Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Monetize Client Delight
Your customers keep telling you that they absolutely love what you are selling.
You keep saying, “Thank you!” – which is a good place to start, but a terrible place to finish.
Instead of simply ending the conversation with a smile, seize the moment and ask them, “Would you feel comfortable recommending my company to another?”
At this point, the odds are stacked in your favor.
Word-of-mouth marketing isn’t something new and shiny, but you won’t always need something fancy to improve your bottom line. The things your customers and clients say about your brand form your organization’s reputation, which impacts the quality and quantity of your relationships. And that’s critically important because “reputation” and “relationships” are the two levers you need to pull for more revenue.
Let’s consider the power that word of mouth delivers:
- Most Americans (83%) say they are more likely to purchase a product or service if their family members or friends recommend it. (This is super important because millennials wield $1.4 trillion in spending power today, and it’s projected they will have $4 trillion to plunk down on whatever they want by 2030.)
- Word of mouth drives $6 trillion in consumer spending.
- 85% of people trust user-generated content more than brand-produced marketing.
Word-of-mouth recommendations give you valuable content that can be shared in various marketing channels, ranging from web pages, social media posts, digital marketing to email marketing. But that’s not what makes it so valuable. Testimonials empower your customers to “sell” your brand, which dramatically helps your sales team, which should spend more time closing as a result.
In business today, there are certain things that you can’t say. Don’t misunderstand: You can try and say those things—“Our company is the best!” or “Our customer service is excellent!”—but buyer beware. We live in a time where people are more skeptical than ever, especially when it comes to self-serving comments. Today, we want something real, something authentic. Positive reviews use real words from real people, talking about how your brand really helped them.
Now, that’s powerful. (Let’s face it: You’re not good until your clients say you’re good.)
There are several factors that drive people to talk about products and services with others, according to Johan Berger’s bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. The better something makes us look in front of others increases the chances that we will talk about it. This type of social currency is also reinforced by the fact that we innately enjoy sharing useful information that helps others.
So how do you get some client delight that will help you obtain positive word of mouth? Well, roll up your sleeves. Start with hard work and sprinkle in some smart work. Now, expect results. That’s how we do it at CMA. Since 1987, our firm has developed more than 250 websites, created 315 brands and won 378 industry awards.
Let me share some specific work that has positioned our full-service communications, marketing and association management firm for client delight and raving word-of-mouth reviews.
‘An Exciting, Exhilarating and Empowering Website’
When Federally Employed Women—a Princeton Junction, New Jersey-based association that helps more than one million women in government advance their careers through leadership—needed a bigger presence online, CMA delivered a new website.
We transformed FEW’s website, adding membership value by optimizing the visitor experience through improved desktop and mobile engagement. Thanks to the revamped website, the association is able to quickly communicate its four-pillar program (i.e. training, legislation, diversity and compliance), as well as its advocacy for equity and diversity for women. Since 1968, FEW has worked toward advancing women in government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight.
The final product was client delight.
“CMA has created an exciting, exhilarating and empowering website for Federally Employed Women,” said FEW President Karen Rainey. “Our visual presence is now eye-catching and impressive, ready to attract the next generation of federal employees. I would highly recommend the design and management team of CMA.”
‘CMA Consistently Provided Excellent Customer Service’
We helped the Hunterdon County Economic Development Council (EDC), a major initiative of the Hunterdon County Freeholders, attract more companies to Flemington, New Jersey and the rest of the county by improving their digital and online presence with the creation of a brand-new website and a bold messaging makeover.
CMA utilized custom website design to provide an assortment of tools and resources to aid business retention and attraction. We added a property locator, extensive demographic, workforce and industrial data, links and guidance for starting and growing a business locally, access to key state data and information on programs such as New Jersey business incentives, a jobs board and a new look that made the government organization stand out among its competitors on a national level.
Suddenly, organic online traffic shot up. Our client was delighted.
