Look Who’s Talking: Word of Mouth Marketing in the Workplace Drives Business

All franchisees can agree that increasing sales is a top priority. The best way to achieve that goal, however, is another discussion.

There are so many options for promoting a location’s offerings: direct mail, social media, digital ads, outdoor and television are just a few. What everyone will agree on is that targeting a captive audience that has disposable income is crucial to increasing sales.

So what’s the best way to accomplish that goal? Despite the proliferation of advertising options, there’s one item that continues to rank as a top influencer of buying decisions: word of mouth.

According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, word of mouth accounts for 13% of all consumer purchasing—or $6 trillion—and the most influential type of word of mouth is offline.

A new study looking at conversations in the workplace found that offline conversations about brands around the proverbial water cooler are incredibly influential in leading to a decision to buy a product. WorkPlace Impact, the leader in workplace marketing, teamed up with the Keller Fay Group, an award-winning marketing research firm that specializes in word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, to release the “Water Cooler Report.” The study is the first ever to shine a light on conversations about brands that happen at work.

Why is this important for franchises? Americans spend about half their time at work on average, are time-starved, and are earning a steady paycheck. Whether it’s picking up breakfast at a quick serve restaurant near work, grabbing lunch at a fast casual eatery at lunchtime, or making a shopping trip to a nearby store on the way home, let’s face it: work is where purchasing decisions are made.

How much are people really talking?

The report shows that among consumers ages 18-60, 12% of all conversations about brands occur “at work.” When looking at full-time employees working Monday-Friday, that number doubles to 25%. When people go to a great restaurant or are excited about an outfit they just bought, there’s a good chance they’ll tell their

Why are these conversations important?

Sixty-nine percent of all “Workplace Talkers” (the study’s term for people who talk about brands during the workweek) is categorized as “mostly positive”, and 40% of conversations include a strong recommendation to buy the product. Almost half (48%) of these brand conversations are highly likely to lead to purchase. If a brand is not part of these conversations, they are missing out on a chance to be recommended positively to others, which leads people to buy.

Which brands are being discussed?

Among Workplace Talkers, 24% engage in WOM about restaurant brands on any given day. The top three restaurant brands discussed at work are McDonald’s, Burger King, and Subway. When Workplace Talkers talk about dining brands, 69% of those discussions are positive. The most-discussed retail brands during the workweek are Walmart, Target, and Amazon.com.

How can franchisees generate word-of-mouth buzz about their brand in the workplace?

Companies like WorkPlace Impact, which has been helping franchisees increase sales and acquire new customers for almost thirty years, can help market your company to consumers at work. WorkPlace helps dining, retail, and CPG brands insert their marketing messages into workday conversations through various types of programs including traditional print advertisements, product sampling programs, and experiential events.

With a network of over one million businesses around the country, WorkPlace puts your company’s name front and center in the offices you want to target so that you are top of mind when overworked employees take a break to gather around the water cooler.

With over two decades in the direct marketing industry, Shelly Sekki is an accomplished leader who focuses on driving results for WorkPlace Impact’s restaurant, retail and consumer packaged goods clients. Her talent has grown from overseeing the implementation of client programs for hundreds of national brands — Starbucks, Outback Steakhouse, Walmart, and more — to guiding the continuous growth strategy for the company. She accomplishes this through her deep knowledge of the industry and through establishing a culture that is highly regarded among the company’s associates.

For more information on WorkPlace Impact, visit www.workplaceimpact.com

To download the “Water Cooler Report”, visit www.workplaceimpact.com/watercooler

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