Here's 4 Reasons Why
Has the majority of your book of business been established and maintained through word-of-mouth? This is common, and many small business owners who have relied on this strategy to fuel their initial growth overlook the importance of a strong, omni-channel marketing strategy to propel their business to the next level.
Don’t get us wrong: Word-of-mouth is a powerful form of marketing, driving $6 trillion in total annual global spending. (Yes, that was trillion with a T – put down the magnifying glass). It’s also cost-effective, requiring a zero-dollar investment. So, with this powerful, free tool, do you really need to invest your capital in other forms of marketing? The answer is YES, you absolutely do. Here’s why:
Business is a dog-eat-dog world (cliché, but true). There are tons of competition constantly fighting for your position within the market. Just because you’re well-established doesn’t mean you’re safe. It’s essential to communicate to your customers why they should be choosing you over the rest. If you’re depending on word-of-mouth do to this for you, you’re missing out on a massive piece of the market. These are the 4 reasons why relying on word-of-mouth marketing holds your business back.
Word-of-mouth marketing has built-in limitations. Relying on your current customer base to send you new business is a dangerous tactic, as there is zero guarantee that the people who are hearing about you are in the market for the solution you provide. Referral traffic is great, but majority of the time, it leads to very little measurable results. Brands should be proactively getting in front of the right people at the right time, not just sitting back and hoping that current clients will send the right people their way.
For example, let’s say you’re a women’s shoe store in Vero Beach. One of your customers gushes over her recent purchase to her brother in Milwaukee during a catch-up facetime. Maybe for a second he’ll think about picking up his wife a Christmas gift at your store next time they visit, but chances are slim. Meanwhile, the new women’s shoe store that just opened down the block is running a digital campaign targeted at females in Indian River County who have been searching for shoes online. Slowly but surely, your established business will begin to lose out to the new kid on the block.
Lack of Control
Word-of-mouth marketing puts your customers in the driver’s seat for one of the most significant pieces of your operational structure. Would you want a customer responsible for paying your invoices and filing your taxes? (Yikes). Investing in other forms of marketing allows you to take control over the message that you want to convey, who hears that message, and how often they hear it. Word-of-mouth is leaving the message of your brand up to the perception of a stranger. There is little to no control over how they communicate your value proposition. Strategizing how your brand speaks to consumers puts you in the driver’s seat.
They’re still going to Google you
It’s 2023. Even if someone gets a recommendation from a friend, family member, or colleague, they are still going to do a little research for themselves on the world wide web. An impressive digital presence is essential. They’ll either end up browsing your site or stalking your social profiles (probably both), and if your marketing channels are not strategically aligned with what the potential client is looking for, you may as well kiss them goodbye. Chances are they will end up at one of your competitors that prioritized a strong marketing strategy to enhance their sales funnel. This leads to the next and final point…
A Referral Doesn't Equal a Sale
A word-of-mouth referral may put someone at the top of your sales funnel, but there’s an entire journey that the consumer goes through prior to completing a purchase. A marketing communications strategy that is well planned and executed properly will keep this customer engaged throughout the entire journey. A word-of-mouth conversation may be easily forgotten, but when it’s supplemented with omni-channel marketing tactics designed to move leads through the funnel, your brand will glow and remain top of mind. Many small business owners don’t realize that high-level marketing prevents leads from slipping through the cracks.
Marketing is essential to the success of any business, big, small, or in between. The mom-and-pop shops need it just as much as the Fortune 500s. After all, business is business. Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired to implement some expert tactics and keep your business competitive and thriving in an ever-changing market. Don’t know where to start? Good news, we can handle it.
This is what we do best.