Digitizing Word of Mouth

February 15

TMP Worldwide Singapore is a wholly owned company in Singapore.

For years, we've heard of the saying- 'the best medium has been, and will always be, word of mouth'. This remains true to date, despite the ever-growing media landscape of the new millennium. It is most effective because the best advertising is not advertising, and that's exactly what 'word of mouth' is. 'Word of mouth' is totally 'non-advertising'; you hear it from someone you trust, someone you know or someone you just bump into every day. Real people.

In this day and age, I'd like to think of all the successful viral communications happening on the Internet as the 'digital word of mouth'. It's all about the communication 'experience'. They are first-hand, unpredictable, non-patronizing and fun. Best part is, it is shared. And the sharing is done voluntarily by the consumers themselves.

We are at a time when everything is getting more digital and 'humanized'. This is why 'digital word of mouth' has to be based on relationships and inter-activity. These are not new concepts in human communication, but the Internet has made it more dynamic, instantaneous and easier to achieve. With ground-breaking communication tools such as social networks, brands can stay fresh and provide an interactive channel for consumers to engage in dialogue.

One day, I believe, the world will have less 'done-to-death' and formulated advertising. The more successful brands will engage the consumer differently through 'digital word of mouth'. But before that happens, we will all have to continue pushing the envelope and taking risks with our clients.

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