The Solutions Marketing Group has found through our years of research that beyond what a company says about its product, service or accessibility in an ad, the number one way that people with disabilities determine whether or not they’ll pull the trigger to buy is what they hear from their peers. We’ve heard consumers tell us throughout the country that word of mouth provides a weightier, more credible endorsement than anything a company can say about itself. Why is that? Because we’d rather hear about the experiences of others who have similar experiences or health needs, than anyone else.
Consumers don’t mind sharing a lot of information with friends, colleagues, and/or parents with children with disabilities. Topics range from identifying van conversion companies in a specific region; discussing service providers that have a successful track record; finding travel destinations, like Disney; theater arts companies that are accommodate a range of disabilities; or even the airlines that have a consistent track record in providing amazing service – on and off the plane. We do not hold back when it comes to sharing information. We want seamless experiences, as our non-disabled peers, and we want to hear from people who have experienced what we need.
We used to share face-to-face, with a phone call or in a support group. Social media has changed all of that. We dig into company websites, we read reviews on sites like Trip Advisor, and we ‘like’ what our friends say on Facebook, or we retweet on Twitter. Whatever it is, we tell it.
While becoming an event sponsor is great, and creating the infrastructure within your organization to support families with kids with disabilities is awesome, it won’t amount to much if the disability market doesn’t see your company demonstrate that they are valued consumers. Once they do, and they experience the very best of your company’s commitment to them, they will begin to tell it. At the heart of reaching 56M people in this U.S. is a really simple idea:
People decide to tell other people.
Start with that and get them talking about your organization. Make sure what your walk and talk line up, because this market can spot a phony. Once you’ve done your work to understand the market, create a robust marketing strategy that includes digital/social media. Once your company captures the attention of the disability market, they will tell each other.