The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Written on the 21 November 2018 by Bill Doyle - Altitude Communications

How to really get people talking...

The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

It is often said that Word-of-Mouth Marketing is the most powerful form of marketing available. Cost-effective and efficient, having a group of raving fans talking about, and in some cases, practically selling your product for you, can make a huge difference to your bottom line. And while the organic creation of word-of-mouth, in which you actually do very little other than have great products and give great service, is fine, have you considered taking it to the next level, and consciously working to build a powerful Word-of-Mouth program within your business?

But what exactly is a Word-of-Mouth Marketing Program...?

We've all heard of Business to Business Marketing (B2B) and Business to Consumer Marketing (B2C). Well, Word-of-Mouth Marketing is all about Consumer to Consumer Marketing (C2C) and it is the most powerful of all!  Successful Word-of-Mouth Programs (also known as a referral-based business) often by-pass the need for you to sell your products or services as the prospect has already been qualified and recommended to take action by a trusted source.

In this article, we give you some inspirational ideas on how you could go about developing your very own Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Marketing Program.  Just implementing one of these ideas could dramatically boost your business. 

7 Keys to building a successful Word-of-Mouth (WOM) Marketing Program

1. Education

The first key to building a successful Word-of-Mouth Program is education. In order to feel confident in recommending or referring business to you, your referrer must feel comfortable with the product or service that you sell. The easiest way to educate your prospects is to be giving them your information, positioning yourself as an expert in your field, and to always answer any question asked of you.

Coca-Cola employed the WOM technique when it launched Coke Zero. Coca-Cola provided product samples to the main influencers within the main target market prior to launching the product on its traditional mainstream mediums.

Sending surveys to main influencers or your target market is another great way of utilising the power of valuable feedback.  Offer a FREE e-Book or consulting session to them (group training) for their feedback and honest opinions.

2. Getting the WORD out there

Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective and energy-efficient ways of 'getting the word out there'.  Because WOM Marketing is primarily based on the element of trust, sending regular communications via email will help to establish trust and credibility with your prospects and existing customers. The level of trust that you develop with your contact database will be based not only upon the quality of the information that you provide, but also the detail of that content. In short, the more persuasive, positive messages circulating about your business, the more sales you will make.

3. Success Stories

People buy People first and only then will they look at your products and services. You can strengthen your "people power" by utilizing the power of testimonials. But forget about using written testimonials with only the person's initials as a reference. Instead, consider using photos, videos, audio testimonials to prove that your "raving fans" are real flesh and blood people - not just a figment of your marketing manager's imagination.

4. The Right Tools

Do you have the right tools to help boost your Word-of-Mouth Marketing?

There has never been a better time to 'spread the word' while utilizing the ease and power of the latest technology. You are now able to share information further and faster than ever before via the internet or email. Using a simple 'send to a friend' link in your eNewsletters is a great little tool that enables your contacts to share your articles and ideas with their friends, family and business associates.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms sure can get conversations going. A word of caution though: you may get lots of talk on social media about you, but that doesn't send new customers through your doors. You'll need to integrate these conversations with an email marketing system that can handle their follow up automagically for you. Ontraport is a powerful business automation tool which can do this and more, effectively putting your word-of-mouth lead nurture campaign on steroids.

5. Word-of-Mouth Marketing Systems

First of all, a marketing system allows you to stay focused on building your business whilst saving valuable time and money.  The secret behind a great marketing system is to start building one right away.

S - Save
Y - Your
S - Self
T - Time
E - Energy and
M - Money

McDonald's have built a multi-billion dollar powerhouse by developing a series of powerful marketing systems, which enabled them to replicate their success over and over again.  Back in the 1960s, McDonald's invested more than US$2 million in systemising the production of the perfect French Fry, and that was over 50 years ago. After that, they then began customising their own appliances like chip scoops and straw dispensers. This just goes to show the enormous value that good marketing systems can add to your business. 

Remember that McDonalds is a multi-billion dollar enterprise run by teenagers!  The better your marketing systems, the less business knowledge and labor required to operate it successfully.

6. Happy Clients or Raving Fans?

Organic Word-of-Mouth marketing is all about producing a product or service that is so good that people can't stop telling everyone they meet about it.  On the flip-side, it's about outstanding customer service and going that extra mile. Next time you are speaking with a customer just imagine that they are now very successful and wealthy and are able to choose you over every other competitor.  How would you treat them now?

The secret here is to focus on 'talkers'.  These people are often referred to as 'the influencer'. Talkers are regular everyday people that you meet just like you and me. But the difference is that this person is so impressed with your product or service, that they are literally compelled to talk to others about you. Remember they are not going to talk about you unless you inspire them and give them something worth talking about.  Express enthusiasm and they will spread the word to others.

7. Be Different and Stand Out!

When was the last time that you sent a Birthday card to your valued customers?  Have you considered even sending a card to customers who originally came to you but didn't end up going ahead?  Well, maybe your competitor that won the job didn't send a card and you did. Can you imagine the response from the customer when they received one from you and not from the company that won the job?

The modern way of doing this is by using the power of technology to automate the process.  Ontraport provides the system and tools for you to send a personalized SMS message, an e-Card and or an automated email on their birthday.

Getting Started

Develop a Strategy.  Don't just sit back with your fingers crossed waiting for some miracle to happen... if you want to do that, stop reading this article and go out now and buy a lotto ticket because you will have a better chance of winning if you do.  Get out your notepad and pen now and start jotting down your ideas straight away and then... start implementing some of them.  

Successful Word-of-Mouth Programs evolve over time with testing and measuring... but if you don't start something, you'll never know what might have worked for you.

It may be as simple as just calling one of your valued clients to ask them how they are going or asking for their advice.  Maybe you'd like to share that you are currently working on a strategy to build stronger customer loyalty and you just wanted their valued opinion. Sometimes great Word-of-Mouth Marketing just happens by accident and other times it's carefully planned and managed. Either way, START NOW!  Procrastination is the enemy of success.

If you'd like some help creating a powerful Word-of-Mouth Marketing Program that incorporates your other lead generation tools, website and sales leads, click here to arrange a FREE one-on-one session with us.

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Marketing Mentor Bill Doyle from AltitudeCommunications.com.au publishes the popular 'My Marketing Mentor' weekly eZine with thousands of subscribers from around the world including solo-preneurs, entrepreneurs and business owners.

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Author:Bill Doyle - Altitude Communications
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