The most powerful method of marketing is also one of the most old fashioned: word of mouth. It impacts 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions, according to the research firm McKinsey. And 92% of consumers will act upon recommendations from friends and family over any other form of advertising, according to Nielsen.
Obviously, these person-to-person interactions about your brand matter. In its traditional form, word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing is a one-on-one conversation about a product or service between friends or family members. But modern technology has significantly broadened the reach. Consumers now share their experiences with companies on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter with hundreds of followers. Review sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List provide a platform for giving and finding feedback to help consumers weigh their options. And innumerable bloggers and online influencers test products and services, and share their thoughts with readers.
While online WOM is quick and convenient, it accounts to just one third of sales; offline conversations still hold the power, making up two-thirds of sales, according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).
So how can you put this powerful marketing tool to use? Here are five easy strategies retailers can implement to bolster buzz about your brand, increase awareness about your products or services, and boost your bottom line while you’re at it.