That’s right, “worst” of mouth advertising not word-of-mouth advertising. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a 1,000 times; word-of-mouth advertising is the best advertising.
But really, word-of-mouth advertising is the worst kind of advertising. Why? Do you really know what your customers are saying about you or your business? I doubt it very much.
If your current or potential customers are talking about you at all, it’s likely they are saying things about you or your business that might or might not be true. If it is true and it’s a good thing they are saying, well and good. However, you must remember that their experience with your business is really only from their perspective. Sometimes that perspective is right but many times it is wrong.
Do you want your business success to rely on the potentially flawed perception of one of your current or former customers? I don’t think so.
No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, your existing or former customers are only going to give others their biased opinions on what they perceive your business to be, not necessarily what it is.
Each person that comes through your door, enters your website or calls you on the phone will walk away with a different experience. When they talk to others about that experience you may find that what they tell others is somewhat accurate or completely wrong. You have very little control over what is said when your customers are telling others about their experience with your business.
However, with genuine advertising and marketing you control the entire message. You control the content, theme, tone and feeling that your customers will experience about your business. You control exactly what is said and how you say it. You cannot do this with word-of-mouth advertising, even the so-called paid word-of-mouth advertising.
No matter what media you choose to advertise your business you are in total control. Regardless of your choice you can position your business exactly as you wish it to be positioned in the mind of the current or future customer. You, the business owner and especially with the help of a trusted marketing advisor, can always get it right. You know your business better than anyone. Your customer or potential customer many times can’t articulate what your business is about and many times gets it completely wrong. You can’t reliably build your business that way.
Advertising and marketing with the right message is always the right path to take because you control it. If your customer controls the message it can lead to many unforeseen problems. We all have heard the stories.
Stay in control. Tell your customers what they need to hear and what you want them to hear. It’s just that simple. If you are relying on word-of-mouth advertising to build your business good luck, it rarely if ever works. A well thought out advertising and marketing plan always will.