Trylon Communications  - December 2003
       

Who's Telling Your Story?

If you have an effective communications program in place, more people than just your employees will be talking about your company. Are you generating enough third-party buzz to get your name in front of prime prospects?

As mentioned in the marketing myths article, word of mouth is the top reason a company lands on a short list of potential vendors. Whether an executive hears about your company from a colleague, a competitor, the media or a Weblog (blog), it is crucial that these other people are telling your story.

How does a company generate this type of buzz? First of all, testimonials are a tried and true marketing tool. With today’s technology, they can become even more effective. Instead of having an enthusiastic customer write a letter, how much better would it be to have them videotape a short statement about your company that you can stream from your Web site?

Another opportunity is right in front of you. A company newsletter that can easily be forwarded to colleagues and friends gets your story in front of people through what is called “viral marketing.” A newsletter with relevant information forwarded from a trusted source can open a line of communication to decision makers.

Become active in online forums that apply to your particular industry or niche. This is more relevant now than ever, as there are blogs that cover virtually every type of industry. You never know when you may be mentioned in a business meeting because a solution or idea you presented online is pertinent to a question or challenge your prospect faces.

Become the expert in your field. We have talked about this before (see article). When you become the go-to person in your industry for the media, your company develops a reputation and status that money can’t buy.

Encourage referrals. We all operate in a community, but often forget to remind customers that our business grows from referrals. When you do receive a referral, don’t forget to thank the person that mentioned you.

Finally, be “out there.” It is too easy today to become so myopic and overwhelmed with business affairs that you fail to attend industry and social events. Get out and mingle, share your enthusiasm for what you do with others. Enthusiasm is contagious and will keep your name top of mind.