Social media is practically the Yellow Pages of the business world. People today will try any and everything to make themselves and their companies marketable.
They hire marketing and media specialists with hopes of sparking some buzz and business. Yelp and Google search are fabulous review applications, but there’s nothing quite like getting new business via “word-of-mouth.”
Studies by the Harris Poll clearly demonstrate that word-of-mouth is still the most effective way to win new customers.
Plain and simple. Consumers trust their friends!
Chances are, we’ve all had a word-of-mouth experience. Whether it’s a great spa, nail salon, restaurant, gym, clothing store, studies show that we tend to trust a recommendation from someone we know over an online ad any day.
Studies also show that although traditional advertising, such as TV slots, newspaper ads, and digital ads do build brand awareness, they surprisingly do not reach nor resonate with their target audiences.
It’s been established that there’s no single formula for successful word-of-mouth advertising. However, according to a BusinessWeek article, success by word-of-mouth “often starts with creating a culture that encourages your clients to consider themselves valued partners in your business.”
From there, “referrals stem naturally from an unparalleled customer experience.” It seems so simple, but getting clients to foster an identification with your brand can take time.
With all the good that can come from word-of-mouth advertising, there are certainly the laundry list of cons that accompany the glorified tactic. It’s deemed “not sufficient.” Yes, it’s wonderful when you acquire a new client who was referred by a friend, or an existing client. But unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as often as we’d like.
Sophisticated marketers today don’t simply depend or restrict themselves to only word-of-mouth clients. They are using as many marketing campaign modules that they can get their hands on, that relate to their targeted audiences of course. They are versatile. They use the internet, good old mailers, telemarketing, and even broadcast ads. Making their business a household name is their (lofty) goal. But, if they’re out there and getting their name in front of people, the potential for referrals certainly becomes more feasible.