How To Create A Word-Of-Mouth Marketing That Delivers ROI

It’s proven. It’s tested. And it is not as difficult as you think.

Azleen Abdul Rahim


Moons ago, I brought my family to this wooden restaurant for lunch. This food joint was recommended by a friend living in Johor Bahru. It’s a nice place, located by the sea in a town called Pasir Gudang — almost a 40-minute drive from the city centre. I’m not an adventurous person when it comes to food, yet when this friend of mine knew that I would be coming to town, he quickly texted me about it. “Bring your family here for lunch when you are in JB, let me know your experience,” he said.

Today after 5 years, I am one of their regulars. Every single time I am in Johor Bahru, I will definitely make a plan to drive to Pasir Gudang for lunch. This food joint at that time had no website, no social media presence, zero digital marketing strategy and no significant billboard whatsoever by the expressways — nothing. But the patrons coming to enjoy their lunch there was massive, even until today. I won’t dare to go there over the weekends or during school holidays; too many people.

Imagine that for a second. Almost zero marketing effort from the restaurant owner but still can attract people from all over Malaysia, including Singapore. I asked the owner one day when I was there. He simply answered me this — I rely pretty much on word-of-mouth.

How does it work?

From a simple layman’s point of view, the foundation of any successful word-of-mouth marketing strategy hinges on offering something exceptional. We need to come up with a product or service that isn’t just good but extraordinary — something that compels people to buy it, use it, buy it again and again, use it again and again, and talk about it.

Whether it’s solving a critical problem, making people’s lives easier, helping them to make more money or perhaps evoking a unique emotional connection, it doesn’t really matter.

Think of that particular restaurant where I shared the story earlier. They didn’t have any marketing push whatsoever. Yet there are so many people patronising the joint. That is because it quietly encourages people to initiate conversations due to their uniqueness and exceptional…