When I see professionals are talking about marketing, it is often about the branding, the image. Positioning, creating something – and that something is often abstract: the brand, image, perception. Of course. It must be measurable and it should be possible to be tested. And there’s a lot to say for it! If it is measurable professionals can talk about many issues during meetings, discussions. What will it be? is there an upward trend visible? What is the perception? The awareness? However, marketing is about people.
Marketing is to ‘put on the market’. Ultimately, it comes to sales. Revenues. No, the marketers are not the vendor, let that be clear. But the best indicator of a successful marketing campaign – do we know it? Marketing is bringing on the market products or services – is of course the sales realized.
People make decisions
And then do you do when people do eventually: the purchase of the product or service. That is a decision that they take on the basis of two possible reasons:
- Whether their personal experience with the product or service
- The picture they proposed product or service
The second aspect is something that engages many marketers in the way I described above. There are plenty of books written about it. Important because it shows the step to the personal experience and that means that many people have a threshold to step over to spend for the first time money on a product that they do not know.
Word of mouth
Can you tackle is hurdle in a convenient way? Undoubtedly. Through word of mouth, as because people talk to others they know. They dicsuss products they use and make the most of 78% to the other because they know and trust. That is an important source of experience on which they justify a purchase. That experience is not quite personally, but through direct link that they trust .
Their own experience
Another source of experience is that the people make themselves acquainted with the products. Wine tasting, the sample you receive at a perfumery, the tasting stalls at the grocery store and think of the test drive of a new car … the point is that you get to experience a sample upon you will make a purchase decision. That is marketing and, moreover, in many cases, you can then also ask questions to the seller or agent. That’s part of the personal contact. Specify your doubts and questions can be directly addressed allowing the message to get across clearly. Sampling is effective.
Most importantly, in the latter cases you will have a more direct experience with the product that you are considering to purchase. Yourself, or someone you trust. In both cases there is also human contact. Because when it comes to giving the final piece of security, the answer to that last nagging question: this is where the human contact is important. And therefore it just works. Marketing is about people. Whoever is ging to make that purchase, there’s a person to get the information. The best is that personal touch. This is reflected in the results and I expect that this will be reflected in repeat business. It is a bit more difficult to measure compared to statistics from a marketing campaign. Because personal contacts usually can not be directly derived from the sales figures.
Do you recognize this? What are your experiences with word-of-mouth marketing and sampling?