Word of Mouth Marketing Vital to Success

Marketing bank owned properties is an even bigger challenge in times when according to consumer reports the average consumer is bombarded with up to 1000 advertisements on a daily basis.

BNI a business networking organization based in Tampa, Fla., reports that more and more businesses are relying on their loyal customers to reach that goal.

Marketing challenges, says Tom Fleming, executive director of the Referral Institute and BNI in West Central Florida, which represents over 40 chapters with 1600 members who were engaged in $50 million worth of business transactions between them in 2010 alone, indicate that word of mouth marketing is an effective way to reach out to interested parties.

Even though marketing strategies continue to improve and benefit from new tools and technology, in the current economy, “businesses have to work harder to garner the attention of their target market.”

The result is that many are opting to use word of mouth marketing by participating in business networking groups, such as Business Network International.

According to Fleming, word of mouth marketing is important because the return on investment is high and it works.

Word of mouth depends on developing relationships with other professionals and clients who can refer qualified prospects.

Recent studies conducted by sources in the digital signage industry have shown that consumers become immune to commercial messages after being exposed to hundreds of messages on a daily basis on the Internet, the car radio, the newspaper, billboards, and even in public restrooms.

Networking and state-of-the-art training in business networking helps many professionals who traditionally have relied more heavily on referrals, such as realtors.

The main reason word of mouth marketing can be more efficient is customer’s tendency to be skeptic.

Calfee and Ringold found in public opinion polls that approximately two-thirds of consumers say that they doubt what they read in media advertising. 

Similarly, a recent case study on the effectiveness of the product placement process showed that “skeptical consumers had weaker brand beliefs and immunity to advertising and were less receptive to information-based media,” even though globally, businesses spend billions of dollars annually trying to reach their audience.

How is word of mouth marketing breaking through the skepticism and helping businesses to grow in a less than desirable economy?

Fleming says referral based marketing is more friendly so people are more likely to listen to a trusted friend than if they read “claims through conventional advertising methods.”

He says a proven word of mouth strategy that gets “massive results despite economic conditions” is business networking.

He argues, “If it’s true that people do business with those they know, like and trust, then when business goes away (due to the economy) it’s the people with a network that win.”