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Word Of Mouth: The Most Powerful Form of Advertising

Every year, companies big and small spend hundreds, thousands, even millions of pounds on advertising their products and their organisation as a whole. No expense is spared in ensuring that their message and what they have to offer is projected out to as much of their prospective customer base as is humanly possible.

From billboards next to roads, to elegantly created television adverts, even down to animated website banners, advertising is a massive business. However, sometimes techniques that cost very little or even nothing at all can be even more valuable and useful than those that require splashing a tonne of money around. I am referring of course to the advertising technique known as word of mouth.

Word of mouth is simply people talking to each other and passing on the message about your organisation, whether that is a good or bad message. If all someone hears about you is what a particular friend or colleague says, then their entire opinion of your business is going to be based on that opinion.

If it’s a good opinion that they hold, then that is excellent for you as anyone they talk to will also have a positive impression of your organisation, meaning that they would be more inclined to use you for their needs.

Conversely, if the opinion passed on is bad, then this could be disastrous for you because the people they talk to will see the bad experience of the messenger as indicative of your company in general. No-one is going to buy from a company that is seen as giving bad experiences to its customers. That is just a fact of business.

For this reason, it is imperative for an organisation to treat its customers well. These customers are essentially free advertising for your company, so it is important that they are going to be positive about you when they speak to friends and colleagues (i.e. your potential customers in the future). Remember that the better their experiences are with you, the better the impression they will give off of you when they pass on the information to other parties.

Word of mouth is especially important with the addition of social networking into the equation. If your organisation is derided by one unimpressed customer on a social network like Facebook or Twitter, then that information is available to thousands of other people who will now have a negative idea of your company. One online criticism can lead to the kind of slippery slope that would make a PR worker cry.

So in conclusion, word of mouth has the power to either make or break your organisation based on whether your customers tend to leave happy or unhappy. Social networks amplify the power of this word of mouth, meaning that it is no longer a serious consideration, instead becoming something that must be monitored meticulously.

The more people you can get talking about your company in a good light, the better the public image you create and the more customers you get.

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