SMALL BUSINESS MARKETING
Many small business owners cannot define the meaning of the word “Marketing”. The majority of the small business owners I have spoken with define marketing as the process of getting new customers.
I then ask how marketing is accomplished. How do you get new customers to call you? That question usually opens the flood gates, and hundreds of “marketing methods” come forth. Let me share a few of the more common answers: social media, radio advertising, cold calls, Angie’s list, networking events, television, direct mail, participating in trade shows, car signs, e-newsletters, brochures, blogs, e-mail campaigns, etc.
Not one of the people I asked mentioned a “word of mouth” marketing campaign. I believe that this type of marketing may be the primary factor behind almost half of all purchasing decisions. As an example, in my neighborhood someone started a neighborhood on-line open forum. Hundreds of homeowners now participate in this free communication system, and I receive at least two notifications a day about issues in our area. The most common questions asked are “do you know” or “can you refer me to”. The requests were for doctors, plumbers, attorneys, landscaper’s, painters; I believe you get the idea. This is a great example of the power behind “word of mouth” marketing.
There are a lot of examples of the power found in word of mouth marketing. I’m sure that all of you have eaten at a good restaurant or seen a good movie and told someone else about it.
Yes, there is a science to developing an effective word of mouth marketing campaign just as there is a lot of expertise required in all the other marketing methods mentioned earlier.
Every product or service, no matter how boring it may seem, can develop a strong word of mouth campaign. The key to starting this process is finding something about the product or service that makes it interesting, surprising, or different.
At BizQuack we are developing an outline to help our members in the implementation of an effective word of mouth marketing program. There is also a lot of information available in books and on the internet. As consultants we want to become the leading experts in this area.
“Do what you do so well that people can’t resist telling others about you.” Walt Disney
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