Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

When innkeepers take a reservation from a repeat guest or learn that a new reservation was referred by a previous guest, it’s always a good thing. The higher the percentage of repeat and referral guests, the better, because word of mouth advertising costs nothing. Or does it?

In the day to day reality of most inns, word of mouth is free. But in the larger world of marketing, advertisers (that’s anyone asking someone else to buy their product or service, including innkeepers) are spending an increasing amount on Word-of-Mouth marketing, according to a recent article from PQ Media. PQ Media reports that "Spending on word-of-mouth (WoM) marketing jumped 35.9% in 2006 to $981.0 million and is expected to top $1 billion in 2007." If WoM has now extended from just friends and family talking together to social media outlets where future guests get referrals from "friends" they may not actually know, this is huge.

According to Nielsen Online, the most popular social networking site,, had almost 59 million unique visitors in October, 2007, up 19% from October, 2006. grew 125% in the same period! The B&B Team has been addressing this issue a lot lately, because it’s important. Does this mean that you have to start spending money to get the word of mouth that has always been free? No, not really. To partcipate in the virtual WoM world takes time more than anything. If you set up a blog the cost is minimal, but it costs nothing to belong to and read various social network sites where a lot of this word-of-mouth marketing is happening. So what are you waiting for? Eavesdrop a bit. Join the party and find out what everyone’s talking about. We are!

Happy Thanksgiving!


One Response to “Word-of-Mouth Marketing”

  1. Gayathri says:

    Has anyone out there heard about It seems like a way better service then wasting money on PPC. Apparently they are using refering websites ( forums, blogs, wiki, etc. ) and have a viral word of mouth distributed approach to it. My friend told me he got around 100 visits from single post which cost him $0.40c. I am going to give them a try today . In case you are intrested here is it.