Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful tool for advertising a business, and it’s only going to get more important over time – as discussed in this ridiculously long infographic (courtesy of HubSpot), buyers are starting to ignore brand claims and celebrity promotions in favor of getting recommendations from friends. In essence, the spread of opinions has created a type of groupthink that’s making decisions for people – and businesses who can take advantage of this are the ones most likely to thrive over time.
Marketing Techniques and Word of Mouth
So, what is it that actually convinces someone to become a promoter for a product? There are a number of possibilities, but among the most common are:
- A great buying experience (a better deal than they expected, fantastic customer service, an unexpectedly reliable product, etc.)
- A feeling of connection with the company
- A desire to help their social circle (this is usually passive promotion – they give a suggestion when asked, rather than initiating the conversation)
When consumers begin the buying process with a positive experience – usually in the form of finding the answer to a pain point they’re experiencing – they’re considerably more likely to associate a given product or service with solving that problem. That, in turn, is what completes the sales funnel by turning a buyer into a promoter – but this isn’t going to happen unless marketing nurtures them along the entire buying process.
The Value of a Marketing Consultant
User experience is the core of spreading a product via word of mouth. This is where marketing consultants enter the picture – they’re the difference between, for example, discounting a product to improve sales and discounting a product to improve sales and make customers feel like they got a great deal. The latter is more likely to lead to the product being spread by word of mouth, thereby improving the overall sales of your product.
Becoming a recognizable, well-liked brand takes specific planning, and many businesses these days haven’t invested the effort necessary to improve both brand recognition and user experience. Here are some questions you can ask your own marketing consultant before you get started on your next advertising plan:
- What can we change to improve the user’s experience during this campaign?
- Are there any good ways to follow up on customers who purchased something?
- Is there anything in our sales funnel that’s going to make buyers upset instead of happy?
- How can we make it easier for people to discuss our products?