How to Promote your Business with Word of Mouth Marketing.

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I have seen businesses and companies spend millions of dollars on advertising just to increase sales and sustain their brand awareness. Now what about the small business owner who doesn’t have millions of dollars in advertising budget? Is there a way for small entrepreneurs to still attract some customers in the face of stiff competition? Well, I will advice you read on to find the answers you seek.

It’s often said that keeping a customer is cheaper than looking for a new customer. I think this statement is true in all fairness. But what if you had an opportunity to keep a customer and still use that same customer to attract more customers for free? Wouldn’t you grab such opportunity with both hands? Well, that opportunity is what I am about to hand over to you today?

Most entrepreneurs don’t know that a business can be promoted for free and it is often said that free publicity is the best. This article is going to explain in detail how to promote your small business for free with word of mouth marketing.

Word of mouth marketing is such a powerful technique that if properly harnessed can lead to spontaneous business growth and increase in sales. Now how do you promote your small business with word of mouth marketing?

How to Promote your Business with Word of Mouth Marketing

  1. Give your customers something to tell others about

The first step to promoting your business with word of mouth marketing is by generating something to be talked about. Call it a buzz and you won’t be wrong but it must be worth sharing with others. If your business offers nothing exciting or puzzling to be talked about; then you can never harness the power of word of mouth.

What are things you can create to generate a buzz? What will your business offer that customers can talk about? Well, below are five things your business can do to get customers can talking.

  1. Provide exceptional service

Going all out to deliver exceptional services can get your customers talking about your business to family and friends. Examples of companies that have generated word of mouth by providing exceptional services are Disney, Starbucks, GTBank and Virgin Atlantic airlines.

  1. Offer quality products –If your business offers quality products, customers can confidently recommend your products to family and friends.
  2. Create memorable words

People love words that inspire or promise them of a specific benefit. If you can give your customers this, they will tell it to their friends. You can also create a unique selling proposition that offers your customer a promise and be sure to deliver on such promise. Companies that have found success using USPs and memorable words are:

  • Nike – Just do it
  • Adidas – Impossible is nothing
  • Wal-Mart – Always low price
  1. Organize a challenge or contest

A contest or challenge can get your customers talking especially when there’s a good prize or entertainment attached to it. The Virgin Group gained publicity and generated word of mouth by organizing balloon flying contest and weird public stunts.

  1. Surprise your customers –Surprising your customers with gifts unexpectedly can catch them off guard and get them talking.
  2. Encourage your customers to spread the word

After giving your customers something to talk about, you need to encourage them to spread the word. If your marketing buzz stays with a customer, it dies a naturally death but if it’s spread; it brings tremendous results. Encourage your customers to become crusaders for your business.

  1. Provide your customers with the right marketing tools

This is actually where the work lies in the game of generating word of mouth. Any content you create to generate a buzz will never be successful if you don’t provide your customers with the right marketing tools to help spread the word. You need to provide them with fuel to keep the fire you ignited burning and spreading. Now what marketing tools can you provide your customers?

  1. Branded materials –You can provide your customers with branded materials such as newsletters with valuable content; brochures, branded T-shirts, souvenirs, etc.
  2. Introduce a referral program with incentives

A loyalty or referral program with attracting incentives can also be used to get your customers promoting your business. Network marketing companies such as Amway and GNLD does this excellently.

As a final note, I want you to know that you can promote your business for next to nothing and compete with giant corporations with million dollar budgets; if only you are willing to be creative.

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Ways To Be A Successful Marketing Manager.

All marketing managers would like to consider themselves in the top 1% of their profession, but reaching that point requires passion and a willingness to take on an outsize level of responsibility. The rewards, however, are worth it.

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1. Have The Sales Skills

As a manager you are no doubt aware that you are constantly ‘selling’ people on ideas, tasks, and decisions. That in and of itself makes developing some sales skill vital. Yet as a marketing manager you need this even more — your collaborations with the company sales team will tend to be the most crucial, and frequent ones in your career. Your biggest successes will tend to come working arm-in-arm with sales.

Therefore, spend some time working in sales or studying up on the art of selling. You’ll gain invaluable insights into understanding people (and sales professionals) after spending some time building relationships and interacting with customers.

2. Deliver. Always!

Top 1% managers do whatever may be necessary to deliver the project. They don’t see their role bound by any specific limits. They recruit as necessary, escalate if need be, do menial tasks when the situation demands, and otherwise see that the job gets done without excuses.

3. Fill Your Work With Passion

Few people are quite as addictive to be around as those with a spirited, passionate energy for their jobs. Share your energy with everyone and you’ll find it’s contagious, benefiting everyone around you and bringing your projects ever-greater success.

4. Master the Corporate Balancing Act

As a manager you have to satisfy both the executive echelon and the end customers. The upper floors want you to hit certain financial objectives, while the customers want to be satisfied by whatever it is you’re promoting. Sometimes the demands conflict — but mastering this balance is key to excelling in this position.

