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Word Of Mouth Marketing Strategy With Jessika Phillips [Episode 74]


There's been a recent shift in marketing and attracting clients, are you moving with the times?

Jessika Phillips is here to give us her insights into how the growing amount of word of mouth referrals in business can help you double down on sales.

These days there are so many channels to gain and share referrals, and Jessika is here to share it all…

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How do you feel about this whole balance of trying to get new customers versus actually just sell more stuff and take care of your existing ones?
  • It has completely shifted, and that’s the new game of marketing, it’s really retention and growing word of mouth referrals.
  • 78% of people trust pure recommendations and that is the new word of mouth lead generator. Whether it’s someone that know, like a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor, it is the people that they are considering peers that are reviewing other brands online.
  • Instead of us trying to get these new people to market to, just do a better job with the people that we are serving, so they are sharing more word of mouth referrals for us.
Why do you think that shift actually happened?
  • People trust marketers less than used car salesmen and their ex, literally. They do not trust marketing messages.
  • They have information at their fingertips with their phone and they can compare more sources, more things.
  • What you do is not unique and your brand and your business are not unique. So as businesses and brands we need to focus on having more people wanting to talk about us and share us out to grow these word of mouth referrals.
  • People now don’t trust brands, unless they build that trust with understanding that someone else has made that decision and had a great experience, then they are not going to work with them or stick with them.
Actually, it could just be other people like them on the internet that they had never met before but for some reason, like they’ve seen a review. That now counts as word of mouth,  which is an interesting thing to take out of this.
  • It’s a community shift.
  • There is a study called Walkers 20-20 and big brands like Amazon, Coca-Cola, Intuit, we're spending big bucks to find out this shift in customer behavior. Because they are realizing it’s not just about the price anymore. 
  • Consumer behavior and mindset had shifted on where they are wanting to spend their buck. 
  • There are three areas that they are willing to double down on and it’s speed, ease of use, accessibility, which all boils down to the experience that people have or what they are willing to double down on.
  • They are willing to pay more money and stick with you longer if they have a better experience. So we as consumers are now looking online to see what the experience factors are that brands are building before we choose to work with them, we look at the reviews.
  • It could be a less expensive product, but if one out of five people say they wouldn’t recommend it, we are not going to pick it. We are going to pick the one that has a lot of reviews on it, and that say they’ve had a good experience, and double down on that one.
How do we actually fuel this to happen in a proactive way?
  • We experience things every single day and it’s not like we are wanting to leave a review. What made you want to leave that review was of an exceptional experience that you had there. It’s either really positive or really negative. 
  • Experience is a verb, it’s an emotion that somebody makes you feel, it’s either quick to anger or quick to excite. 
  • Your expected to do what you promised to do and exchange money for value, but unless you exceed the value of what has been promised, the customer is not going to leave a review. It's not considered a great experience if you just did exactly what the exchange was for. 
  • It’s less expensive to keep a customer coming back and they are the most profitable.
  • If we shifted our mindsets to say what if we spent less on ads and more on building a community with people that we have already won over, have already chosen to work with us, they already loved us enough to choose us. 
  • What if we spent our efforts, money and time strengthening those individuals, like the VIP’s that they are, then they are going to be more likely to have a good experience with us in order to refer us on. 
  • Instead of spending X amount on bringing new people in cold from ads, what if we spent a huge percentage of that ad revenue, ad spend, on satisfying and delighting existing customers and encouraging them, incentivizing them, to recommend to other people. 
  • There are the followers that are on our pages that are following us online, consuming our content, the goal is to transition them from followers to true fans.
  • There are people that are willing to share it on. Then there is your community, being people that you are collaborating with. 
  • You're collaborating with people that I may never do business with, but by us hanging out, I’m going to be a fan of yours, by the experience that we are having together and willing to them refer you on. 
  • Then there are your clients into advocates for you. Then there are your team members, which most people forget about. They are usually the ones that have the biggest experience factor.
  • It focuses on those groups and transitioning them from thinking I’m not just a follower on our page to turn them into a fan, a team member, an evangelist.
How do we do that? How do we make that happen?
  • We break it down to CARE. Care more.  
  • The first thing is Capturing Attention. You have to know who your fans are, your advocates, your evangelist, by understanding what a day in their life looks like, what they care about. Like what are some verticals that they are reaping following and connecting with online that you can bring into the conversation and really meet them at their level so it’s not just you blabbing about your brand the whole time. You really create this community. 
  • The first piece with capturing your attention is knowing your audience, so painting a picture of who they are, what they like, people call them avatars, buyer personas.
  • The next is Articulating Your Message. This is crucial as well because if people can’t repeat what you do and what you do really well, better than someone else, your word of mouth is not going to stick. If people can’t say I know this brand for these things and this is how they made me feel, they are not going to share your message on. 
  • You have to equip your community, your clients, your team members to be the marketers for you and the storytellers for you. 
  • The Relationship aspect of it, doubling down and building relationships for repeat referral business. They are taking their money and spending it with the people that have already bought into what they are doing. This can look at different things. 
  • It could look like catching wind of something and surprising and delighting someone, it could focus on maybe creating a smaller more impactful community like through a Facebook group or a LinkedIn group where you are having direct communication with your tribe. 
  • Experience, doubling down on experience factors, whether that’s building relationships and doing gifting, whether that’s focusing on something someone said and responding back and personalizing, or whatever that looks like for your brand.
  • This is from start to finish that you are focusing on all these elements. Most people just 
  • 60% of the buying cycle is over, completely done, before someone’s even made contact with the company. It is crucial that the experience starts before they even talk to you as a new client and your keeping that conversation going on after they become one by focusing on building some kind of community pool where you are able to stay in touch and touch base with your audience there.
How essential is spending money in this process? Can it be done without spending loads of money?
  • It’s brains over budget. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend if it’s a crappy message it’s still not going to work.
  • The key is really getting clear on what you are talking about. Shifting from buying to belonging, it’s doubling down and spending the investment on a person's time first, a person's time that they're investing with getting this sense of belonging. 
  • It’s a lot of time invested with this engagement piece and the delighting factor, so your kind of doing the hallmark beforehand, writing out your process from start to finish on what it takes to get a new lead in and looking at where the friction points are. 
  • The customer is typically doing a google search on this. What’s showing up and where can we show up to answer questions better than anyone else so we can get more organic traffic so we can shift from buying ads for that thing to earning the organic traffic that would be a result from doing this thing.
  • Then getting to our website and then what we can invest in on our website to build a community.
  • Whether that’s a resource center or a strong back end community with training modules that are entertaining an education-related in there or whether that’s someone investing in monetizing your Facebook group community or wherever you're posting your community so money is spent more on the sense of belonging aspect. 
  • That’s the hard part. It’s a long end game, so if you're just getting started on this, you're going to be doing this for a year before you get a great return on it.
  • I promise you it will be doubling down your sales and you’ll be able to reduce the amount that your spending on marketing. It’s spending more upfront with the time investment and increasing your functionality and your flow as well as if you let still wanting to do ads and the traditional marketing at this same time, until you get to this tipping point where now you can start reducing your ad spend, reducing some of the other marketing that your doing, because now you're just investing in the community aspect.

A book that you would recommend…
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

What is your top success habit?

What are your favourite apps right now?
Lastpass for storing passwords, Sugarwish and BombBomb.

Here’s the big one… who do you like more, Rob or Kennedy?
Platinum Kennedy.

Finally, where can folks go to find out more about you?
My website is jessikaphillips.com

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