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Don’t speak with your mouth full: What are your suggestions for better word of mouth marketing efforts?

July 21, 2011

Among the long list of marketing catchphrases, word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is certainly one of the least understood. The confusion comes from the fact that most companies know how to talk to people about their products and services, but few understand how to convince people to talk about them in return.

Recently, I attended AAF Dallas’ monthly luncheon featuring Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. Andy is a genius when it comes to understanding WOMM, and this was evidenced in the chatter created by his unusual tactics during the lunch, like passing around a bag of candy and pins saying “I love my job,” both of which had the audience buzzing during his speech.

See how handy this WOMM piece is? Dang, I wish I'd thought of that.

During the presentation, he identified (and smartly, handed out on bookmarks that I happened to have on my desk while searching for a blog topic) 12 pillars to a WOMM Manifesto.

  1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.
  2. Marketing is easy: earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.
  3. Ethics and good service come first.
  4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are).
  5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.
  6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.
  7. Be interesting or be invisible.
  8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing.
  9. Make the story of your company a good one.
  10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.
  11. Use the power of word of mouth to make businesses treat people better.
  12. Honest marketing makes more money.

I’ve listed them here as the starting point to a marketing conversation (either here on this blog or elsewhere). How do you get people/clients/customers talking?

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