03 Feb WoM & eWoM
The Christ of Christmas is the Gospel we share with others. There are most effective tools that God has already given to us all. Firstly, Word of mouth (WoM) which is a verbal exchange of personal experience about products and services. We talk about feasting a delicacy, best brand, memorable trip, favorite concert, etc., to our friends and recommend them the same. Researches show that WoM is twice high as personal selling and seven times high as print advertisement in communication landscape influencing decision making. Interpersonal communication (WoM) has received great attention in social psychology. It has demonstrated how personal influence affects individuals to make choices. We know the value of personal evangelism and the great impact it creates in the lives by helping them the make life-changing choices.
Secondly, the internet, with its high level of consumer interactivity of posting and reading online, about products, brands has grabbed the attention of organizations. Now electronic word of mouth (eWoM) has become a powerful marketing force. Reviews help the process of buying products/availing services. Experience-sharing has become easier & more effective than ever. Possible ways in which eWoM messages are communicated through the Internet are:
- Posted review is an individual’s opinions posted on a website.
- Comment and feedback are between user and reader about the manufacturers, service providers, magazines and news organizations.
- Discussion Forum include bulletin boards and usenet groups
- Electronic mailing list email the members of an email list with user opinions
- Personal e-mails are messages sent by one individual to others
- Chat rooms are places where real-time conversations among groups of people over the Internet take place.
- Instant messaging includes oneon-one real-time conversations over the Internet.
- Social Media includes social networking sites like, FB, tweeter.
eWoM affects the decision making of the individual because consumers tend to actively give and seek opinions online in the same manner that opinions are traded offline. eWoM could be even more influential than traditional WoM because it provides explicit information, tailored solutions, interactivity and empathetic listening directly to the user. eWoM could be more powerful in communication than traditional WOM, due to its distinct characteristics and the impressive technological development of the Internet.
Let me present some statistics:
- 84% of global consumers believe recommendations from friends and family are the most trustworthy sources of information
- 59% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 80% of consumers have changed their mind about buying a product after reading a negative online review
- 69% of US consumers who have liked a brand on Facebook have done so because a friend did
- 62% of marketers in the US, UK, and Canada are satisfi ed with the business value of their WoM marketing campaigns
- 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family
- 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising
eWoM is part of our daily routine. How? To buy a book, electronic product or any household items we see the reviews & comments. When lifeless, perishable products can be bought or liked by friends and family member, because of WoM/eWoM, how much more the most precious Gift of God – Jesus Christ be accepted or liked by friend and family members when we use WoM /eWoM more effectively!!!
Advantages of eWoM:
- Consumers are no longer constrained by time, place, or acquaintances
- eWoM overcomes most of the physical barriers that inhibit traditional communication
- The amount of information and the number of sources that consumers can access online is greater than what is available offline
- WoM saves time, effort, and money to find the appropriate information
- eWoM involves multi-way exchanges of information in asynchronous mode
- The use of various electronic technologies such as online discussion forum, electronic bulletin board, newsgroups, blogs, review sites and social networking sites facilitate the information exchange
- eWoM communications are more persistence and accessible. Most of the text-based information presented on the Internet is archived and thus would be made available for an indefinite period of time.
- The presentation format, quantity and persistence of eWoM communications have made them more observable.
- Word-of-mouth information available online is far more voluminous in quantity
- People are active in social networks like Facebook, Twitter.
In studies, experimental psychologists and educators have found that retention capacity is 6 times more. Three days after receiving the information, retention % of information were found as follows:
- 10% of oral,
- 35% of Visual
- 65% of Visual + Oral
All these traits give eWoM a far greater reach than most traditional WoM. Most of us who read this, have the gadgets available in our hands. In the new year 2014, shall we venture to reach the millions of people through eWoM? Does the eWorld really need eWoM Evangelism? According to Google research, there are over 100 million searches every month to figure out the answer to “Where is God.¨ There are somewhere between 12 thousand to 55 million searches a month on that exact phrase.
To conclude, there is a
Great Need – Millions of people from all nations converge online, searching for truth. Also innumerable Christians / Non-Christians travel the cyber highway, seeking encouragement, friendship and discipleship.
A Great Commission to evangelism and discipleship uniting us in Christ’s purpose of coming to seek to save and to offering abundant life.
Great Opportunity – Never before ease of use in e-communication. Web pages, blogs, can be launched from anywhere. E-mail is global, instant and free. Social media network is available through most of the gadgets at hand.
As Pope Benedict XVI challenged the young people in 2009, the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this digital continent. Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with
Aren’t we responsible for evangelizing our continent? With the Internet being available almost anywhere around the globe, we now have the tool necessary to spread our message Jesus.
About the Author
Joy Esther Jebaraj, a software professional lives in Chennai with her husband John Jebaraj James and and involves in UESI ministry as family.