Who doesn’t like free PR? There isn’t a business in the world which doesn’t want a bit of word of mouth thrown in, is there?
Jacques Bughin, Jonathan Doogan, Ole Jorgen Vetvik wrote for McKinsey trying to asses the impact Word of Mouth marketing makes for businesses. They write that no matter how many millions of dollars marketers will squander, the best way to do business is through word of mouth.
In fact, Word of Mouth is the reason why over 20 to 50% of purchasing decisions are made. For first time customers, the impact is even more profound. But what was once an intimate, personal, and one-to-one mode of communication is now accelerated multi-fold thanks to digital media.
The consumer-driven world we live in now thrives on online communities, third-party reviews, blog posts, and social activity across accounts.
Try and beat that.
Word of Mouth marketing seems to be simple, but it takes a lot for a business to get to the point where people talk about it, refer it to friends, say amazing things about it, and get your sales register ringing.
Here are a few handy tips to make Word of Mouth Marketing work for you:
To start with, it takes guts to get it all going .
Why, you ask? Normal businesses don’t get talked about just like no one remembers who came second in a competition. Normal is boring.
Make “exciting, bold, and adventurous” your new normal. That’s the only way you can stand out. That’s how you differentiate or you’d rather die, as Jack Trout writes in his seminal book titled “Differentiate or Die”
Chances are that customers aren’t very happy with the services or products they are used to getting. There are possibilities that they’d happily look for alternatives, if available.
There’s a good reason they are pissed: most products and services suck. After customers fall for all the hype, the unreasonable promises, and the reportedly falsifying information doing the rounds as marketing hyperbole, they just don’t get what they paid for.
First step is to get out of the same old rut. Second, go awesome.
Can you do that?
Everything takes time, even instant coffee isn’t instant. While you go about doing awesome things and doing things no business ever dared to do, you have to rally up this goodness for a long time for the word of mouth to reach The Tipping Point, as Malcolm Gladwell writes in his book.
Consistency is underrated. It’s forgotten usually in the rush of doing business and making money. Consistency calls for determination, a monomaniacal focus, strong leadership, and amazing leadership.
How consistent are you?
How do you build credibility? You’d give away stuff in a grand, symbolic manner designed to earn trust. You’d go out there and stand for what’s right (yes, even with services and products). You’ll even turn down customers if they ask for anything unethical.
When you put your own name on the line and give the best you can, you automatically build credibility. Then you launch public events, keynote speeches, and workshops. When you are done with that, attend conferences and network like your life depends on it.
Building credibility takes time. Don’t expect the world to swoon when you are just getting started.
How are you working on your business to make Word of Mouth marketing work?
Img Credits: DanMcKay of Flickr