What is word of mouth?
Traditional word of mouth messages happen offline. For example, a stay-at-home mom brings her son to a playgroup for a few years and becomes friends with the other parents in the group. When this mom reenters the workforce, she needs child care. She asks the parents she knows and trusts from playgroup to recommend a center.
Today, word of mouth is used broadly to encompass in-person recommendations as well as testimonies on social media, online reviews and recommendations from well-known influencers such as mommy bloggers.
Why does word of mouth matter?
Nielsen, a data measurement and analytics company, recently reported that “84 percent of consumers reported trusting recommendations from influencers, friends, family members and peer networks above all other kinds of marketing.” This means that for a large majority of people, a word of mouth recommendation trumps any ad, social media post or website your center creates.
Recommendations are even more powerful when trying to reach Millennials. According to research published by the McCarthy Group, “84 percent of [Millennials] don’t like traditional advertising, nor do they trust it.”
If your center’s reputation is less than perfect, advertising can be a wasted effort. New parents are picky when deciding who their babies will spend their days with. These potential clients will most definitely scroll past your search ad to see that your last review was 2 stars.
Your reputation is part of your brand and a positive one can go a long way for your center. Stop trying to drown out word of mouth with marketing dollars (which, statistically, is less effective messaging anyway), and build your reputation both on- and off-line.
Harness the power of word of mouth.
Build your reputation by creating a service that people want to talk about. When you and your staff go above and beyond for parents, they will share their experiences with their friends, family and social media followers.