How Word of Mouth Marketing Actually Works

Written by on Oct 10 2016

You only think you know how “word of mouth marketing” works…you don’t.

The common misconception about “word of mouth marketing” is how the message of your product or service gets passed around.

Most people think word of mouth marketing means you have a product evangelist so excited about your product they were telling all their friends. You are wrong.

Here’s what I imagined in my head…a group of people in a bar talking about sports, one person stands up and says “hey everyone, I know of this amazing software development company called LessEverything. They use ruby on rails and elixir, their designs are simple and easy. I’m so excited about their latest blog post too, check it out.”

No one, in real life, is broadcasting your message for you.

We imagine a person so excited about our business they’re going around just gushing about our offering. This is completely wrong, that’s NOT how word of mouth actually works.

Here’s the reality. Your target customer is un-researched, confused and overwhelmed and they reach out to an “expert” friend for buying advice.

I’ll explain… You’ve done this before. You’ve asked your gearhead friend about what mechanic shop to take your vehicle to. You’ve asked your friend who’s flipped a few houses for a recommendation on a plumber. And you’ve been asked by your friend for advice on choosing software or buying a computer (because you’re probably a software designer/developer). Am I right?

We ask friends, who we think have specialized knowledge for buying advice.

People would ask us “where did the customers from LessAcccounting come from?” or “where do your clients for LessFilms come from?” And here’s the scoop our customers come from recommendations from people inside our industry.

I’ll be more specific. LessAccounting customers were typically friends with software developers, who started a business, then asked their friend, who writes software, “what accounting software should I use?” and their awesome friend would tell them “LessAccounting”.

LessFilms clients are software companies, who reach out to their marketing friends looking for a video team to create an explainer video…their friends recommend LessFilms.

And now that LessEverything is building software for clients again. We’re betting in the next few years you’ll have a friend who is wanting to build a SaaS product and comes to you asking for a recommendation on choosing a development/design team and you’ll remember LessEverything.

And that’s how word of mouth marketing actually brings you customer leads.


Hi I'm Allan,

I wrote the article you're reading... I'm one of the co-founders of LessEverything. I love my family more than breathing and I love creating videos about our family adventures.

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