Offline, it’s called word-of-mouth advertising. Online, it’s known as viral marketing. Semantics aside, one fact is perfectly clear: make your customers happy and they’ll do the advertising for you.
Let’s illustrate this principle by citing a real life example. Joey Vasquez is a loyal subscriber of a certain telecommunications company based in New York. He has been a solid supporter of the said service for seven years now. When asked why he’s sticking with that particular company, Joey’s reply was quite simple and pretty straightforward.
No, he did not mention the quality of the service, and neither did he count the applicable rates as a factor.
“It’s because they offer me a yearly rebate, ” he casually said, “I get $20 back every January. ”
In the past six years, Joey has convinced around thirty of his relatives and friends to switch to his network service provider of choice.
The $20 rebate is the telecommunication company’s way of rewarding faithful clients. Their fees are by no means the lowest in the eastern coast, but they have built for themselves a solid base of patrons, and the number of people who abandon their services is close to non-existent.
What does this tell us? For starters, it is a testament to how powerful a tool word-of-mouth advertising is. Secondly, this example teaches us how to jumpstart a successful marketing plan that would make our customers spread the business message on our behalf.
This kind of marketing, though not necessarily novel, is undoubtedly efficient, not to mention cost effective. Imagine a battalion of advertisers doing the advertising for you. Distribute your business message to five individuals, and those five individuals would spread it to five other people in their respective networks, and you would have exposed your product or service to thirty people, just like that. But the beauty of this system is that it doesn’t stop there. The spread of your business message would only grow exponentially, and at a very rapid pace at that.
The battery of this campaign is an incentive to encourage people to spread the word to persons they know. In marketing parlance, this is called a value proposition.
In our example above, the telecommunications company provided Joey with a $20 rebate for a year’s subscription. This is the value proposition. It proved to be very enticing for Joey that he spread the word to the people in his network. The end result is a customer with seven years of loyalty (and counting), and thirty new subscribers.
Value propositions can take many forms. Take a look at the following examples:
1. A value proposition can be a free product or service that you could offer to warm people up before you present them with the goods you have for sale.
2. It can also be in the form of a trial version of your product. This would be the best way to make your prospective customers happy, and at the same time, invite them to purchase the full version of what you have to offer.
3. A value proposition can also be a monetary reward, as was the case with Joey and his network provider. Money is a very seductive prize, and you’ll have people talking about your business in no time!
The goal is to hook the potential consumer to your value proposition, and make him happy in the process. In most cases, this is enough to propel your word-of-mouth campaign into motion. You’ll be able to get people talking and they will do the marketing for you.
Prospective customers should not be your only target. Building goodwill with your existing clientele would also transform them into your advertising vehicles. Remember, gaining a customer is good, gaining a customer for life is better, but gaining a customer for life and having him invite more people to try your business is a marketer’s dream come true!
Ronny Berglund is a marketing professional, which owns and operate http://www.traffic-plus.com that can help you to instantly get website visitors, do popup advertising or any type of instant website traffic increase. He also owns and operates http://www.marketingpatch.com where you find strategic marketing tips. And you can learn the marketing tips and tricks that pro's use! MarketingPatch.com also have a great forum where you can talk about everything marketing related, he even let you post your in a Buy / Sell forum.