Word-of-mouth marketing is all about honesty. It’s about earning the respect of your fans so they want to give you their recommendation. It doesn’t work if you trick them, lie to them, or engage in any sort of shady tactics. True word of mouth marketers are always open, honest, and transparent about who they are and what they represent. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association has a thorough ethics code you should always follow – much of which is summed up nicely in the “Honesty ROI.”
The Honesty ROI’s 3 rules:
- Honesty of Relationship: Always disclose any relationship between the marketer and the talker, including incentives and participation in a formal word-of-mouth program.
- Honesty of Opinion: Never ask someone to say something they don’t believe, or give a false positive recommendation, or recommend something they’ve never tried.
- Honesty of Identity: Never lie about who you are or who you work for. Marketers should never impersonate consumers or fail to say that they are employees of a company or agency.