Andy Sernovitz helped make my vacation last week a pleasant one. I spent a few hours with Andy's book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking (Kaplan Publishing, 2006, 216 pages). The book is chock full of easy steps that will increase word-of-mouth marketing of whatever you sell. It's a quick read and a fun read, and well worth your time.
What is word-of-mouth marketing? Sernovitz defines it as,
"Giving people a reason to talk about your stuff, and making it easier for that conversation to take place."
It isn't advertising, by the way. As Sernovitz says,
"Advertising is the price of being boring."
And it only works if you have good stuff to sell, and if people like you and trust you.
- Top three word-of-mouth marketing tools:
- Ask people to spread the word about you and what you sell.
- Put everything into an email and ask your friends to forward it along.
- Put a tell-a-friend link on every page of your website.Provide a great product or service, assuming you want folks to say nice things about you. And treat your customers very well.
- Ask for testimonials from your customers (get permission to share the testimonials in your marketing materials).
- People are talking about you and what you sell anyway. It might be good, or bad. You can impact that conversation positively.
- Four rules of word-of-mouth marketing:
- Be interesting.
- Make people happy.
- Earn trust and respect.
- Make it easy.
- The three reasons people talk about you:
- They like you and your stuff.
- Talking makes them feel good about themselves.
- Talking makes them feel part of a group.
- The Five Ts of word-of-mouth marketing - the five key elements to consider when planning a word-of-mouth campaign:
- Talkers - who will talk about you?
- Topics - what will they talk about?
- Tools - how will you help get the word around?
- Taking part - when will you join the conversation?
- Tracking - how will you track the conversation?
- You can't fake it. Be yourself, be honest.
- "UR the UE" - meaning that your brand is really the sum of all the experiences customers have with your and your product or service. You can't create a brand, per se - you create a customer experience.
- "Fixing problems is the most powerful marketing you can do."