In a social world where just about anything has become shareable, people love to talk about great deals and services both online and offline —from excellent restaurants to the hottest product or the latest online exclusive.

In an October 2011 study by Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), survey shows that the typical American drops specific brand names about 60 times in a conversation, may it be online or offline. This is one of the principles behind word of mouth marketing-a common strategy of start-ups, local entrepreneurs, and small businesses.

The Association defines word of mouth marketing as any business strategy that warrants customer recommendation and subsequent purchasing of a product or service.

Happy Customers have Power

  • Preference. Consumers are highly-critical when it comes to major purchases, and friend recommendation is a highly influential factor during decision-making.

  • Purchase. Great reviews establish trust and credibility for your business, getting you more sales.

  • Sharing. A satisfied customer will always share to a friend who will later on share to another friend. Word of mouth marketing is a viral cycle. Many a success story has been achieved just because a star blogger raved about a certain product online, and next thing you know, audiences and readers are lining up to see what the rave is all about.

5 Principles of WOMMA and how we could all learn from it

  1. Credible. False advertising, fake reviews, no matter how profitable, is deemed as unethical. Statements about a product between sellers and buyers or between peers should be authentic.

  2. Respectful. Transparency begets trust which, in turn, produces strong relationships. A customer who feels secure about his/her business transactions with a company can easily recommend the said services to a friend.

  3. Social. Word of mouth marketing is focused on spreading and sharing conversations.Through these stories, a friend of the buyer will remember these recommendations even if they’re not looking to buy for now.

  4. Measurable. Monitoring and evaluation is important for endeavors that are on beta or testing stage. This is true for marketing since the success of advertising is always dependent on the reception of people.

  5. Repeatable. Marketing strategies should easily be replicated to establish a “talkable” brand. In the age of Retweets, Share, and Reblogs, it is important to release eye-catching statements that will become the talk of the town, virtually or not.

So How to Earn Customer Recommendations?

  • Aim to be the best product or service in a specific category. Target local customers or a specific niche market first and they will be the first to rave about you if you’re looking to expand in the future.

  • Provide a quality customer experience — as any business man would know, every customer counts.

  • Solidify buyer-seller relationship by giving incentives to loyal clients and followers.

  • Showcase customer testimonials and reviews by posting them on your business website and share them on Facebook or Twitter.

And if you’re thinking of  giving your business the online exposure it needs on social and beyond, take a look at our business website designs and small business marketing packages at thedesignpeople.com/business.

Posted on December 15, 2011 by Eve

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