The Local Marketing Stack

Referrals & Word-of-Mouth

Zone 1 • Difficulty: • Free Options Available

Perhaps the oldest form of marketing is the word-of-mouth referral–and it’s still the most effective, according to most small business owners.  Beyond providing a great product or service, there’s no silver bullet to word-of-mouth referrals.  Many satisfied customers are happy to provide them, but it takes a little nudging or prompting in order for them to do so.

A natural starting point
In-person networking is one of the most natural ways to get started: attending events where complementary business owners (and possibly even direct customers) are likely to be in attendance as well.  Whether that’s the local neighborhood business association or chamber of commerce, industry trade shows, or a community volunteer day, there’s no substitute for getting out and meeting local people.

Measure Net Promoter Score
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple survey that provides a single number that effectively calculates how likely your clients are to recommend you. It is effectively a measurement of your perceived quality and a great predictor of future business growth. As a standardized question it also allow you to compare your “word of mouth index” to others in your industry. 

Stay top of mind with satisfied customers
Regardless of the medium, your marketing is at its best when it keeps you top of mind with your satisfied customers and nudges them to pass the word along about your business to friends and family.

Amplify your word-of-mouth referrals
The best marketing tactics amplify your word-of-mouth, whether it’s a postcard received in the mail that reminds them of a friend who just asked about your service, great email newsletter that gets forwarded from a subscriber to a friend, a previous customer review that future customer sees on Google, or an explicit recommendation on Facebook.

See where Referrals & Word-of-Mouth fits into the overall stack in:

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