We live in a day and age unlike any other. Thanks to the Internet, everyone has the ability to post their views and opinions in print, no matter how outlandish or illogical those views are. While the influence of the Internet has helped to increase communication, it has also led to a decrease in the amount of trust people are willing to place in the written word. After all, anyone can pretend to be anything or have done anything when they are not held to account.
The result of the abuse of print mediums has meant that businesses have to face a public that is much more cynical when it comes to marketing. Virtually anyone can state that they had a great experience with a boat rental company when they went to their cottage, for example, whether or not they actually did go sailing. Most people are wary about being tricked into using a service or product that has only been endorsed, therefore.
This is why word-of-mouth advertising has become so important in today's marketing world. A cynical public needs to have products recommended to them by people they feel they can trust, which usually means family and friends. Whether we are talking a contractor for home repairs, night life hot spots, or the best cottage rentals, people are much more likely to trust a company that has the backing of a real human face.
The good thing about word-of-mouth advertising is that it can take a few different forms. In fact, most people do not need to hear from a personal acquaintance that a certain product worked well for them. Often enough, a testimonial placed on a website is enough to convince the consumer that the service or product is reliable and a good buy. Your friend could be looking for an experienced registered massage therapist and overhear you say that you had one of the best sessions that you have had in a long time!
Don't underestimate the importance of word-of-mouth when considering marketing strategies for your company. It's a powerful tool that has increased in relevance in our remarkably cynical society.