Word of Mouth publicity – still the best marketing tool
Rajesh Balkrishna Padalkar
Principal Owner, Blkrsna Media Events Hospitality
There is a term which most of us remember fondly – “Friday-First Day First Show.” The importance of this term was that it influenced the fortunes of the new films. It swayed the destinies of film stars and producers. New talent was born and many a times established super stars crashed to earth from their stardom. The first reaction of the audience coming out from the theatre after watching the film, decided if it was a hit or a flop. If the people gave a favorable response the news spread in the community, thereby pursuing others to watch the film. Any negative feedback restricted others to come to the theatres. In the absence of social media, the word-of-mouth publicity was the best marketing tool.
He said that, in the presence of the social media too, the Word-of-Mouth publicity is still the best form of marketing tool.
Word-of-mouth marketing is important for every business – big or small, as each customer can bring dozens of others your way. So, the best persons to talk about your products are your existing happy customers. For example, if you want to buy a new car or a new house or even if you want to go for a vacation, the first person you ask for their opinions are your friends and family persons. Recommendations given by them are believed very easily as they are trusted persons to you. Feedback given by them has a definite impact on your decision. If the feedback is negative then it definitely makes you for some other alternatives. Word-of-mouth marketing is important because consumers trust their family members, friends, and colleagues, so hearing they talk positively about a brand or a product makes them want to try it out, too. It’s an effective type of marketing because it’s based on sharing positive experiences from people who’ve tried a service or product and are very much happy about sharing their own personal experiences. Hearing a positive first-hand experience from a friend in your close social circle greatly influences the decision to buy.
Whether your business is small or big, following are the best ways to have your own Word-of-Mouth campaigns through modern day social media.
Happy Customer Testimonials:
In the digital world one of the first campaigns to have would be publish an interview with a happy and reputed customer. Simple questions are to be asked to the customer to get favourable replies. This short 4–5-minute video can be uploaded on YouTube and the link can be shared with everybody. Such a video always influences other customers to avail your services or buy your products.
In most businesses, also in the textile field, the owner or a top management person is interviewed for this purpose. It would also make sense if the supervisory level or shop floor level person’s interview is also taken and published across the social and print media. Imagine the word-of mouth publicity generated by a technician in his or her friend circle and the message it gives to others who may be in the same field but may not be using this particular service or product. The goodwill generated by this act cannot be measured in terms of direct revenue but it certainly creates a good image of the company. Also in the long term you never know, if the todays technician is tomorrows decision maker, he or she is surely to buy your product/machines first.
Another way to generate word-of-mouth publicity is to have a customer day celebration in your area or city and ask one of the prominent customers in that area to be a guest or key note speaker. This customer is the soft advocate and ambassador of your product. His or her influence can reach and spark conversations and interest in your product/brand. The amount of free publicity generated is more than equal to a big and costly marketing campaign. The potential customer is motivated to make a quick decision. If he or she had multiple options then after hearing from an industry peer the best choice is zeroed on. If someone else has purchased from the brand and says it’s worth it, then there is no reason not to trust them.
Make people talk about your service/product:
The more your customers and potential customers talk and discuss about you, the better mileage you get. A very simple way is to have a contest for your sector or industry with attractive prizes as giveaways. As for most of the contests generally there are three prizes, but it would make sense to have 100 consolation prizes as well to have more winners. Circulate the contest details on your social media platforms and also on your WhatsApp groups. Keep the questions very easy to answer. This creates a buzz in the industry and a word-of-mouth campaign is generated by the initial users who influence and talk about your brands to other peers. This also helps you get a genuine data base of other potential customers who enter your contest.
Case studies/success stories:
This is another form of word-of-mouth marketing activity. A case study is generally a short document narrating the before and after events of a particular customer who has brought your service or product. The narrative details the pain the customer had with, perhaps some other product or the lack of that product. It then goes into the details of their journey to buy your product and then finally the benefits he or she had buy using your service/product. The success story almost certainly has a testimony from the buyer. Such customers, in most cases are generally people who are trusted in certain circles and they tend to be more relatable and approachable.
In conclusion we can say that however much you spend on your marketing campaign ultimately it’s your service/product and its end users who decide your profits. If the end user is happy and tells it to others, you need not bother about the growth of your business. Just keep your customers happy and they generate good will which brings in new customers.