Since the dawn of time, word of mouth has been, and continues to be, the best form of advertising.
It may come as a surprise, but despite all our advances in technology and communication, word of mouth is still the best way to get your message out. How come? A few simple reasons:
- It’s pre-filtered: Usually your social circle is made up of people who are like-minded, with similar values. This means that when they think something is good, you don’t need to question the basis on which they have decided that – you already know they have similar standards and expectations.
Your friends will also tend to mention things that relate to you and your circumstances. So unless they miss all the social cues, they won’t recommend an amazing place to buy a diamond ring if you’ve just lost your job.
- It’s free: Aside from the obvious costs of creating a great customer experience in the first place, getting those happy customers to tell their friends comes at no additional cost to you, the business.
- It’s interactive: Unlike a one-way advertisement, whether in print or digital, hearing about some great new product from your mates is a two-way conversation. You can clarify when, where and how much. You can ask for details they might not have volunteered in the first instance.
- It has no expiry date: Once people have a really good (or really bad!) experience, they tend to keep talking about it whenever the subject arises. Know the best place for cinnamon donuts? “Yeah I went to this place 6 months ago but I’m sure it’s still amazing…”
- It’s a trusted source: Your friends won’t usually try and trick you into trying something new (unless you’ve done something to deserve it!) so there’s no chance that when they say “these are the best runners I’ve ever owned” that they really meant “these runners fell apart after 3 weeks”.
So if you focus on creating great products and great experiences, people will talk. And talking is what you want them to do. Yes, you still need an integrated marketing strategy, a strong digital presence and a frequent review of your objectives; but when it comes down to it, how much you impress customers will remain a great baseline measure of success.