According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey in 2012, ’92 percent of respondents in 56 different countries said they trusted word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family above all other forms of communication.’ * In short – when brands are introduced to us by someone we know and trust, it has huge impact on whether, and how soon, we try the brand. This is the power of word of mouth.
Word-of-mouth may sound like one of those naff terms that don’t really mean much but that marketeers throw around to big themselves and their clients up. But even if this is true, the concept is core to every ad we see. Why do companies spend billions on posters covering the tub stations? Why do they make expensive video commercials or bombard social media?
They want attention. They want people to recognise and to talk about the brand. They want to sow the seed that can generate a lead and eventually end up as a sale. They want people to talk to people, to their friends and their families, about the brand or the product. Marketeers know that people don’t listen to that huge poster. But they’ll notice it, and the brand name or logo might fasten in their minds, so that the next time a conversation moves into related territory, the brand is top of mind.
People, you and I included, we listen to our friends. We see ads, commercials, shake our heads and mutter ‘how silly who would buy that’. But we listen when someone we know talk about a product. When your mum praises a particular brand of cleaning spray, or your mate from uni recommends a pub. When the stylish colleague of yours mention their favourite shop, or your bezzie from school recommends a book. We are influenced by the people around us.
If you can make sure your brand is noticeable, if you and your staff give your customers a great experience, if your products are worth it – customers will talk about you. They’ll tell their friends, talk about it to their mums and sisters, brothers or dads, and post about it on social media. This is the marketing you want. Big campaigns are great – but everyone can generate positive word-of-mouth marketing even with lower budgets.