Truth: 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of marketing.
Recently a friend invited me to get a facial with her as an early birthday gift. I didn’t give it too much thought, her skin always looks great and it was on her dime so what did I have to lose? When we arrived, the aesthetician suggested my friend go first so I could watch and see what she was doing – before it was done to me. It turns out I wasn’t receiving a traditional facial but ‘derma planing’ which is a type of manual exfoliation where the outer most level of dead skin is removed using a sterile surgical blade. I watched as this was done to my friend and when it was over her skin looked smooth, supple and vibrant; I happily laid down for my treatment.
So what does this have to do with marketing? Trust me I have a point. As I was lying there getting my treatment – I started to think about the power of personal referrals and Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM). There I was lying on a table, under the knife of a woman I have never met, receiving a treatment that I never heard of – all because a friend made the recommendation. People trust their friends and families. 77 percent of them are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from their inner circle. What does this mean for your brand? To be successful, you need loyal customers. Customers that will recommend you to their friends and family, who will become your customers, in my case – with no questions asked.
Think about the brands you are loyal to – how are they meeting your expectations over the competition? Maybe they offer innovative products you can depend on (apple) or consistent results that you can trust (Google). Perhaps they provide you with the quickest route to get you where you’re going while pointing out police and potholes along the way (waze).
Often organizations and brands focus too much on gaining (more sales, more customers, more social media followers), when the focus should be engaging and delighting the base that’s already there. Having 100 really passionate fans that love your organization or product can potentially do the same work as thousands of advertising dollars.