While social media holds considerable influence in the marketing field, don’t ignore the most powerful form of communication possible for marketing: word-of-mouth advertising.
Recommendations, referrals and conversations among satisfied customers who are eager to talk about and endorse your product/service can help you spark more interest in your offerings, gain more business and retain more customers than with any other marketing method.
In a 2011 study commissioned by Proctor & Gamble’s word-of-mouth marketing group Tremor, researchers found that more than 90 percent of the product and brand information obtained by respondents came from personal interactions and direct conversations, either in person or via telephone. Among the study’s 32,000 respondents, only seven percent of word-of-mouth interactions took place online.
These findings suggest that direct contact with spouses, coworkers, and family members is still the most popular, and most powerful way for product information and recommendations to be passed from person to person.
As a marketer and business owner, you can achieve substantial gains in marketing your product by being involved in the daily conversation about your company and products.
- Give customers a good reason to talk about you: You can make your company’s physical location a trusted hub of information and conversation about your product. Encourage employees and representatives to engage in conversation with your customers. Provide top-notch service and strive to achieve total customer satisfaction with every transaction. Even if you must “give” a little extra to make your customers happy, the effort and expense will be more than made up for through positive, eager word-of-mouth recommendations.
- Have a plan: Devise a plan for fostering word-of-mouth endorsements from your customers and give it a prominent place in your overall marketing mix.
- Be aware of who may talk about you: Word-of-mouth mentions are more likely to come from individuals in the 40-and-over age group. Women are more likely to give direct recommendations than men. Almost 60 percent of word-of-mouth mentions occur at home.
How are you maintaining the daily conversation with your customers, and what are you doing to give them something to talk about?
Image via Shutterstock.com