COMPANIES should pass the word on to win new business, says a Huddersfield marketing agency.
Marsden-based agency The Design Mechanics said word of mouth marketing – commonly known as WOM – was one of the most effective ways to gain new business and one of the easiest to measure.
Yet while most small firms are willing to dedicate a budget to activities such as advertising, public relations and direct mail, more than 95% of businesses left WOM to chance by failing to adopt a suitable strategy.
Over the past 12 months – where a tough trading climate has resulted in many companies slashing their design budgets or putting design projects on hold – The Design Mechanics has achieved record profits, thanks to WOM.
Managing director Stewart Leahy said: “We conducted extensive independent research before setting up in business and discovered that, when choosing a design agency, 83% of companies rely on personal referrals – in other words, ‘word of mouth’.
“As a result, we’ve always had a proactive strategy for encouraging word of mouth marketing by attending structured networking events.”
Said Mr Leahy: “Some 55% of our business comes from structured networking events like BNI.
“A further 22% comes from referrals or repeat business from existing clients – in other words word of mouth.
“Moving down the list, 19% are direct sales from attending events, presentations and various contacts, which again is really word of mouth marketing.
“The final 4% of business comes from miscellaneous sources like our website.”