AI Content Chat (Beta) logo

Breaking Down the Methodology Behind Word of Mouth Marketing

You've spent 12 months building the most wicked product on the planet. Now what?

Now, you need customers, revenue, and growth. So here's the sequence most entrepreneurs follow:

Step 1: You launch a blog
Step 2: You launch your Facebook page
Step 3: You start promoting your writing to your fan community of 50

Then you wait. You've built it; why aren't they coming?

You get pissed off. You hop in your car, go to the gym, or take a walk outside to take your mind off things. Then you see that big Coca Cola billboard with shiny, happy stock-photo people and blinding, bright colors - you can't help but swoon. You're craving Coca Cola's fizzy goodness and wishing that Santa would bring you a $10 million paid advertising budget.

Hold it - the glamour of paid advertising is a total illusion

Get it together. Get back to your computer immediately and watch the first cat video that you can find. Little do you know it, but that's your brilliant plan. It's twice as powerful as any paid channel advertising strategy, and it's free. Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM) = your growth engine.

According to the McKinsey Quarterly, "word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones."

And thanks to digital media, it's not about neighbor A knocking on neighbor B's door for advice anymore. Social media, content marketing, and online commenting platforms take WOMM to data-driven scale.

WOM is About Street Smarts, Not Rocket Science

What does it take to get you talking about something? Most likely, it's made you laugh out loud, saved you time, and solved your most pressing problems. It's caught you by surprise and has struck an emotional chord.

As Wharton Marketing Professor Jonah Berger puts it:

Any product can be remarkable. Any product can be emotional.

It's about the connection you build with your end-user psychologically, functionally, personally, and emotionally.

Take one of the most ordinary products on the market, for instance - a blender (WOMM-U fans, does this ring a bell?). Does the word 'awesome' come to mind? Probably not. Now watch the following video made by a company called Blendtec.

What happens next?

You share the video with everybody, and all of a sudden, Blendtec is awesome. You need it in your kitchen to replace the frou-frou blades in your cupboard.

The "Mystery" About WOMM

Like any good marketing plan, it follows a standard framework. Amazing marketers take the same basic skeletons and flesh them out.

"It doesn't take a marketing genius - though they are smart marketers - to think about this," says Berger. "What it takes is understanding the psychology behind social transmission - what makes us talk about and share thing."

The trick is to stop thinking of your brand-building as a stream of consciousness, creative endeavor. Think like a system with the following steps:

1. Take Control: Controversy Gets People Talking

Want to be a powerful influencer? Then own it. To be an authority, your brand persona needs to project confidence and charisma. No matter what you do, this mission-critical component will be your wow-factor.

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist for notorious clients like Tucker Max and Dov Charney. His perspective? Great marketing starts with your product.

If your product sucks, everybody's going to know. As much as you can successfully BS the world, you can't BS yourself. And when you try to market BS, you're going to fall on your ass.

"It's not worth talking about, it's not interesting, and I can't get excited about it," Holiday wrote.

Tucker Max is a total $%#@, and he'll be the first to admit it. The people who love him think he's awesome. The people who hate him? Well, 'awesome' isn't exactly the word that comes to mind.

Thing is, he doesn't care. You can't please everybody. 'Awesome' is always worth marketing, even if there's a flip side that others hate. Don't be afraid to polarize people. If you're scared to put yourself out there at the risk of pissing people off, you'll be missing out.

Controversy gets people talking, and in terms of WOM, that's awesome.

2. Value = What Your Customers Care About

Tucker Max himself points out that value is central to the equation. Audiences can smell fluff from a million miles away (especially from a computer screen).

"Have you noticed I haven't written one word about book reviews or magazine interviews or radio or any of that?" he says.

Because for the most part, I've found that they don't really matter.

I can tell you from very extensive experience that my book has done so well ONLY because people who read it recommended it to other people, and they went out and bought it.

Word of mouth. Nothing else...lasting, real word of mouth can only come from one source: creating value.

It's simple, folks. Know what your customers care about. What keeps them up at night, what motivates them to go to work in the morning, and what holds them back. It's your job to give them exactly what they need.

Continue reading Dan's post here.

Top 10 List for Word of Mouth Marketing - Page 7 Top 10 List for Word of Mouth Marketing Page 6 Page 8