Word of Mouth Advertising (WOM)—even if you are not a marketer, you are probably no stranger to this term. Word of mouth marketing is the natural conversation about your business and your message between a customer and another person or group, either spoken out loud or documented somewhere on the internet. This act is considered to be one of the strongest forms of customer acquisition, and it is important for businesses of all sizes.
Word of mouth is so effective because of its credibility. We trust our family, friends, and other consumers in our same position. Their recommendations and opinions carry more weight than advertising spots on television or the radio.
When a consumer receives impeccable service or has an experience that was better than expected, it is a natural reaction to want to share it. On the same note, when a consumer receives less than excellent service and is unhappy with a product or service, they are also going to want to share it. Technology has made it even easier for consumers to share their experiences. Texting, social media, and online review sites make it easy to tell your friends and others in your area about your experiences at a particular company.
One happy customer who felt that their experience with your company was worth sharing with others can lead to dozens of new customers. On the same note, one unhappy customer can turn away dozens of potential customers.
Advantages of WOM Marketing
Trust-As previously mentioned, people trust their family, friends, and co-workers. Their word is credible, and if a product or service worked for a friend or family member, the consumer is likely to choose it for themselves.
Low Cost- There is no direct cost for WOM marketing. However, in order to receive great WOM marketing, you need to provide the customer with an experience worth sharing, which comes with costs such as training great employees, offering rewards and maintaining your business.
Ripple Effect- Although the results of WOM can be hard to track, if your business makes it a priority to deliver unexpected value, the referrals will continue to come.
How can your business get customers to talk? Go above the normal customer service expectations. Reward them, surprise them and excite them! You can trigger word of mouth marketing from customers by spicing up your marketing mix with promotional products.
Thank You/Welcome Packages:
Thanking or Welcoming new customers for signing up for your product or services is a great way to generate emotion and make your customers feel appreciated. This is a great way to develop stronger customer relationships and to get people to talk about your company to friends. Your welcome package or thank you package should include a note or card, as well as a small gift. Your gift could be anything from a small wrapped chocolate bar to a pen or a custom mug.
Something to take home:
Giving customers something in addition to what they purchased is a great way to provide them with added value. If your business is a retail location, try packaging purchases in custom reusable grocery totes. Not only do tote bags generate a lot of impressions for your brand, they are also an item that the customer can keep, reuse and show people. Try to pick an item that ties in well with what your business does– if you’re a bookstore try bookmarks, if you’re a bank or financial advisor try an adhesive phone wallet or money bank..
Host a Contest:
Contests are exciting and people love prizes! If you host a contest, make sure that it is easy to enter so that customers feel that entering is worth their time. To increase the amount of social sharing, host your contest on a social media platform and make “sharing” your page to their feed of friends part of entering. Make the contest prize a higher ticket item like an expensive travel bag or a power bank.
Create a referral program and offer some kind of reward to people who refer friends. Make sure they only get the prize if the referral actually becomes a customer. Possible prizes could be imprinted travel mugs, headphones, umbrellas.
Remember to make sure that these efforts are in addition to your other advertising promises. Promotional products can help boost the customer’s overall experience and excitement about your business, but excellent service still needs to be a top priority!
Do you have any WOM success stories for your company? Are you currently using any form of promotional products to encourage customers to talk about your business to others?