Positive word-of-mouth referrals are something every business aims for. Not only do they provide validation for services, but personal testimonials also have a tendency to be more convincing than a company’s marketing materials. These referrals also come organically, requiring zero outbound sales. The list of benefits goes on and on, but, while word-of-mouth referrals are excellent endorsements of your business and evidence of a job well-done, they can not be the sole marketing strategy of a business. Why not?
Word-of-mouth needs high volume to be sustainable
For starters, for a word-of-mouth referral system to work, a business must have achieved critical mass. You may be churning out satisfied customers, but you can’t rely on every customer to refer your business to others. For this reason, a business must amass a high volume of clients before they can rely on a referral system. There is often quite a bit of ground to cover before a business achieves the volume of clients needed to rely on a referral system, and MoreSALES is well-versed in helping businesses get there.
No control over branding or messaging in referrals
A word-of-mouth referral strategy also removes any control a business has over its branding and marketing messaging. While a referral conversation may be rooted in positivity, many things can go wrong with this testimonial. In casual conversation, genuine mistakes are bound to happen–and something as simple as a former client getting your services wrong can not only sink a referral, but can also harm the image of your business. As each word-of-mouth referral is an unqualified lead, it is important for businesses to put in as much effort as possible to ensure that your referral fully understands your services and the unique value they offer. This can be done by leveraging an official marketing campaign around referrals, compiling an extensive supply of informative content to help guide referral conversations.
Testimonials go both ways
If a positive personal testimonial is impactful, then so is a negative testimonial. The same hiccups which happen in referral conversations can also occur in negative word-of-mouth, as even a simple miscommunication can lead to a negative testimonial. While this may seem out of the control of the business, MoreSALES helps businesses control what they can. Assembling a positive online marketing operation can help set the record straight and save the reputation of a business.
Word-of-mouth is hard to measure
Data can be the best friend of a business, and the ability to quantify the success of a marketing strategy is a huge asset. The effectiveness of word-of-mouth referrals is extremely difficult to measure, as there is no “paper trail” with conversations. It is impossible to know how many referral conversations took place between any number of previous customers before one resulted in action, whereas an analytical approach to marketing helps you better measure both your return on investment and the success rate of a referral program.
The final word
While word-of-mouth marketing is undoubtedly effective for B2B companies, its potential is only fully realized as part of a full marketing strategy. A comprehensive marketing plan from MoreSALES is the best way to improve the visibility of your business and dramatically increase your inbound leads. For more information on how to maximize the potential of your business, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 1-519-620-8127.