Guardians of the Galaxy

Aug 21, 2014

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word-of-mouth marketing

How Word-of-Mouth Marketing is the Best Kind

Some marketers are giving up on word-of-mouth marketing because it is so difficult to control. True, consumers are more difficult than ever to motivate. However, when a campaign or product strikes a chord, you can know it will spread like wildfire across social media and in person. Most industries live or die by word-of-mouth because of its ability to mobilize millions of consumers into eager buyers.

A recent example of this is the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, a high-risk release by Marvel that had every ingredient to become a major flop. Early indicators included a first-time film appearance by Chris Pratt, a talking racoon, and a generic-looking trailer that seemed to promise a poor plot. Despite these early concerns Marvel stuck to its guns and promoted the movie everywhere. After tireless marketing, Marvel took a step back and waited. Then, sure enough, the first movie reviews came in from critics. Critics raved. Not only did they rave, they praised the film’s originality and refreshing humor. Moviegoers everywhere answered the call and reported similar sentiment: Guardians of the Galaxy was summer’s best movie by far.

The word-of-mouth marketing ensued. Film goers took to social media and took to the streets. One of my Facebook friends simply put “if you haven’t seen Guardians of the Galaxy, leave your house right now and buy a ticket.” Needless to say, I was convinced of a movie I originally was skeptical of.

So, what was the result of word-of-mouth? Guardians of the Galaxy had the biggest August box office opening ever, bringing in an impressive $94.3 million domestically. Guardians blew out the previous record holder, Bourne Ultimatum, that had previously earned $69.3. Other factors played in like a strong association with Marvel studios, but there is no doubt that early praise and vocal movie-goers fueled the impressive performance. Currently Guardians of the Galaxy has a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes among critics, the highest rated movie currently in theaters by far.

Never underestimate word-of-mouth, particularly in an age with social media. At any moment your company or product can go viral for the right, or wrong reasons. Mobilize your resources and encourage consumers to share their brand experience with others. Remember, word-of-mouth may just take your operation to the next level.

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