Marketing is a crucial part of every business. Without it we run the risk of never being noticed by potential customers. By definition it is the research, promotion, selling and distribution of our products or services. If we invest time and money in each of these areas, we will have customers and therefore we will have a business.
I remember growing up in the eighties and being excited when someone knocked on the door at dinner time. Standing on our doorstep was a salesman. To get your product noticed companies sold door to door. You could buy Tupperware, perfume and countless other goods. My family did. We bought a Kirby vacuum cleaner and the entire set of Encyclopaedia Britannica from a door to door salesman. That was one-way companies marketed their products and it worked. There were ads on television for Avon cosmetics with the catch cry "Avon calling". That's how Avon ladies announced they were on your doorstep. To sell product it was important to get it in front of people, show them why they couldn't live without it and get them invested so they sold it to themselves. Companies who succeeded at door to door sales knew how to research, promote, sell and distribute their product. They understood marketing. However, there was a drawback. Imagine how many hours were lost knocking on the doors of people who weren't home, or weren't interested.
Not much has changed in forty years. We still have door to door sales but really only to save money on your power bills, however marketing has become more of a science with technological advancements and social media is by far the fastest way to advertise to a worldwide audience. We invest time and money creating beautiful images to sell our products and we can now purchase from the comfort of our coach. We get access to large audiences quickly but the value and effectiveness of verbal communication is lost. So, it begs the question, is there any more we can do to sell our product? Is there another way to get our product noticed by potential customers? Is there an area of marketing we could explore further to ensure we have a business in this current climate or in any climate? I believe there is. It is called word of mouth.
Imagine your product advertised for free. Imagine your product being promoted without spending your money or time to do so. Anyone in business would love that. That would be amazing right? If we can create the ideal customer experience with our product and it is beyond what they expected they will in turn share their experience with others. That is word of mouth marketing. Now what if we take that one step further? What if your product was promoted directly to customers who need it? Who want it! Who love it? What if word of mouth marketing could target a specific person? Where you could control the referral process and keep track of the process of conversion. That is referral marketing. It is a way to create special bonds with people, so they refer their family and friends to your product. It is an important part of our marketing plan because without customers we do not have a business.
Can you recall the last time someone asked you for a referral? Was it for a restaurant, a plumber, a mortgage broker, an event designer? Let's change the question. When was the last time you raved about a product or service and couldn't help but tell everyone you know? You posted an amazing review online, shared the post and continued to talk about it for weeks or months. We all do that. We love to tell people how good our customer experience was and how we were blown away by the shops, the service, the food, the views, the room. "It was amazing! You have to go!"
So how do we harness all that positive energy and send it our way? How do we create customer referrals that have the phone ringing off the hook and the online bookings never ending? How do we create the ideal customer to become a part of our referral marketing? Who do we invest in to ensure we build a strong word of mouth campaign?
The answer is simple. Invest in people. Go beyond the business deal. Customers are not numbers; they are the lifeblood of our business. Think about the ways you can improve your product and your customer service. Think about the people you deal with, both customers and suppliers and choose someone to become a brand ambassador for your company. Choose a referral partner.
At Bill Lowe Events, we have several referral partners. We have invested in people who love what we do and have created a referral scheme to benefit both parties. We have taken word of mouth marketing and created a way to target specific new customers and keep track of the referral process at the same time. This has resulted in referrals to potential customers who love what we do before they talk with us for the first time. Most of the work getting the sale is done before we say hello because word of mouth marketing and referral marketing creates something worth talking about and encourages people to actively talk about it. Word of mouth is incredibly powerful and can account for up to 5X more sales than paid media. And with people 90% more likely to trust and buy from from a brand recommended by a friend, the importance of word of mouth marketing cannot be underestimated.
Reach out to us today to learn more about marketing for growth with Word of Mouth and Partnership Referrals.