Going to Florida for a seminar is not really on the books yet, but after having read a fair few articles on the Word of Mouth Associations website it would have been nice.
Although the article itself is not revolutionary, it does focus the attention on something that I think is so often forgotten; turning customers into fans starts with the product.
9 times out of 10 the expectations of marketing are squarly focused on promotions and sales. It would be interesting to calculate the ROI on general promotional activities versus money invested in turning a customer into an advocate.
No, even better, let’s see how much business has been generated from customer referrals and other word of mouth promotion, and how much from general advertising, trade shows etc.
In b2b marketing, I don’t think there is a question about what comes up trumps.
So why don’t we do more with it?
Here are three reasons I can think of:
1. It takes long term thinking; the results pay off in the long term
2. It’s not as visible; no new website, ads or brochures to flash around
3. Based on the two factors above, it is a higher risk strategy for a marketing person.
Solution? Get support from the top first; it’s not a hard sell once you have the numbers.