Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Why Word of Mouth Matters

Who do you trust?
Your Best Friend?
Your Spouse?
Your Neighbor?
A Co-Worker?
A TV Commercial?
A full page ad in the Yellow pages?
A Spam e-mail?

I'm willing to bet that you trust people that you know over any form of paid advertising. When you are looking for a good deal on a computer, the best gas prices, a good meal, a bargain on whatever, if someone you trust gives you a recommendation, you are going to give that more weight than nearly anything else.

It's human nature. We are all marketing machines for the products and services we like.

So, is your paid advertising and marketing efforts designed to go with this flow, or is it contrary to what will cause people to talk about you?

Let's say you have a shoe store and your major sale designed to stimulate sales is "15% off". That's it.

You are setting yourself up for failure. Create something worth talking about. How about instead of giving your customers 15% off; you instead team up with a worthy cause, a local charity and donate 15% to that charity?

If you do it right, and create an event, you have created positive word of mouth that will create a good feeling and emotional bond with your customers that they will tell others about. (Oh, and repeat this event every year too!)

Look at the numbers. Either way you are going to get 15% less on each pair of shoes sold. But with the second option, that 15% is going to come back to you in goodwill, positive word of mouth and an emotional bond with your customers. The first option only means you get 15% less in your cash register and minimal word of mouth.

Do something that will get people talking, not just saving money.

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