Word of mouth has always had strutted around the modern marketing yard, but now it rules the roost.
When “Gigli” was released in the fall of 2003, Americans’ fascination with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez was at its peak. Everyone was talking about the duo, their mugs and hugs were on every magazine cover. The movie studio was banking on that hype to buy the box office.
Then, the movie hit the theaters.
Within minutes after the first showing, word of mouth began spreading via cell phones, IM, and online reviews. Coast to coast the word got out: “Don’t go see ‘Gigli.’ This movie isn’t worth the hype it rode in on.”
“Gigli” flopped. In fact, the film had the largest week-to-week drop in the history of the box office, thanks to word of mouth.
Word of mouth had finally taken over the marketing-effectiveness roost.
Many have tried to ignore it to their peril. Many have tried to control it and been bitten.
Word of mouth is a powerful animal that doesn’t submit to your business concerns. It’s a communal watchdog that looks out only for your patrons.