5. It’s About Results, Not About You

You don’t have to be a ‘grey man’ but being able to work with others in a way that inspires them to do their best is key. You’ll be working with clients, business executives, creative staff, sales reps, production managers, and many more, all of them having their own personalities and principles. Therefore you must adapt and see your ultimate validation in the results you achieve, rather than personal gratification. Maintain strong cooperation and communication, always!

6. Make Everyone Else’s Life Easy

It goes without saying that one of the best ways of ensuring people are receptive to your marketing message is by making their lives easier. The most effective marketing programs, in many cases, are those that are focused, simple, and clear, and your message will often go further when delivered in a simple and easy to digest form. Clean and simple work emanating from your department will be easier for everyone else to work with — which means they in turn produce better results.

Therefore, go the ‘extra mile’ to ensure you make life easier for everyone around you. They will reward you handsomely for it.

7. Engage Your Customers (On Every Level) First

The best marketing managers understand and follow the market better than the competition. An innovative and forward-thinking approach helps you promote and develop products and services your customers — and your competitors — never saw coming. This applies to both your customers in the marketplace and your customers in the executive level also. To the executive team, a trendsetter is indispensable.

8. Understand The Data, And How To Present It

Modern marketing is full of data and analytics, therefore effective marketing management depends on not being overwhelmed or falling victim to ‘data addiction.’ Data can provide an effective map, but the map is not the territory. Understand this when you go to present the results of your work and you will have your ‘executive customers’ eating out of your hand. As Chris Thomas of market research company Play MR puts it, “Unless you specifically ask for a mind-numbing 200-page report written in PowerPoint 2003, there’s a snow-flake’s chance in hell you’ll get it”.

9. Understand Your Domains — All Of Them

Ultimately, no customer cares about your product or your services. They care only about their own problems. Therefore, effectively creating a bridge between your products and the customer’s cares requires knowing both realms intimately. The same applies to your ‘customers’ in your organization.

Good Marketing, Bad Marketing.

Marketing includes all activities an organization produces that influence customers to behave in ways that affect the organization’s business results.brand-harmony-interactions-beliefs-actions-results

As the model shows, from right to left, your business results are impacted by the actions your customers take. Customer action is driven by the kinds of beliefs customers have about you. Your customers’ beliefs about you are determined by all interactions customers have with your company.

Every interaction a customer has with your company that can influence customer beliefs and actions, and therefore affect business results, is part of your marketing. Marketing is not just the product of your marketing department; it can include anything your company does that affects the experiences customers have with you.

This definition of marketing has a very important implication: It is customers, not marketing people, who decide what a company’s marketing is. If customers are influenced by it, it’s marketing.

Marketing professionals may bristle at this, because it downplays the significance of their lofty art. Sorry, if anyone is bristling, but that’s just the point. When you look at what really influences customers to act, in most cases, it is not the product of marketing departments. Customers’ attitudes are highly influenced by product and service experiences, interactions with a company’s employees, logistics of doing business with the company, etc. Be sure that your marketing focus includes all the touchpoints a company has with its customers, in order to focus on what really makes a difference.

Good marketing vs. bad marketing

Now we can return to our original question: What makes marketing good or bad?

Here’s the answer: What makes a marketing effort good or bad is the extent to which it impacts the business results of the company, product or service being marketed.

It’s that simple. Good marketing has a positive effect on business results, and bad marketing has a negative effect or no effect on business results.

Every other measure of a marketing effort’s quality, such as “we reached 3 million people,” “we really stood out from the competition,” and “we built awareness” is a secondary measure that only counts if it eventually leads to business results. It doesn’t matter how many people you reach, or how many people know about you if it doesn’t lead to improving the state of your business.

What this means: Don’t evaluate your marketing by how great the ad creative is, or how flashy the website is, or how clever your Facebook posts are. The only measure of whether your marketing is good or bad is how well it encourages customers to act in ways that improve your business results. If the accounting department comes up with a new payment policy that leads to increased repeat purchases from customers, and the marketing department comes up with a new social media program that doesn’t drive business results, then you need to accept this truth: Your accounting department has done better marketing than your marketing department.

What if you can’t measure those results?

Hold on to your seats, because I’m about to share an important principle that is not intuitive: Good marketing can produce results that can’t be measured.

You’ve all heard the adage “if you can’t measure it, it’s not worth doing.” It’s not true. There are many things you can’t directly measure, but you know they are good for your business. An example: Can you measure the ROI on having your receptionist smile at guests? Do you believe that it is better that she smiles than if she snarls?

Brand HarmonyThe receptionist’s smile, like many other customer touchpoints, contributes to better business results because customer beliefs about your company are formed by the way many different touchpoints blend in brand harmony to communicate one clear, integrated story about your company and/or its products and services. Good marketing becomes great marketing when every point of contact your company has with customers blends with every other point of contact to create a wonderfully integrated customer experience that encourages customers to act in ways that drive your results.

In summary, marketing includes all activities an organization produces that influence customers to behave in ways that affect the organization’s business results. And when those activities lead to improved business results, you have produced great marketing.