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Word of Mouth Clicks For Small Businesses

Most marketers know that word of mouth has been a driving marketing force since the dawn of commerce. With the Internet, word of mouth marketing has taken new life: companies can get the word out about their products and services with little or no investment. Web logs, email newsletters and chat rooms cost nothing but man-hours to create.

According to Ed Keller, a research and marketing consultant, word of mouth marketing is more important now than ever. "The word of friends and family is valued 1.5 times more than it was in the 1970s. Consumers are more confident in taking decision in their own hands."

And it can work for anyone, even a pizza restaurant, which asked customers to order pizza online and post reviews. They also opened a chat room and started publishing email newsletters containing a game with prizes like redeemable coupons. The end result: many more customers for his restaurant than previous TV efforts.

David Hallerman, an eMarketer analyst says that buzz marketing is often more effective for smaller businesses, even though companies of all sizes can find that kind of success.

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