WOM Is Not New In The B2B Space

July 15, 2008

Some years ago I worked in financial services. One of my colleagues was a woman,we’ll call her Betty B, whose job was competitive intelligence. At the time I thought, how cool is that, she’s kind of like a spy, going undercover to find out all the secrets about our competitors. Boy was I disappointed when I found out how she really got all of her “intelligence”. No covert operations, no disguises, no passing of envelopes in deserted parking lots. Instead, Betty would work the phones. You see over the years she developed a network of colleagues, all of whom had similar functions, who she would call and ask about a new product or service to get a sense of their experiences. These competitors would freely share information with each other. They would get together at conferences and seminars and share insights and experiences.

Corporate types tend to be risk averse. It’s highly unlikely that a middle manager in Corporate America is going to be the first to try any new product or service, recall the saying “nobody ever got fired for using IBM”.  He’s going to call around and find out how others in his industry have fared. So yes, word of mouth works in B2B. In fact it has worked for years, it’s nothing new.

You can influence WOM in the B2B space by attending the conferences your clients go to. Get involved in the discussions, develop relationships and most of all listen. Submit articles to the trade publications your clients read and establish yourself as a trusted resource and get in the game of spreading the word.



  1. Another great resource for WOM is the WOMMA group. I’ve attended one of their national conferences and they provide a wealth of information.

  2. You know you have “arrived” as a legitimate discipline when there is an Association devoted to it. You are absolutely correct in stating that WOMMA is a great resource for word-of-mouth marketing. In addition to their conferences, they also offer a number of free resources through their newsletter. “The WOMMA Word”

  3. Yep – agree for sure that you can do a 1-to-1 wherever you are and conferences are a good place to meet like minded people – but you can’t pretend to be an IT specialist or a Junos technician.

    And yes yes – WOM isn’t new – what is new is that it’s pretty much the ONLY channel left at the moment for effective influencing?

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