Monday, 26 august 2019 | Redacción CEU
You are likely to have found yourself in front of your TV secreen, cell phone or laptop thinking more than once: What series can I watch now? Series lovers know that one of the best ways to succeed in choosing new series to watch is through recommendations. Certainly, this recommendation will always be more useful when the person who gives it is closer to you, as friends and family know your tastes, what you are like and what may surprise you. There is so much to see and so little time to do it that nobody wants to risk making a bad decision. It is when the "word of mouth" strategy becomes one of the best guarantees of success. But people not only learn about new shows by asking, but by listening as well. When a series go beyond your expectations, you are the first person who wants to share your find. The rest of the people do the same. In fact, social networking sites now enable messages to go viral. The same thing happens with brands.
When analysts study what leads consumers to learning about a new brand, product or firm, they usually come to the same conclusion: "word of mouth" continues to be one of the key strategies to take into consideration. For example, this is the main conclusion of an analysis carried out by the company Yes Marketing. This study claims that there is a perceptible difference between the influence exerted by friends and family and the one exerted by other channels. In particular, 45% of consumers learn about new brands thanks to their inner circle. The rest of them find them out through other formulas such as searching for information on Google (16%), watching traditional advertisements (14%), reading users reviews and via recommendation (8%) or listening to the messages of influencers and celebrities (4%).
For a long time, "word of mouth" has been presented as one of the most powerful tools to win customers over. However, the technological development, new techniques and, in short, the passing of time have ended up eclipsing this humble strategy. According to a study conducted by Data & Marketing Association (in partnership with Mention Me), only 23% of companies now have referral programs to promote customer acquisition. Marketers understand what the potential of recommendations is, as is evidenced in their interest in influence marketing, but sometimes they forget that old maxim that says: "The closer the person who gives you a recommendation is, the greater capacity to influence they have". That is the reason why, today, in CEU IAM's Blog, we offer a series of tips for boosting the "word of mouth" strategy in your company:
You should never pay a consumer to speak highly of your brand. You can always use the help of an influencer to promote a campaign. However it is crucial that celebrities are convinced of the brand's benefits and that their profiles fit with the brands' values. Otherwise, campaigns may fail. In the short term, someone may manage to pretend they are keen on a product or brand, but, at the end, truth will out. As time goes by, if their interest is false, consumers may notice the trick and, consequently, the reputation of influencers and firms will be in danger. Turning around such a situation is almost impossible. Likewise, a firm that hires fake consumers to generate positive comments risks losing its credibility. The best formula to persuade and promote conversations is to bet on quality and truth. Find out what makes your brand different and what is best about it, as well as work on its continuous improvement!
Customers cannot help talking about a brand when they are surprised by it and obtain from it something that no other firms give. In other words, consumers love brands that exceed their expectations. For example, it is not the same to sell a box with fruit than a basket with a custom packing that includes a cover letter with the origin and characteristics of each product. Raise the bet!
You cannot work on a "word of mouth" strategy when you do not offer a place where it can be employed. While it is true that the recommendations with the greatest influence are those that are made from a close range, it is also true that, when a brand does not invite its customers to talk, it provides few options for customers to talk about it. The spaces where users can leave comments on are not only useful for generating more conversation, but also for discovering the weaknesses of products and services and how they can be improved. Criticism may turn into something positive, as long as they are listened to with a constructive spirit.
The "word of mouth" strategy is classic but still effective. However, something has changed. People no longer interact in the same way. Probably, a few years ago, most conversations took place in streets, queues of the cinemas, pubs,... A large part of these conversations now take place on social networking sites. To give people something to talk about, it is necessary to be where customers hold these conversations. Of course, this does not mean that other channels are irrelevant, but that greater attention should be paid to social media. Consumers want to meet brands in a more personal way. Firms need to be really creative, cultivate a relationship with clients and talk at the same level with them. Only in that way will they be able to sow the seed that can make their messages become viral.
From "the word of mouth" to the bet on a brand, there is only one step: believe in its power!
The CEU IAM Business School offers an Advanced Programme in Marketing Management aimed at professionals who want to specialize in the communication strategy as well as offline and online marketing of products or services through the use of different traditional and digital channels. This training puts at the student's service strategies to develop multi-channel campaigns that generate a higher ROI, having a positive impact on the company's accounts. Ask for further information!