Webster dictionary defines Marketing as “The total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.”
In my words it is the way your business communicates to your market – to every person who has ever in the past or will in the future purchase from you.
Most marketing involves communicating a message, promoting your business in some way through some medium whether it is newspaper, website advertising, direct mail or any of the other traditional marketing methods. And then waiting, waiting and add a little hoping that someone will see your advertisement or letter or web advert and think ‘Oh, I so need them’ and then call you up and order something from you or hire you to perform a service.
I’ve worked out there is allot of waiting and hoping involved in these forms of marketing. One never really can tell a)how many people will actually see, let alone read the advert, letter or brochure and b)how many will go the next step and actually call you to book in for whatever you’re selling.
So what is a business owner to do?
There has been allot of hype around social media and online networking this year and there are some brilliant sites for connecting with clients, connecting with friends and family and promoting your business. But if you think about it, some of this still goes back to communicating your message – waiting, waiting and hoping someone will pick up the phone or complete an online order form and purchase from you. Again with the wait and see option.
Social Media can be used to support and foster word of mouth marketing as long as you use it correctly.
Then you have referral marketing or Word of Mouth marketing. Word of Mouth – strange phrase really when you sit and say it over a few times. Word of Mouth. What it really means is people talking to people which we do all day, every day.
Where it gets interesting for business owners is when a business can promote word of mouth as a form of marketing for ones business. Imagine… getting people to happily and often times passionately talk about your business, free marketing. And the best part of this type of marketing is that over 75% of business is generated this way. 75%. That means that no matter what kind of marketing you spend your hard earned dollar on, 75% of your clients whether they see an advert in the paper, a web advert, a brochure or a letter in the mail they will make the decision to use your products and services because they have heard from someone they know, like and trust that you’re the business to buy from.
Go figure. So why spend money on anything other than generating, fostering and enhancing word of mouth and referral marketing strategies?
You got me. I don’t think we should be. At least not to the extent that allot of businesses are. Yes its great doing a one-off radio campaign when you have a mother’s day sale and want to attract crowds in for a weekend, or you have just launched a new product and you want to promote it through your local paper. But really… if you have spent time and energy on referral marketing strategies including building a database of all your clients, prospects, and contacts then do you really need to go down the road of traditional marketing? I’m not so sure.