Word of Mouth by Remy Bergsma @remybergsma

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

A question that is asked on many surveys and during other contact moments between companies and (potential) clients. The organizations would like to know how you first got to know them, so they’re able to measure to some extent the quality and result (ROI) of their marketing channels. Some channels have better facilities in place to measure that result though: email marketing is quite measurable and so are some of the other online marketing channels.

However word of mouth is one that is hard to measure because so many factors are involved: who promoted the company, when did this happen, why, how does that person use the product or services of the company, and so on. However, word of mouth is one of a company’s most valuable types of promotion: all it needs to get going is a good quality of service you deliver and enthusiastic employees who are passionate about their job.

From xkcd:

The title tag (mouseover) of the image says: “There are a lot of books on marketing out there. I wonder if you’re safest just buying the most popular one”. It’s of course a jab at marketing itself: the one company which has the biggest and best configured marketing drum kit reaches the most potential and existing customers. When you actually deliver a great product or service  it does help for word of mouth: you’re on top of anyone’s mind who get asked for suggestions. Wouldn’t it be nice if your company and product is named? It takes some effort, but will pay out big.

Tips for promoting word of mouth can be found here on Hubpages: they include giving your customers something special that is worth talking about with others: be it a (special) gift, a certain service for free or something else that makes you stand out from the gray mass. A real life example of word of mouth is what Groupon does: they give you $10 for referring a friend: a direct, clear reward for word of mouth activity. Not all businesses can engage in such tactics, but rewarding or promoting word of mouth with your customers can make a huge difference with brand recognition and promotion.

Takeaway: Word of mouth is hard to measure as a lead source, but is very much worth the effort of delivering great service and telling your customers to spread the word about how great it actually is. Make sure there’s a process in place to actively promote word of mouth.

What are you doing with word of mouth? Leave us a comment!

Meet the author:

Remy Bergsma

Remy Bergsma

Professionally trained multimedia producer turned email marketing specialist, having 4 years of experience in the Dutch email marketing business working at an ESP (Blinker). Areas of interest include email design, end user experience and campaign management. Very community and people minded. Personally sports, photography, music and movies keep me busy.

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