Marketing For The Future November 2016 - Page 7

In 2016 a research study was conducted (Mathilda, 2016) to determine which factors could stimulate customers to engage in word of mouth. This study was mainly geared towards the local car maintenance and repair shops with the objective of attracting the local female market. Mathilda (2016) studied the new market of a local car repair auto shop, which consisted of local women. This target demographic is attractive to the car repair shop as it has a high buying power especially in regard to car repair and maintenance. As word of mouth has been proven to be effective in attracting new customers, the local car repair and auto shop requested a study on how it could attract its new target market with this strategy. The aim of this research was to explore what word of mouth tactics a car repair and maintenance shop can use in order to obtain new customers, particularly women. The respondents who participated in this qualitative research were asked a variety of questions from different angles related to this subject in order to determine what motivates them to endorse a business to other potential customers. In this exploratory research a total of five (5) professional females were interviewed. The objective of the interviews was to learn how local women can be encouraged to engage in offline, electronic and/or social word of mouth. Their answers were analyzed and compared with previous research studies that had been conducted on a variety of word of mouth topics. Results show, that customers can indeed be acquired through word of mouth marketing. Findings indicate that word of mouth is an effective tool for obtaining (new) customers. People are more likely to try a product when it is recommended by their friends as they trust their experiences over others forms of marketing, such as advertising. Results also indicate that it is possible to stimulate customers to engage in personal and electronic word of mouth when the correct tactics are applied. Referral programs, amusing ads, and newsletters with valuable content are good methods to encourage customers to engage in offline, electronic, and social word of mouth. However, referral programs are the best method to stimulate overall word of mouth. The local car repair auto shop can acquire and stimulate its new target market with word of mouth marketing if it is done appropriately. Highly amusing advertisements and newsletters that provide beneficial tips are good ways to achieve offline- and electronic word of mouth. If overall stimulation of word of mouth is the objective, application of referral programs is the best way to achieve this, which includes offline, electronic, and social word of mouth. Thus, it is recommended that the local car repair auto shop use these tactics to attract its new (female) target market. The study of Mathilda (2016) was mainly geared towards the local car maintenance and repair shops with the objective of attracting the local female market. However, it can also be applicable for other types of businesses. 7