]


  • \( {{c}_{d}} \) are all clicks that first connects to the site
  • \( {{c}_{recp}} \) are Recommendations on social media, positive posts involving your brand, products or services positively.
  • \( {{c}_{revp}} \) are clicks are coming from Reviews that convey a positive product, brand or purchase experience.
  • \( {{c}_{ref}} \) are Referrals that come from friends, family or colleagues of a person who uses referral codes, coupons and other promotional vehicles that push references.
  • \( {{c}_{reach}} \) are clicks from a Reach campaign. Perfect objective if are looking for a buzz. For example: driving your WOM activity through a PR stung, engaging celebrities with lots of followers to post about your company, products or services. What you measure here is the number of people who had the opportunity to see your brand/content and reacted to it.

There are various angles you can approach this metric. The textbook formula is \( {{WOM}_{P}} \).

\[ {{WOM}_{P}} = \frac{{{c}_{d}} + {{c}_{recp}} + {{c}_{revp}} + {{c}_{ref}} }{{{c}_{d}}} \]

Remember, if you wish to view the, what I refer to as plain, natural word-of-mouth, you need to deduct any artificially created social campaigns from the \( {{WOM}_{P}} \) equation. For example, if you were to use a celebrity figure to promote your brand, product or services in exchange for money, you better remove these clicks from the equation to get an actual picture of how likely people are willing to refer you. I usually see to it as \( {{WOM}_{P}} \), whereby P stands for positive, given that only positive referrals and recommendations are being taken under consideration. Having worked in marketing for years, I am a true believer that not all publicity is good publicity. That may work for the Kardashians, it probably won't work for you.

If you were to seek a measure for how my campaigns influence any referrals made towards your company, brand, product or services you may include all clicks coming from campaigns. Let's refer to this as \( {{WOM}_{IC}} \), whereby IC stands for including campaigns.

\[ {{WOM}_{IC}} = \frac{{{c}_{d}} + {{c}_{reach}} + {{c}_{recp}} + {{c}_{revp}} + {{c}_{ref}} }{{{c}_{d}}} \]


Your company had 55,000 direct clicks, and 85,000 clicks from positive social posts and let's say 45,000 clicks from positive review s and 24,000 clicks from a referral campaign. To determine the impact of your WOM campaigns you calculate:

\[ {{WOM}_{P}} = \frac{55,000 + 85,000 + 45,000 + 24,000 }{55,000} = 3.8 \]

Each direct click influenced 3.8 additional clicks. So each person who had a positive purchase or brand experience with your company gets you the attention of 3.8 other people.

Considerations and Impact

In the traditional sense, word-of-mouth, short WOM, is the act of sharing thoughts and experiences with others and generally has a positive notation. So what you are looking for in the word-of-mouth metric is how many people are being referred to you by customers who had a positive purchasing experience with your company. Therefore WOM is the average number of people a person informs about your company, products, and services. Something you may wish to bear in mind is whether or not you include negative posts or reviews.

This metric is found in: Digital And Social Metrics

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