General / PRSSA

The Power of Word of Mouth

By: Mark Hollander

Before the glory days of social media, digital press release distribution, and standard SEO practices, companies had to solely rely on things such as word of mouth marketing for attracting customers. Although these newer public relations practices are undoubtedly effective, word of mouth marketing still remains the most trusted resource for promoting your company.

As an employee of a nearby hotel on campus, I have the pleasure of interacting with a great deal of first-time visitors to the Iowa City area. As a result, my coworkers and I are asked for restaurant or bar recommendations from our guests on a daily basis. When it comes to finding the best place to warm up and grab a burger or beer close to campus, there’s nobody better to ask than a student or local resident.

Over the years, I estimate that the hotel I work for has referred hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of business to some of Iowa City’s most trusted and beloved establishments. As employees in the hospitality industry, we wish for our guests to enjoy our town just as much as we have grown to ourselves, even if they’re just passing through for the night –- and this means ensuring they have a nice place to enjoy a meal or watch a sporting event.

The evolution of the public relations industry has unquestionably helped businesses establish trust and credibility with customers. However, there’s one aspect of marketing that has withstood the test of time –- word of mouth marketing. Trust is hugely important for consumers, so by providing a great experience for every customer, businesses can ensure they will be recommended and perceived positively for years to come.

What are some ways for local businesses to ensure they’re being recommended around town? It’s simple. Businesses need to provide the same things that are expected of them in the first place –- great service, great value, and, of course, an excellent atmosphere and product.