Ever since I started paying more attention to the dimensions of information technologies, I have been noticing its presence in nearly all fields of life. Everyone uses IT, everyone talks about IT, some people read about IT and I write about IT. Recently, I found some inspiration in one of those marketing magazines which are lying around in uni and which you usually just walk past. The issue called “MTP. Mehrwert – Marketing Medium” was dedicated to (mass) media and its role in marketing. It presented a couple of interesting IT related aspects. One article that particularly caught my interest was about word of mouth marketing and its importance in modern age marketing.
The large amount of advertizing surrounding customers has caused a massive information overload. People have too many options to choose from. Interestingly, it has been shown that personal recommendations represent the best and most efficient way of product and company credibility.
According to the article, 89 % of the customers trust personal recommendations from their friends whereas TV spots and online publicity are only taken seriously by every fifth and every tenth person respectively.
Even though word of mouth, being one of the oldest forms of marketing, has already existed for a long time, it has reached completely new dimensions in the 2.0 era. The world wide web has not only enabled firms to promote their products but also, and more importantly, provided customers with various possibilities of sharing their wishes, impressions and opinions in a fast, vast and convenient manner, reaching a lot of other customers which also make use of the internet.
As you may have read in one of Sarah’s previous posts about blog marketing, some companies have recognized the customers’ impact on publicity matters. Many of them have started to send out product samples to certain groups of people who are to test the products for free and to provide their feedback afterwards. By initiating these projects, the firms want to make use of the previously described word of mouth recommendations. They know that customers are likely to rely on other customers’ experiences and that it is important for the firms to interact with them in order to keep track and control of their brands. Including the target group in the production process, e. g. by the sample testing mentioned above, is a crucial aspect when it comes to customer satisfaction which will again result in positive word of mouth recommendations and thus in better sales.
Looking at online publicity from this point of view, there has been a noticeable shift in power from the mass media to the consumers. From my point of view, the effect of customer satisfaction has still been underestimated in most business settings. (For a detailed description on Deutsche Bahn customer satisfaction have a look at Sonja’s blog post here.)
This whole issue makes me think of the dozens of times I have been advertizing p2 nail varnish to the people in my environment. And so many of them have followed my recommendations and bought it for themselves. I should really start charging dm some commissions. This is truly a Girl’s Business. But regardless of your lips “glossiness”, word of mouth will always stick.