Marketing – The importance of word of mouth

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This is another installment of my Marketing posts, geared towards those of us who are business owners, consultants, or anyone with external clients.

Today we’re going to be talking about the importance of word of mouth advertising.

As you know, I own a company that provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. As a business owner, I’m responsible for choosing how to advertise my business and how to bring in new clients and sell my services. I’ve done everything from unaddressed ad-mail to radio to newspaper advertising. I’ve sponsored trade shows and I’m a member of my local Chamber of Commerce. Even my vehicles are part of my advertising plan. Yet, nothing, absolutely nothing can come close to the power of ‘word of mouth’ advertising.

Your existing clients are your best advertising. When they are happy with the service you provide, they will tell others. More specifically, the happier they are with your service, the more of an effort they will make to tell others. If your service exceeds their expectations, again, the effort to tell others about it will be increased a hundred-fold. Here is an image I compiled of actual quotes out of reference letters that I’ve gotten from some of my current clients:


On the flip side, if your service is not up to expectations, then word of mouth advertising can become negative for you. If a client “fires you”, you can bet they won’t be saying nice things about you to anyone else. If you find yourself on this side of the ‘word of mouth’ fence, it can be VERY difficult to turn it around or mitigate the damage caused by it.

The best thing of all is that ‘word of mouth’ advertising is completely free. You don’t have to pay for it, and it is by far the more ingenuous and sincere form of advertising. If you get a flyer in the mail, you may think to yourself “alright, that’s neat, I might give those guys a call, but I better ask for some references”. If a trusted business partner or vendor tells you “oh man, we use these IT guys and they are SO AWESOME. Honest, reliable, and a reasonable hourly rate!”, then you’re more likely to take that at face value and not be as suspicious.

Remember, sometimes paying for something, in this case, advertising, isn’t necessarily the best way to get it done.

More can be read here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/word-of-mouth-advertising

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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