“CMA has consistently provided excellent customer service and has followed up and communicated well at every step of our involvement with them,” said Marc Saluk, director at Hunterdon County’s Division of Economic Development. “Their work has been creative and efficient, and we have used them for multiple projects over the last few years. I can easily recommend them, and we intend to continue to use them ourselves.”
‘They’re Artists in Their Own Right’
We also helped Steve Greenstein, a film-TV-theater actor based in Bronx, New York, introduce his creative work to the world.
With Broadway locked down, Greenstein started a new NYC production during the pandemic—about the pandemic—with his own cobbled-together life savings. His eight-part “dramedy”—COVID Ditty—is a series of short vignettes that captures glimpses of oddities and ironies that we were too numb to fully digest. Steve is the writer, the director and the lead as “Phil”, who is a simple, lumbering, lunch-pail guy trying to make sense of the new world order.
But here’s where it really gets interesting from a publicity perspective. Greenstein is also a job creator. After all, he hired SAG-AFTRA actors, an editor, a cameraman, someone in charge of music, a production team, and a full in-house digital marketing firm with a publicist. (Yeah, that’s us!)
So we used that “jobs creator” news hook. At the time, practically no one was hiring.
As a result, our PR team generated 30 high-profile, targeted media placements in the New York City market. We put him on the Today in New York – NBC 4 New York show and his segment ran five times, which is how many times FOX 5 New York ran it. WABC-TV broadcasted their own segment four times. In addition, the Wall Street Journal cited his work as part of a new trend of original content built around the pandemic.
Our client was delighted.
“It’s surpassed a lot of my expectations as far as pure publicity,” Greenstein said. “They’re artists in their own right now. They have the right copy. They really know how to cut through the B.S. and get your work out there. So I have been impressed.”
‘Our Magazine Speaks Volume about the Quality of our Organization’
The IMARK Group, a member-owned and member-governed group of independent distributors that support the electrical industry, wanted to redesign and expand its print publication after acquiring the industry’s second largest electrical distributor buying group.
We helped them create a new brand identity with masthead and name (IMARK Now) and developed a highly readable, contemporary page design driven by white space. We also upgraded the editorial photography and generated new standardized editorial theme sections.
From a business perspective, we also provided advertising sales management as part of the project.
Years later, we digitized the print magazine. We utilized the existing print marketing concept from the magazine and developed a custom website. The site continues to offer supplier members new digital advertising opportunities, which means more revenue for the organization.
Our client was delighted.
“On behalf of IMARK Group and myself, I’d like to thank each of you for your contributions to IMARK Now magazine,” said Steve Ruane, who is vice president of marketing and member services at IMARK Group. “Our magazine speaks volumes about the quality of our organization, our members, and our suppliers. Because this is such an important part of our brand, we set a very high standard of excellence. With your leadership and support, we believe we met that standard. We receive many positive comments on our magazine and that makes us feel great.”
‘CMA’s Team Members are Amazing’
In the era of COVID-19, the Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) needed a virtual conference to safely bring together its members.
To prepare for the big event, ESPA polled its members to learn about their ability to attend a possible in-person annual conference. The results demonstrated widespread limitations on member budgets and travel that would have significantly hampered ESPA’s ability to deliver education and networking benefits to a wide audience of its member base. After considering their membership feedback, it was clear to the association’s leadership that a virtual annual conference would reach more people and carry a lower cost for member participation.
In the end, 150 event service professionals throughout North America attended the event—and rated the experience a 4.7 out of 5.
Our association management client was thrilled.
“CMA’s team members are amazing,” said ESPA President Julie Brakenbury. “It was their vision that helped to drive the development of all that the conference encompassed, and there was magic behind the scenes in so many ways! Thank you for a job very well done.”
So the next time you create client delight, don’t hold back. Ask the extra question that will get you some invaluable word-of-mouth customer reviews and jumpstart your marketing and sales efforts.
Do you want to learn more ways to ensure client delight for your business? Contact us today, to start the conversation.