by Roger McManus
Marketing — the process of telling people how great you are — is a well-established practice. “Inverse Marketing," — just coming into play in a big way, thanks to ubiquitous social media — is the process of getting complete strangers to willingly deliver your marketing message for you.
They are not complete strangers of course. They are the happy customers or family members of customers of your home care agency. But they are complete strangers to your marketing audience, which makes them extremely valuable to you. They are perceived to have more credibility than you and their marketing services are entirely free. Still, few home care agencies tap this resource.
The process is free because your loudest supporters are not the ones on your payroll but satisfied consumers of your services who are perfectly willing to tell others. Give them a little encouragement and an easy path to do so and they are more than happy to tell the world about you.
Billions of dollars have been spent, by other people, to set up the structure to make this possible for you. Outside of colas and pharmaceuticals, few marketing efforts have the aggregate spending power and impact of Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing and hundreds of others on which the average consumer relies to make purchase decisions. Your strategy, therefore, is simple: "feed" these organizations the information you want your prospects to see.
Research: Strangers Are Believable
In 2009, research company A.C. Nielsen surveyed 25,000 people in 50 countries about how much they trust sources of recommendations. Perhaps not surprisingly, 90 percent of respondents said they trusted most the recommendations of people they knew personally. Quite surprisingly, however, is that the study also showed that over 70 percent trust the recommendations they read online from total strangers. You have to think that over the past five years that number has increased. Direct communications from you, however, your traditional marketing methods, are far down the list. Information on your website is trusted by 58%, your advertising 50%, and text messaging 29%.
The fact that the term "Inverse Marketing" is not a widely known term today is good for you, actually. Relatively few home care agency owners understand what it is and how to use it, so when you get started you gain a significant advantage over competitors who do not. In fact, if you take action right away, you will have what could be called an unfair advantage in your marketplace, simply by understanding the power of Inverse Marketing and applying it in a powerful way. This will not long be the case. In the not-too-distant future, once Inverse Marketing has become mainstream, that unfair advantage goes away. Today, however, just by knowing the concept, you have a window of opportunity.
Making It Easy
There are actually ways to automate the solicitation of Yelp and Google reviews. Visit www.rogermcmanus.com/reviewsoftware to learn more.
©2015 by Rowan Consulting Associates, Inc., Colorado Springs, CO. All rights reserved. This article originally appeared in Tim Rowan's Home Care Technology Report. homecaretechreport.com One copy may be printed for personal use; further reproduction by permission only. firstname.lastname@example.org