Word of mouth – it has the power to make or break your business almost instantly. Throughout this part series, we’ll see just how important this marketing technique really is. To start with though, let’s get a feel for exactly what word of mouth is and what it means for your business.
Powerful Free Marketing
While other forms of marketing are powerful, word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. Considering how much ads and marketing campaigns are, it’s surprising that this marketing technique is also completely free. It may take slightly longer than premium marketing techniques, but once it takes off, it’s more effective since customers trust the experiences of other customers more than the ads they see.
The only cost is how you do business. People talk about the businesses they interact with. From the ads they see and the experiences they have to the products they purchase, people talk to each other. If people have positive experiences, you’ll benefit from the coveted positive word of mouth advertising.
The key is always treating people right and providing quality products and services. By doing this, you attract the right customers to your business, who continue spreading the word. This sustains your business in the long term.
The Other Side Of The Coin
Free marketing sounds great, right? But, the other side of the coin is word of mouth isn’t always positive. Even worse, people tend to be more vocal about bad news and it seems to travel faster than good news. A single bad experience or poor quality product is all it takes for customers to advise others not to buy your products or services. As you can see, word of mouth marketing can be just as detrimental as it is helpful.
Technology Boosts Word Of Mouth
Thanks to today’s technology, word of mouth is even more powerful than ever before. Instead of having to wait for people to talk in person, news about your business is talked about on blogs, podcasts, forums, social networks, emails, review sites and all other types of online platforms. Now, customers share their experiences more often and with a much wider audience.
Of course, this is great news for you. Simply providing great products, services, and customer experiences leads to free advertising for you. This is often called organic marketing since it doesn’t require paid tools to get results.
Shortening The Customer Decision Cycle
In order to increase positive word of mouth marketing, you need customers. Shortening the customer decision cycle helps you increase the number of customers sharing their experiences with others. Of course, you also increase sales. A few ways to increase your sales include:
- Increase how much customers spend per purchase
- Increase number of customers
- Increase frequency of purchases
Naturally, this won’t help if customers can’t make a faster decision. All you have to do is make the decision process simple, easy and fun. You’ll provide a friendly atmosphere for your customers to make their decisions faster and more confidently. This leads to more loyal customers, spending larger amounts at a time, referring friends and making quicker purchase decisions. This can raise your market shares by over 100x.
Often, the custom decision cycle is overlooked in marketing. However, it’s one of the most important components. If they’re not making fast decisions, it’s time to take a hard look at your company’s branding, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees and product quality.
Easy Decision Anxiety
A common obstacle when making purchase decisions is the anxiety involved. It’s up to your business to help soothe your customers’ anxiety. After all, they’re choosing to shop with a brand they’re not familiar with yet. And, it’s even more stressful when they’re making a large purchase.
If you make customers feel more comfortable, they’ll make a decision more quickly. A few of the ways to accelerate the process include:
- Make all benefits, features, claims and promises obvious and clear
- Offer complete, easy to understand and credible information
- Use clear comparisons
- Provide reliable guarantees that exceed customer expectations
- Offer easy to use trial periods
- Provide simple evaluations of your products and services
- Use real, relevant and positive testimonials
- Perfect your support, delivery and other operational systems
Remember, your website can become an experience that guides customers gently through the decision making process. Offer detailed information, customer support and guarantees that your business is there for them and has absolutely nothing to hide.
While this isn’t everything you need to know about word of mouth, this doesn’t finish up part one. Make sure to check out the next two posts in the series to learn more about this powerful marketing technique.
And, if you need help identifying your target market or increasing decision making speed, book a call with us today.