Friday, August 17, 2007

The Long Tail II

My Take

The Long Tail was the subject of an earlier entry (January 2, 2006). Here is a look at its application for the local, small business market.

The above figure shows how national brands expend large ad budgets to support their market shares. But according to the Long Tail Theory, small businesses account for the majority of sales dollars.

Local vendors are not served well by the same regional or national media as national brands. Yet successful vendors in the local market have developed the intense, personal and loyal customers, clients and patients that national advertisers could only dream of. This loyalty powers a media that is far more powerful than any other - word-of-mouth.

Consumer experiences automatically create word-of-mouth, either positive or negative. Ask any merchant, contractor or professional where their best new sales come from and you will get the same answer: "word of mouth referrals". The only way to generate true word-of-mouth referrals is by delivering reliable and high quality products and services.

If true word-of-mouth occurs inevitably and organically, the question is how can local businesses improve the process? How can they
  • stay closer to their satisfied clients?
  • increase the efficiency of word-of-mouth referrals?
  • prevent lost referrals?
  • allow their customers to participate?
  • benefit the community?
Excellent questions...

Friday August 17, 2007 - 09:11pm (EDT)