by Dave Willems

Even as we enter the most uber-connected time ever with conversations happening across all different types of devices and channels, word-of-mouth marketing remains just as powerful.

How so? Consider this: people’s everyday experiences with products or reviews of services aren’t just being discussed over a cup of coffee these days. Yes, they’re still being shared this way, but they’re also being communicated through social posts, online chats and other web-based forums … all of which have much more potential to get passed along virally.

To understand word-of-mouth marketing and its significance in today’s digital-driven, conversation-filled world, who better to learn from than someone who’s had some major success with the concept?

A recent article and interview from Social Media Examiner features how Ted Wright, one of the organizers behind the revival effort of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), helped the beer brand rediscover its cool factor.

As Wright explains, word-of-mouth marketing starts with having an “interesting, relevant and authentic” story about your brand that people will want to share. From there, it’s about realizing who your influencers are, connecting with the right ones and creating opportunities for them to keep sharing.

Wright followed this process with PBR by pairing the “hipster” crowd (serving as the influencer) with the non-glamorous beer and using a combination of face-to-face conversations and social media to stir up some momentum.


A few interesting tidbits provided about influencers and how they influence:

– Influencers are constantly consuming information as they like to try new things and share their findings with friends

– People are typically influential in just three categories or less

– The typical word-of-mouth conversation lasts just 32 seconds

With the goal of getting people talking, Wright says it’s good to try out your brand story with the “brunch test.” The gist here is picturing yourself out for a meal with people you know and don’t know and then envisioning how they’ll respond to your story. Will they be on the edge of their seats asking more questions – or eagerly attempting to move to the next topic?

Now that we’ve taken a glimpse inside PBR’s word-of-mouth marketing, think about your own brand for a minute. Do you have an interesting story to share, and how can you help your influencers get it out there