Word of Mouth Marketing – Is It Part of Your Strategy?

POSTED: January 31, 2016 BY: CATEGORY:

It’s all too easy to forget about more traditional forms of marketing in the current digital era, but word of mouth is still a very valuable way to grow your business and well worth using as a marketing strategy.

It’s a common assumption that if you provide great service, your customers will automatically refer you to their friends and colleagues. This isn’t necessarily the case and without a clear word of mouth marketing strategy you might be missing out on some great opportunities to grow your business using the power of word of mouth marketing.

A strong word of mouth marketing strategy usually focuses on one or more of these three areas:

1. Referrals

The number of referrals you get are a direct indicator of how successful you are at meeting your clients or customers’ needs. Passively waiting to receive referrals might result in a few recommendations here and there, but putting a referral strategy into place can lead to a massive increase in the amount of referral business you get. Something as simple as asking for a referral or offering an incentive to customers who refer you to their friends can make a big difference to the amount of referral business you get.

2. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a way to structure your referral process and manage it more intensively. Affiliate marketing often works well with businesses in the B2B sphere. Affiliate marketing works well if you team up with other businesses in a similar industry but that aren’t in direct competition. For example, a web developer might team up with a graphic designer and refer people to them. For each referral they might get a percentage of the fee. This usually works out as a win-win situation where the designer is getting more business and the web developer is getting a kick back for each person they recommend.

3. Face to face networking

While they can be a bit awkward, there’s no doubt that attending networking events can lead to a substantial increase in word of mouth referrals. Even if you don’t receive any business directly from the people you meet at the event, you never know who they might be talking to in the future and what business they might send your way at a later date. Building your professional network can help you in a number of ways so it’s always worth getting involved in some kind of networking event at least once in a while.

In spite of the many newer forms of marketing out there, it’s still worth paying attention to word of mouth marketing. Whether you choose a structured affiliate program or you prefer to take a more spontaneous approach to your word of mouth marketing, it’s a strategy that can bring you great results for your business.

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#Jo Macdermott - turning good businesses into great businesses is all in a day’s work for marketing consultant, Jo Macdermott. Jo leads Next Marketing, a multiple award winning business, which she has grown from scratch. Jo is commercial, empathetic and always has her eye on the end game.