Don't Underestimate What Word of Mouth Can Do for You

Article excerpt

ALL businesses should follow a structured marketing programme to develop their market.

While there are business operators in Northern Ireland who disagree with this, a significant number of them will have no active programme in place.

Although there are many successful, marketing orientated businesses, a significant proportion that I meet regard marketing as an afterthought to their sales process.

The reasons given for not embracing structured programmes are cost, time and expertise related. The reality is that their competitors are targeting the same customers.

The question is what will differentiate their business from their competitor? The answer from the majority is 'Customer Service'.

However, it is worth remembering that people are more likely to talk about a business if they are unhappy with its service than when things are fine (up to 10 times more likely). Therefore it could be viewed that good Customer Service does more to reduce negative comments than it does to increase positive comments. In essence then, is Customer Service positively differentiating your business?

I believe that there is one area of marketing that can help differentiate businesses and negate reasons for not embracing any structured marketing programme. It's simple. Get back to basics and develop a 'word of mouth' based business!

A WOM marketing programme will bring exceptional focus and encourage them to embrace a strategic marketing approach within their business.

There are fundamental strategies to be adopted within any WOM marketing plan and the main steps are:

1. …