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97% of Business Owners Don’t Have One.

Posted by Ron Bloomingkemper in Relationship Marketing
“Where does most of your business come from?” 
Ninety-seven percent of business owners I’ve asked this question to have told me, “word of mouth.” Then I ask, “how much money are you spending on your word or mouth marketing campaign?” After a few seconds of nothing but blank stares, they say, “nothing.” “Well”, I ask, “where do you spend your money in advertising?” They’ll tell me things like, brochures, billboards, a postcard every now and then, oh, and the yellow pages. “How much business are you getting from those venues?” I ask. Again with the blank stares. “Well, I’m not sure, since we don’t really track it.” is the usual response.
So let me get this straight. You know exactly where most of your business comes from (referrals by word of mouth) yet you have no referral marketing strategy, and you are throwing all your money into advertising that you don’t know if it’s working. The answer I get after that statement is normally, “Yeah, that’s crazy.” then they say, “So what is a word of mouth campaign and how to I create one?”
97% of business owners do not have a word of mouth marketing campaign. 
I’m glad you asked. Let’s lay the foundation for word of mouth marketing.
Word of mouth is the act of consumers providing information to other consumers.Word of mouth marketing is all about giving a reason to talk about your products and services, and making it easier for that conversation to take place. It is the art and science of building active, mutually beneficial consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-marketer communications.
According to the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association, Word of mouth marketing is a pre-existing phenomenon that marketers are only now learning how to harness, amplify, and improve. Word of mouth marketing isn’t about creating word of mouth—it’s learning how to make it work within a marketing objective.  That said, word of mouth can be encouraged and facilitated. Companies can work hard to make people happier, they can listen to consumers, they can make it easier for them to tell their friends, and they can make certain that influential individuals know about the good qualities of a product or service.
Word of mouth marketing empowers people to share their experiences. It’s harnessing the voice of the customer for the good of the brand. And it’s acknowledging that the unsatisfied customer is equally powerful. Word of mouth can’t be faked or invented. Attempting to fake it is unethical and creates a backlash, damages the brand, and tarnishes your reputation. Consumers are intelligent, they can spot marketing meant to fool them.
All word of mouth marketing techniques are based on the concepts of customer satisfaction, two-way dialogue, and transparent communications. The basic elements are:
  • Educating people about your products and services
  • Identifying people most likely to share their opinions
  • Providing tools that make it easier to share information
  • Studying how, where, and when opinions are being shared
  • Listening and responding to supporters, detractors, and neutrals.
Word of mouth is the only marketing based on genuinely passionate people. It’s the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. Now let’s learn all the different types of word of mouth you can apply to your business.

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