A WORLD OF WORD-TO-MOUTH

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Fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan; MIDO, also in Milan; The Vision Council’s Executive Summit in Florida; SECO in Atlanta; OPTI in Munich; and 100% Optical in London. While these events have already taken place, there are plenty more scheduled to fill out the remainder of the year.

If so inclined, someone who wants to follow the global trends in eyewear and eyecare (while also setting their own) could spend much of their time on the road attending these events.

While it is unlikely that a single individual would attend all available optically related events, in this age of instant digital communication where everything is virtual yet little is face-to-face, personally traveling to these international events and spending some quality time with the associates we deal with regularly is not only a welcome respite from the desks we jockey but also a necessary part of doing our jobs- interpersonal relationships.

As the influence of digital continues its immense impact on business and the world of information evolves, the foundations upon which these are built, the trade shows mentioned above, the trade magazine you are now reading, the fashion weeks and launch parties we frequently attend, all support the interpersonal relations that fuel our business dealings. These (along with digital communication) provide the backbone of information sharing in the business of vision.

Ultimately, these are all simply different variations on the tradition of “word-of-mouth,” one of the most powerful methods of communication. In fact, some studies have shown that offline conversations can be far more impactful than anything conducted online. According to ACI Information Group, 1,000 customers can generate 500,000 conversations about a brand.

In this issue’s article about using visible labs as a marketing tool (see page 94), the impact of word-of-mouth was also cited by the founder of LensCrafters as the reason for the immense success of that business. “Most of our marketing was done through TV ads, but the lab in the window created a huge amount of word-of-mouth advertising,” Dean Butler told us.

You may have noticed that this publication’s signature “Where To Find It” resource now features email addresses as one more means for readers to contact companies for information about products and services mentioned. This serves as just another form of word-of-mouth, another potential portal of communication. Use this to further develop your business relationships.

The tried-and-true method of word-of-mouth communication remains as necessary today as it has always been a means of maintaining the interpersonal relationships that provide the basis of all of our business; it’s just that today it can be in-person, online or in print.

email me at js@visioncareproducts.com

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