The most effective form of marketing

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I've recently come back from a 10 day long meditation course, in which I maintained silence and meditated for over 50 hours. Powerful stuff.

The vipassana course I attended at Dhamma Dipa was not brought to my attention through advertising. I did not hear about it on social media. I did not read a book about it, attend an event, nor read a leaflet.

No. it was through word of mouth.

This form of marketing wasn't even referral; it was simply meeting a succession of people that had done the course and described it to me. None of them advised that I should go on it or it would be beneficial to me.

Initially my friend Rose went on the course, and I was intrigued after hearing about it. Next, me and my partner stayed in an Airbnb in Girona, Spain, and after seeing our host's meditation cushion in her room, we got talking about it and she mentioned she had gone on a vipassana course. Lastly, I then stayed in an Airbnb in the UK and met an incredible lady who I really got on with, it was only later that it transpired that she had done the course every year for ten years.

With the latest research stating that 92% of consumers value word of mouth marketing above all else, it got me thinking about other products or services I've heard about through word of mouth, and become a fan.

  • I heard about the djs Above and Beyond through someone playing me their records.
  • I've also recently become addicted to the Oatly barista edition as it's a great non-dairy milk alternative for your cup of tea, which I heard about through someone mentioning it.

In both cases, not only do I engage with the brand and product on a regular basis, I tell everyone I know how good these things are and what the value has been to my life.

Econsultancy notes that brands such as Netflix and Lush have great success with this, as they know that people are more likely to trust their friends than big brands.

However, word of mouth is incredibly difficult to get right. There's a few things to consider to make it a success:

  • Your product or service has to be something different

No one will rave about you if there's a million others like it. It has to be innovative, pushing the boundaries in some way. For example, I've just found out about the plethora of Easter Eggs found in Mr Robot, and although these have been done before, it's never been to this level.

  • Your product or service has to be good

Quality and consistency are important. Not only that, but your product has to inspire others to break the boundaries of perfection. Here, I'm thinking of the 4K holographic show EPIC, from Eric Prydz. Not only is it different, it's an incredible 'product'. 

  • The customer experience has to be outstanding

Does the end user feel that you really care about them? If not, it doesn't matter how different or valuable the product is. In the end, the product or service is valuable because of the value added to the customer's life. By ensuring that all aspects of the journey are smooth and enjoyable, you'll find that the customer will bring many more people back to you in return.

Want to know more about creating effective marketing strategies? Get in touch with me for an initial consultation.