People have to hear things and see things 7 times before they take action, so advertising is important and PR are very important to your business. but I agree that word of mouth is a powerful way to build your business. It is ALWAYS WORKING, it may not be in your favor, but it is always working.
Here are a few things to remember about word of mouth.
1. In order for WOM to work well for your company or you as a person, you MUST have a clear, concise message that others can carry easily and repeat to people they know. For instance, I have a friend who reviews property taxes for commercial buildings, if you are over paying then she will file an appeal and get you a refund of the over payments. That message is too long…here is the message that everyone carries for her….. Denise takes the pain out of property taxes, you should call her. Simple, easy for others to remember. Most business people have a muddled message.
2. WOM is the most dangerous form of marketing, in that you cannot control people. They may carry the wrong message or a negative message.
3. Word of Mouth is always working, it just may not be working in your favor. Negative WOM travels faster than positive WOM. Dr. Misner discusses this topic in the book, Truth or Delusion.
I remind BNI members and Referral Institute graduates regularly that WOM is always working. It is important for them to keep the message simple, consistent, and positive. A great message backed up by poor service or a poor image is going to create Negative WOM.