WOM Terms Glossary - Event Marketer

WOM Terms Glossary

If you’ve ever uttered the phrase “We’re hoping to generate some buzz with this event ” read on. “Buzz ” at best is a catchall term for a myriad of objectives. Marketers often want it but aren’t taking the time to clearly define what “it” is. It’s high time to stop tossing around the terminology willy-nilly and get serious about using lingo that not only helps create WOM strategies that map back to specific goals but that help the skeptics naysayers (and old school bosses) get with the program. A special thanks to our homies at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for many of the terms:

Word of Mouth: “Word of mouth is the conversations that consumers have with each other where they give advice insight and information to one another ” says Ed Keller. “They do it in their own voice they do it in a natural honest authentic way and brands products and services are a very important part of that conversation.”

Word-of-Mouth Marketing: An effort by an organization to encourage facilitate and amplify marketing-relevant messages among consumers.


WOM Episode: A single occurrence of WOM communication.

WOMUnit: A single unit of marketing-relevant information shared by a consumer. WOMUnits can further be qualified in terms of topicality (how much of the marketing message was contained in the WOMUnit) timeliness (when it arrived relative to the campaign) polarity (was it positive or negative) clarity (was it understood) and depth (the message’s persuasive value).

Buzz Marketing: Using high-profile entertainment or news to get people to talk about your brand.


Viral Marketing: Creating entertaining or informative messages that are designed to be passed along in an exponential fashion often electronically or by email.

Community Marketing: Forming or supporting niche communities that are likely to share interests about the brand (such as user groups fan clubs and discussion forums); providing tools content and information to support those communities.

Grassroots Marketing: Organizing and motivating volunteers to engage in personal or local outreach.

Product Seeding: Placing the right product into the right hands at the right time; providing information or samples to influential individuals.


Influencer Marketing: Identifying key communities and opinion leaders who are likely to talk about products and have the ability to influence the opinions of others.

Brand Blogging: Creating blogs and participating in the blogosphere in the spirit of open transparent communications; sharing information of value that the blog community may talk about.

Referral Programs: Creating tools that enable satisfied customers to refer to their friends.

UGC: User-generated content. Includes ratings reviews feedback blogs postings and videos on YouTube.

NPS: Net Promoter Score. A survey-based research tool often used to measure WOM campaigns. The score is calculated by subtracting the number of people who would not recommend your brand (detractors) from the number of people who would (promoters). The more promoters the higher the NPS score and—according to NPS proponents—the greater the chances are for revenue growth brand development and customer satisfaction.

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