Why word of mouth marketing is good for your business (Part 1)
What is word of mouth marketing?
Word of mouth marketing is:
When a business influences conversations between people, that leads to desired actions. E.g. purchases, subscriptions.
Ever get a Netflix recommendation from a friend?
Or suggest a cafe to your other half? Those are two common examples of word of mouth marketing.
Netflix never asked you, or paid you, to do it. That new cafe near your office won't give you free coffee for bringing in new customers. But you had such a great experience on both counts that you just wanted to share it with the people you care about.
It may seem that all the sales generating conversations nowadays take place on Social Media. But according to the WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) that's not true. 91% of conversations happen that have an impact on sales happen offline.
Physical conversations still matter a lot, even in the digital age in which we live in.
Coach Buzz says:
If you're not being talked about offline, you cannot consider yourself a strong brand.
Here is a video from WOMMA on word of mouth marketing.
The 3 E's - a simple framework for starting a word of mouth marketing campaign
Engage - Speak with your consumers via Social Media and in person but more importantly listen to what they have to say. If someone has a great/bad experience with a company they will be more likely to speak about it within their peer group, as well as outside of it.
Twitter is a useful customer service tool.
You can interact with customers in real time and solve problems quicker (and cheaper) than having a call centre or travelling to meet each customer.
By warned that there is more pressure on whoever is manning that account. All interactions are public and can be quickly shared to thousands of people.No one wants to be trending because of something negative.
But if you engage with your consumers regularly and correctly you can end up trending for the right reasons (another example of word of mouth marketing).
Equip - Now you have to give them (good) reasons to talk about your product/business.
There is a theory in marketing called under promise but over deliver. Normally we wouldn't recommend it, in it's conventional form at least. But sometimes it happens organically and you can use it to your advantage.
Let me explain.
Do you remember the X Factor contestant Susan Boyle?
When she first stood on the stage, no one assumed she could sing, because she didn't look like a typical singer to most people. But when she began to sing it shocked everyone who was watching and Ms Boyle became a viral, global hit in a matter of hours.
Go above and beyond. Set a new standard in your industry. Most people, if they have no previous experience with your business won't expect it. This will get people talking about your business in a positive light, because it was memorable.
Susan Boyle is still known around the world 8 years later.
Empower - Give your consumer different methods to talk and share information about your business. One effective way to do this can be to give them the responsibility of marketing your business.
You can do this by creating physical branding tools such as shopping bags (Two great examples are Selfridges's yellow bags and Harrods green and gold bags) Key rings and business cards are other effective ways to instigate word of mouth marketing.
Here are some brilliant example of business cards. These are some great examples of key rings. These objects will all act as conversation starters and memory triggers for your customers and will help to keep your brand top of mind. They are literally carrying a piece of your business around every day. You've attached your business to two of the most important things that they put in their pocket - their wallet and their keys.
Most people don't forget their keys or wallets, that means whatever is on/in them isn't forgotten either.
Coach Buzz says:
Word of mouth marketing is sort of like Chinese whispers. You "say" different things by the way your brand and business is structured. And you hope anyone that comes in contact with it will become a consumer or at the bare minimum "pass along" what your brand is saying accurately to others. And then they will repeat the process.
Word of mouth in action
You may have heard of the phrase "water cooler" conversations. In the past employees would gather around the water cooler and have conversations about what was going on in their lives. Sometimes those things had nothing to do with their jobs. This is where people may give product/service recommendations.
An example of a conversation that may happen around a water cooler is:
Tim: Hey Anna, how are you?
Anna: Smiles, I'm not bad thanks, Tim. I saw you pull up in a new Mercedes AMG this morning, where did you get it?
Tim: Oh I got it from SecondHandCars, it's a 2015 model, they were great, they really look after you, and have a ridiculous range of cars, took me 2 days to decide. Had to make a shortlist and everything. You looking to get a new one too?
Anna: Yeah, I could do with a new one, my Ford Kuga is failing me.
Tim: Sorry to hear that.
Anna: Where is the nearest showroom?
Tim: Fumbles around for his keys in his pocket and showing Anna a miniature version of his new car attached it. He turned it upside down to reveal the address of SecondHandCars on the floor of the car along with the contact number.
Tim: Here's the address.
Tina: Immediately typed in the address into her phone, walked to the building and got an 2014 Audi Q7 after a day of deciding.
You want your business to be in these types of conversations (as long as the people fit your target audience)
Higher value on physical conversations
With the explosion in popularity of Social Media, physical conversations can cut through the digital noise and be more effective.
These conversations in small groups or one-on-one situations tend to stand out more. (Particularly as they may happen less frequently with some people)
You're more likely to remember (without prompting) a cool keyring and a purchase recommendation.
When your customers make a purchase, whether that be in person or online, ask them how they heard about you.
This can help you gauge how effective all of your marketing tactics, including word of mouth marketing are.
Treating your customers well is the basis of all word of mouth marketing.
Think of ways you can be "top of mind" e.g. key rings, USB sticks, business cards.
To let your consumers do some of your marketing for you.
Word of mouth marketing is powerful tool in your marketing kit. One that could have a huge impact on your business in the short, medium and long term, if done right, or wrong.
It can provide a good ROI as you don't need a lot of capital to do actually do it.
Billboards on every major street corner aren't necessary if you can get your business attached to your customer's daily routine.
We look forward to hearing about your business from your happy customers!
Come back next week for Part 2, when we'll dive deeper into Word of mouth marketing.
Asher & The BuzzRamp team.