Dr Martin Williams
Lecturer, Communication Studies Group
Doctor of Business Administration
Fellow, Chartered Institute of Marketing
Martin Williams DBA (Macquarie), FCIM is a world expert in Word-of-Mouth management. He has over 30 years experience in advertising and marketing on three continents and has held leadership positions in advertising, direct marketing, customer relationship management, online marketing and fundraising. Martin co-founded and was CEO of Australia’s leading direct marketing agency Cartwright Williams and CW Database Services, working with clients that including Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Lend Lease/MLC, ANZ and Mars Group and Unilever was sold to Leo Burnett Advertising in 2002. He also headed CRM leader Customer Futures in Australia. He is chair of the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Direct Marketing Advisory Committee. In 2008 was elected to the council of the University of Sydney Medical Foundation. In addition to academic writing he is author of Interactive Marketing and is currently compiling a text on word-of-mouth (and word-of-mouse) management.
Research supervision: Yes
Williams, D.M., Buttle, F. 2011, 'The Eight Pillars of WOM Management: Lessons from a multiple case study', Australasian Marketing Journal, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 85-92.
View/Download from: UTSePress | Publisher's site
Although word-of-mouth (WOM) has long been seen as an important influence on customer attitude, intention and behavior, very little is known about how, if at all, organisations manage this phenomenon. This paper reports how a sample of service organisations manages WOM. Using a case study approach, we find that there is a widespread appreciation that WOM influences organisational performance indirectly through its impact on customer acquisition, customer loyalty, and organisational reputation. However, our sampled organisations devote considerably more attention, energy and resources to the mitigation of the effects of negative WOM than to the promotion of positive WOM. Two particular processes dominate in this regard + complaints management and crisis management. We find that positive WOM emanates from many organisational influences including, inter alia, the product or service itself, innovation, service-beyond-expectation, networking, external suppliers and communication practices, including advertising and public relations. We present a new model, dubbed The Eight Pillars of WOM, that can be used to identify, interrogate and manage organisational processes that influence both negative and positive WOM.