Marketing News South Africa

How to drive customer growth through the power of WOM marketing

Marketers know that word-of-mouth is by far the most powerful tool they have to acquire customers and grow their businesses. But the conventional wisdom is that people are not going to recommend insurance to their friends around the braai or on their Twitter feeds.

Cofounder of Naked, Ernest North shares three insights about growing a business via positive customer sentiment that could be applied to nearly any industry.

1. Start by solving a customer problem

There’s plenty of research out there about the power of word of mouth. According to Nielsen research, 83% of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family, making word-of-mouth the most trusted form of marketing among consumers.

A McKinsey study, meanwhile, indicates that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.

But to get that positive customer buzz, a business first needs to impress the customer by solving a problem for them.

2. Take the bad feedback along with the good

Authenticity matters when winning a customer’s trust. People can see straight through paid-for or fake positive TV ads or social media reviews. We take the approach of letting real customers do the talking. When a mistake happens and results in negative feedback from a customer, this is an opportunity to learn and make things right.

3. Use reviews as inspiration

Because the users’ experience is core to how we built our company, we are obsessed with listening to customer feedback. It mostly informs our ongoing technology developments as we keep scaling our self-service offering, but occasionally we also use some of the reviews and compliments as inspiration for telling stories about our brand.

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