What actually is word-of-mouth marketing?
Who does not know this one sentence: “I know someone who can help you …” This advice does not appear in any advertising budget, but is worth gold. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a good craftsman or an interesting internet portal. Companies win new orders through recommendations from satisfied customers – word-of-mouth marketing is the attempt to steer this spontaneous process into certain channels.
It is the well-known word of mouth that more and more companies are discovering for their marketing.
Today’s consumers suffer from over stimulation, and advertising fatigue is widespread. One is particularly suspicious of manipulative forms of advertising that promise the blue of the sky.
A recommendation from the circle of friends has a completely different effect: There is a relationship of trust here, and a recommendation is usually only made if the performance of a company has been excellent.
Employees must also be convinced of this in order to develop the courage to ask satisfied customers for a recommendation.
In addition, they should know their own position in the market well, because this way they can draw attention to particular advantages of the company. If a customer makes a recommendation for their own company, one should also thank them for it.
So what does the term “word-of-mouth marketing” mean? A proven and trustworthy source of information is used to make products or services known through unselfish recommendations.
Three Basic Rules in Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Christoph Portmann has headed his article “Free to new customers”, in which he advises to heed three basic rules in word-of-mouth marketing:
- “Services must be outstanding, therefore recommendable”
A company should focus on its strengths and design the service in such a way “that it becomes unique”. Concentration and specialization lead to clearly defined target groups in mind.
These target groups should be as homogeneous as possible: “The more homogeneous the needs and expectations, the easier it is to offer a convincing and recommendable service,” said Portmann. “Similar problems and wishes” can be found in the network of the homogeneous target group, which prepares recommendations for good ground.
- “The mechanisms behind a recommendation must be known”
New customers should always be asked who recommended the company to them. It is also important to know why the recommendation was made.
The person making the recommendation was particularly enthusiastic about the performance and of course arouses high expectations of the company among his friends.
These expectations should not be disappointed – “a customer speaks positively about a company if he gets more than expected,” writes Portmann.
- “Relationships must be actively cultivated”
A company should build up a network of private and social contacts. Portmann: “As a rule, every adult has around 250 to 1000 contacts with family members, acquaintances, friends and business partners.”
These people are potential referrers if they are given the necessary attention. In this way, a company would have “up to a million free contacts” if the networks of all acquaintances were also involved.
Why use promotional items at major events?
Large events offer an opportunity for the use of advertising material. The visitors of such events can be found there for certain reasons.
The focus is mostly on the main act and the events themselves. Nice attentions and practical promotional items are still a welcome plus that visitors receive in addition to the emotional experiences and are happy to take them with them.
The memories of the advertising company are saved in a particularly pleasant way due to the positive ambient atmosphere. In addition, a broad target group is addressed at large events. Every visitor is a potential customer who wants to be carried on hands. By distributing giveaways at major events, it is shown that relevant contacts will continue to be maintained and that the company is interested in working together.
Printed promotional items establish this connection, but of course do not guarantee a subsequent business relationship.
However, the chances are sure to increase. When combined with promotions, vouchers or discounts, the small gifts look even more interesting. This can even lead to purchase decisions or orders. The arguments in favor of promotional items at major events are far-reaching. The following reasons can convince you: This can even lead to purchase decisions or orders. The arguments in favor of promotional items at major events are far-reaching.
“More than two thirds of consumer purchase decisions have been influenced by word of mouth,” a study by McKinsey states. An enormous potential for word-of-mouth marketing, which is still in its infancy in many companies. According to the “Service Report 2008”, 85 percent of service providers get new orders through recommendations from regular customers.
But two thirds of the companies do not ask their customers to recommend them personally. So word of mouth has to get around.