Word of Mouth Marketing, Everything You Need to Know
Word of Mouth Marketing is a powerful strategy, essential for your integrated market plan. Whether you realize it or not, this type of referral marketing has been a factor in your marketing efforts all of your career and you’ve also been a participant all your life. Every time you’ve fallen in love with a product or service and you couldn’t wait to tell your family and friends about it, that’s word-of-mouth marketing.
You understand word-of-mouth marketing on a personal level, but the good news is 56% of B2B purchasers rely on offline word-of-mouth marketing to educate themselves before they buy, while an astounding 88% rely on a combination of online and offline word-of-mouth marketing referrals. It’s an easy way to spread the word about your products and services, but there’s more to it. Take a look at the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
What is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of Mouth Marketing influences, engages and encourages active participation. You draw on real-world experience and take it to the next level. It’s not always easy to control, since you’re tapping into raw emotion, that initial gut reaction to a product or service. But, when the customer is satisfied, even ecstatic with what you offer, you can roll that positive experience into sales. Annually, word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion in consumer spending.
A Brief History
The term “word-of-mouth” was first coined by George Silverman in the 1970s. He was referring to “peer influence groups,” which has evolved through a series of proponents (Emanuel Rosen’s “anatomy of buzz” and Fred Reichheld’s Net Promoter Score) into the trendy marketing tactic. It’s not a new concept, but the very latest iterations make it a more reliable, cohesive and even consistent strategy.
Organic vs. Amplified?
In the history of word-of-mouth marketing, two main types: organic and amplified. Organic is the natural result of creating a quality product. Your customers love it, and they tell their family and friends. And, according to Nielsen, 83% of buyers say they trust those organic recommendations about products and services from family, colleagues, and friends. Organic is easy because you really don’t need to do anything to make it happen, but there is another way that is even more effective: amplified.
Amplified is how you put a promotional spin on the natural process. You may ask your customers to talk about your brand. You may even reward their comments and feedback to encourage them to be more liberal with their reviews. Then, you can take your marketing campaign to the next level by tapping into the power of influencers, affiliates and other strategically optimized resources to really amplify your message beyond what you could achieve through organic word of marketing alone.
Why is Word of Mouth Marketing Important?
Word of Mouth Marketing is essential and powerful because it feels real and actionable. It reminds us of what a friend or family member might have said. We’re part of a larger community of people who have used the product or service, and they loved it. So, what are the benefits?
Effective Business Strategy
What you’re really doing is tapping into the idea of a happy and satisfied customer. That’s effective business strategy. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing influences 91% of B2B buyers. Add to that, there’s the 61% of IT buyers who say that a recommendation from a colleague was the most important consideration in their purchase decision.
Opportunity for investment
The concept of investment is a big off-kilter with word-of-mouth advertising, because you can actually reduce your ad spend and strategically re-evaluate your overall marketing strategy. For examples, your customers are 50% more likely to give you a referral if you offer an incentive. It can be as simple as a call out (social recognition) or a loyalty program. What that means, though, is that you can rethink what you thought you needed to spend in order to get results, but you do need to be strategic about it, make full use of the word-of-mouth resources that you have at your disposal, and also be willing to turn on a dime when adjustment are required. The efficacy encourages 70% of marketers to increase their online word-of-mouth spend.
Collaboration & Connection
Beyond just encouraging your customers to share, word-of-mouth advertising also helps you to build a community around building trust, rapport, and emotional connection. By really tapping into the engagement and interaction of your customer base, you can convert more leads into sales, while developing long-term loyalty and (hopefully) even customers for life.
Next Steps: Ask for a word of mouth Referral
Word of mouth marketing is (at its core) the easiest and most streamlined method of marketing and referral generation. It’s easy to tap into the buzz that’s already happening out there. In a recent survey, 64% of respondents agree that word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than traditional marketing, but you have to ask for the referral. That’s the real drawback, the gaping hole of missed opportunities.
Statistically, 83% of your customers would refer others to your services, but only 29% actually follow through. That’s because you probably just never asked. Maybe you’ve been nervous, or you’ve had a bad experience in the past, or you just don’t have a system in place to easily ask for that word-of-mouth referral. There can be lots of reasons, but the bottom line is that you’re missing out on huge opportunities both now and in the future. And, whatever the reason for not asking for referrals in the past, you should know: you’re not alone. Start today, and make the change.
That’s what TrueSaaS is here to help you with. With our system, the process is easy, even painless. You just invite your customers to refer friends, and they make referrals. Then, you get qualified leads and gain the new customers you need. It really is not as difficult as you may have feared, and we’re here to walk you through the entire process. We make it quick and cost effective to get started. So, the real question is: what are you waiting for?
Tap into your company’s most important asset: referrals. Try a demo of TrueSaaS Referral Platform today.