Word of Mouth Marketing – Is Talk Cheap?
Word of mouth marketing is without doubt the most powerful form of marketing on the planet and with the increasingly fast pace that people and communities are interconnecting it will continue to grow – and fast!
Word of Mouth Marketing – the Facts
- Word of Mouth(WOM) conversations still predominantly take place face to face. 94% of WOM brand impressions occur offline.
- The Internet is both the leading spark of WOM conversations and the #1 resource utilized to take action after conversation. Search impacts more than 15% of all Word of Mouth conversations.
- Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day.
- Word of Mouth impressions generated by search are 25% more credible and 17% more likely to lead to purchase than those generated by online social media sites.
Why is word of Mouth Marketing so Powerful?
Imagine you are hoping to go out to a local restaurant tonight. You open the local newspaper and there are scores and scores of restaurants all offering similarly priced 3 course meals. Let’s be honest, most of the adverts are pretty naff, price led and with limited information. You are still undecided. Then you speak to a friend and he says “we went to the ABC restaurant last week, the food was amazing!” Who are you more likely to believe?
The next things you do is go online, get the number and book a restaurant, price doesn’t really matter because you have been told it was amazing. You get to the restaurant, you mention that your friend says the food and service was amazing and more than likely you will be made a fuss of by the restaurateur who will come out and shake your hand and give you something on the house as a parting gift to get you coming back.
You speak to your friend to thank them for recommending that restaurant as it was great! Suddenly the ABC restaurant has two advocates agreeing the restaurant was good, the food was amazing and the service was great.
Take that to the next level and the conversation is actually being held on Facebook. According to Facebook Statistics, the average user has 130 friends. That means that 260 people will see the conversation about ABC Restaurant, a large proportion of those will be in the same area, and a large portion of that segment will be friends of both people. Therefore double bubble impact and referral for that restaurant. That is a great example as to why small business social media marketing is critical.
What are the benefits of word of mouth marketing for your small business?
Builds brands – At the heart of a great business is a first class product or service and every business wants to be a customer’s ‘first choice’. Building and managing a brand can play a large part in making this happen and if you want to strengthen and manage the perception of your business, then a strong brand is needed. Word of mouth marketing elevates your brand,differentiates your like-for-like products or services and gives your customers a reason to choose you over your competitors.
Drives sales – Undoubtedly the benefit that most people want from word of mouth marketing is to increase sales. If you can get people to start talking about your business in positive manner then it can and will only result in increased sales. The more people that are spreading the good news the better. After all, nobody wants a bad service or product do they?
Sparks conversations – As outlined in the example above if as a small business you can provide an excellent service, or give a great product, or superb experience, then people are going to talk about it. Take a moment to think about your business being the topic of conversation in your local area and the positive impact it could have on your business. It sounds good doesn’t it!
How can you drive word of Mouth Marketing?
Well quite simply you need to have a great product or service. Without that then there is nothing to talk about. Nothing.
Forget about satisfying your customers’ needs, focus on surpassing them on every level. Think about ways in which you can deliver an experience that impacts the customer in such a way that they want to shout from the roof tops about how good they feel thanks to your business offering.
Reward those customers who are loyal to you, the most profitable small businesses know that existing customers are the bread and butter of their business success and should be treated so. Just because a customer comes back it doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to have their passion for your business stoked from time to time.
A word of mouth referral from someone who has been a loyal customer of your business for years could be absolutely priceless.
In answer to my own question “word of mouth marketing – is talk cheap?” the answer is yes, because if you are in business to be successful then you will provide an excellent product or service that excites customers. If that is the case then you will earn word of mouth referrals as a by product of doing what you do.
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