There’s an old phrase that goes along the lines of someone being able to ‘Talk the talk, and walk the walk’.
I guess just about every business worth their salt knows how to ‘Talk the talk’. Whether it’s their ability to sell themselves, their service or their product, a business that can’t talk themselves up is a business going out of business real soon.
But today, you have to be able to do more than just talk. What your marketing promises you have to deliver.
In this age of social media, word of mouth is king. Word of mouth can be defined as one consumer endorsing a given product or service to another potential consumer of that product or service, without inducement or favour from the producer of that…well, you get the idea.
As such these endorsements carry more weight than paid commercials or paid search. The endorser is under no obligation to give a recommendation, but does so because they have been so impressed by that company, product or person.
It means that people who don’t know one another except by avatar will accept the word of a stranger over all the sincere celebrities or learned experts a brand can muster. Just by working harder to make people happier, by listening to your consumers, by delivering on your promises, you are making it easier for them to tell their friends about you in a multitude of ways. Online in social media like Twitter, facebook and Foursquare. Offline over coffee at work or at a BBQ.
Everybody loves a good story, especially one with a happy ending. If you can make your company or brand the star of such a story, you are a long way towards being talked about. Of course, do things badly and you’ll be the star of a different kind of story – a cautionary tale!
And this is where matching your walk and talk is important. Word of mouth can’t be faked – attempting to do so is akin to corporate suicide. It is unethical, and when uncovered (and it always is) creates a backlash paticularly from the online community that can fatally damage your brand’s reputation.