In a world where most people never look up from there phones, you’d think that the ‘word of mouth’ crutch would fade away… but it doesn’t!! I have a bone to pick with this famous marketing strategy. So join me for the ride.
If you ask almost any brand new business how they plan to get the word out about their business they will almost always say “word of mouth”. I’ve personally been on the receiving end of that line hundreds of times. Realtors, specialty watches, insurance reps, job head hunters, etc. If you search through the forums business and marketing sites you’ll see the same three words pop up time and time again. So what’s my problem with word of mouth? The people toting this marketing strategy don’t actually do anything!
If you’re an established business, having your existing clients rep your products to their family and friends is an amazing and powerful tool for your business. BUT If you’re brand new, and have no (or very few) customers than who is going to be spreading that word?! If nobody knows who you are, they wont and can’t spread the word. In the beginning you would be better served picking up a phone and cold calling prospects to build your business. Even larger companies shouldn’t rely entirely on word of mouth.
The trend of relying on word of mouth is hurting businesses and new entrepreneurs. Look, I get it. You’re afraid of picking up the phone and calling someone. Building a strong marketing campaign can be difficult and requires a lot of work. Instead of working in a more complex marketing strategy, entrepreneurs think their service or product is SO GOOD that everyone will just be lining up to buy and talk about it… which is never the case.
So understand that having others spread the word about you and your business is amazing and powerful, but don’t be so narcissistic that you believe you can do it on that alone. Your competition will beat you out every time, because they will understand that being available on social media, in the newspaper, geofencing, or the other hundreds of marketing strategies, will get them the business you were waiting for.