Monthly Archives: June 2013

Strategies to Boost Word of Mouth Marketing

Irrespective of the business or the company involved, Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is one of the oldest and most cost-effective marketing tools for consulting companies. It saves you time and money and ends up returning favorable results. Here are a few tips to help your company build a Word of Mouth Marketing strategy.

Begin with people who are close to the business

If you do not have much experience in marketing, then it can be difficult to promote a product or service to anyone, including your friends. You might end up irritating potential buyers or have trouble communicating your point of view, both of which you want to avoid. The right kind of word of mouth is a great way to promote your company, especially with people who are close to the business and who are actively involved in the industry. This allows you to have a nice group of supporters from the beginning.

Support others in your industry

canstockphoto3583758 copyHelping others becomes a reciprocal action. You can start by identifying influential people in your industry that are not direct competitors but have a connection to your business and then make an effort to support their work. When you support others in their marketing campaign, you will find they will be more likely to return the favor.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn as well as industry blogs are a great way to do this. Identify those influencers on these platforms and engage with them, reply to their comments, post new comments on their blogs, ask them questions, etc. The more you do this, the better the chance that they will engage with your brand as well.

Be honest to your audience

Honesty is a critical success factor when it comes to word of mouth marketing. In fact the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has defined a set of rules that must be followed by companies. The rules help ensure the development of healthy relationships between companies and their customers. Your marketing campaigns, from emails and blogs to social and mobile should never be misleading or vague. In order to build a loyal following of customers, honesty is the best policy.

Get involved

It is important for you to stay involved in your company’s word of mouth marketing campaign. Often, companies do not participate once buzz has been generated, which eventually leads to the campaign fizzling out. Monitor your campaigns regularly to ensure you stay in touch with your target audience through discussions, forums, and by posting and commenting on blogs. Additionally, keep the lines of communication open. If your customers ask questions via email or through your support staff, be sure to address their questions and concerns promptly.

Get people to talk about your brand

Generating buzz around your product or service drives word of mouth marketing. You need to give people a reason to talk about the company or the product. Share your own enthusiasm for the company via email newsletters, social media, make regular announcements on your blog, and use YouTube to create an engaging video campaign.

Listen to what people are saying about your brand

Once you get people talking, it’s time to listen to what your audience has to say about your brand, products, features, customer service, etc. Feedback forms or conducting surveys offers a simple way to collect data. While people might not be as responsive as you want them to be, the feedback you receive can provide some important insight. Keeping an ear to the ground on Facebook and Twitter tells you what people say to their peers. Search Twitter for your brand name or use tools such as SocialOomph to track mentions about your brand. Google Alerts is another great way to monitor who is talking about your brand.

Final thoughts

A lot of people today do not realize the importance of word of mouth marketing, but it is just as effective and just as important as social media campaigns and other marketing tools. The results you get with this form of campaigns can be surprising. And all that comes at a cost that is negligible compared to what is spent on traditional marketing campaigns.

It’s important to follow the right strategies to ensure your word of mouth marketing strategy is effective. Here are a few things to consider:

Do not waste a lot of time in figuring out who you want to as a ‘famous’ spokesperson. Just choose a person from amongst the people you know. This approach saves time and is more effective.

Avoid being too serious. When you are going for methods like emails or videos, always remember that people like a bit of fun.

Stay socially active. Community activities and donation to charities are some methods used by companies to generate some buzz.

Will China Be the Next Silicon Valley?

The Next Big ThingAccording to The Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report released by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined by 2030, as it relates to global power. This “power” is based upon GDP, population size, military spending—and technological investment.

The report states that “a shift in the technological center of gravity from West to East and South is happening and will continue until these emerging economies leave us in the dust technologically. However, the speed of the shift will depend on the availability of risk capital and the development of laws that protect intellectual property.

Trends to watch include big data, social networking, and the development of “smart cities.” Big data could be used positively in business—to improve predictive models—or negatively in politics—to control or coerce large populations. Social networks may continue their relatively benign and distracting existence – or they could be used by anarchists to steal information.

And as for the previously mentioned “smart cities,” IT could be used in every area of urban management—for better, or for worse.

Finally, robotics and 3D printing may change work patterns by making semi-skilled manufacturing workers “redundant.” So, basically, it would be the Information Age 2.0, where plenty of jobs could be eliminated—but, wouldn’t plenty of jobs be created, too?

China Rising

While technologists and conspiracy theorists alike could argue for the next 17 years about what will happen in 17 years, one thing from the report is crystal clear: Emerging economies, especially China, will become dominant in the technology arena.

Even now, China is making strides towards dominance as it scrambles to catch its available IP addresses up to its growing population. The country has almost twice the number of Internet users as the U.S., and it is working to deploy a new protocol, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). This version, strongly motivated by the urgency to create room for China’s Internet users, will offer advanced security and privacy options, along with many more IP addresses, and it is evidence that the future of the Internet is already emerging in China.

Many U.S. experts believe the future of computing as a whole will also be in China. Due to the availability of low-cost labor, China has already become the world’s dominant maker of computers and consumer electronics. The country’s booming economy and technological infrastructure is enabling it to branch out into many areas of technology beyond merely assembling the desktop PCs of the world.

Over six decades, the U.S. has paved the way in computing, and technological innovation has been as American as apple pie and baseball. And, Silicon Valley has been the technological hub of the planet. However, today China innovates not just because it can—but because it must. China’s massive population is emerging into a whole new economic world, and its own technological innovation will be the key to enabling the future of its society.