Word of mouth is a widely recognised phrase within the b2b world and it is heavily relied upon as a marketing tool…

Word of mouth works for us,

so we don’t really need anything else.

It is certainly traditional, it’s usually free and it is often the way businesses started out and grew in the early days. But in an increasingly competitive marketplace – even word of mouth has its limitations.

We’ve never had a real website or fancy brochures or wasted money on advertising.

We know everyone there is to know in our industry…we’ve been around long enough.

Don’t get us wrong, we will champion word of mouth all the way, it’s a fantastic and usually highly effective (and free) marketing tool. But we’ve been in this sales & marketing game long enough to know that it cannot and should not be relied upon. Particularly if you are looking to grow your business, or at least keep your head above water.Whilst your busy relying on word of mouth, your competition is out their buttering up your target audience behind your back.

So here are 4 Reasons why you should NOT rely on word of mouth as your ONLY marketing tool;

  1. You may know a lot of people and businesses in your industry. But companies come and go all of the time. Employees come and go all of the time. So if you don’t hold an active database of decision maker contact information for companies you would like to see on your customer base then you are limiting your audience and therefore your potential to win new business.
  2. When a potential customer searches on google for your product or service, they won’t find you if your website isn’t up to scratch. 90% of B2B businesses start their buying journey online. So being searchable is essential.
  3. If you’re not using marketing tools such as email, social media or even direct mail, to tell companies about what you do, that new piece of equipment you’ve just invested in or the new management system you’ve just implemented, they probably won’t know! And therefore won’t think of you when they need quotes on a new job.
  4. If you’re not picking up the phone and getting to know your potential customers, in order to build a relationship with them so that they feel confident in your capabilities. Then you are missing out on opportunities to explain the benefits of using you ahead of the competition, as well as opportunities for them to give you a go.

If you are not in regular communication with your target audience you are not putting yourself in the right place to pick up the pieces when a supplier lets them down, or when they are looking to enhance their supplier base because work is going through the roof.

Using a range of marketing communication channels (and not just word of mouth) to suit your business, budget and audience, will put you in the right place at the right time to achieve results.