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BAPIA: The 80/20 rule and word of mouth

In BAPIA’s latest PPE column, chairman  John Bowler takes a look at the most effective way to give balloon businesses a boost.

“It’s been theorised that in many businesses, 80% of positive outcomes (ie sales), come from just 20% of your actions. This idea is based on the theory that a small percentage of our overall actions lead to the biggest results. This in turn suggests that 80% of the time we’re spending energy and money on things which won’t have a large return.

Can you identify this pattern in your business? Perhaps you offer a wide range of party services but the majority of your sales come from balloon design work? Or do you find that the majority of your customers find you through one particular form of advertising over others?

It can be easy to get bogged down pouring energy into the lagging areas of our businesses rather than focusing on what’s already doing well, but once you’ve established where a promotion will work best, how should you go about letting customers know about it?

Word of mouth is still the most effective form of advertising. Did you know that 92% of people believe recommendations from friends over all forms of advertising? It makes sense – you’re much more likely to pick the party company that your friend used over one you saw online.

For word of mouth advertising to work, your details need to be readily available and easy to pass on. When a customer gets asked for your details a year later, you want them to be able to remember and pass on the information easily. Got a complicated name? Choose a nickname for social media – something short and unique that customers can easily search to find your full details.

You can also offer an incentive to encourage past customers to pass on your details. A discount on their next order or a freebie for their next celebration are all gratefully received. Just be careful to make sure you track the referrals properly so you can reward your customers and watch your business grow…”

This article can be seen in full in the latest issue of Progressive Party Europe.

ABOVE: An Instagram post by BAPIA member @for_every_occasion_balloons in Rhyl.

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