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Use the Mouth to Grow Profits April 19, 2007

Posted by David Dirks in Buzz Marketing: Lowest Cost/Highest Payoff.
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dirksphoto.jpgToday, you’ll hear a lot about the latest thing call “word of mouth advertising”. Wow. If I’m not mistaken, ‘word of mouth advertising’ is as old as it is new. Back before radio, TV, or computers, there was just plain newsprint advertising. But even before that, there was ‘word of mouth advertising’.

The best businesses, I don’t care what business you’re in, get most of their customers, and sometimes all of them, through word of mouth. Who doesn’t want that? Word of mouth advertising, when one customer tells another potential customer how great your business is, is cheap. It doesn’t cost you anything out of your cash flow. You don’t have to take a second mortgage to do ‘word of mouth advertising’.

It seems easy enough. Just get your customers to brag on you and your business. One tells another, then another, then another…you get the point. Oh, and therein lies the rub. How do you get your customers to brag on you and tell everyone they know?

I like the way Andy Sernovitz, CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WWW.WOMMA.ORG) describes how to do it:

Says Andy, “First, give people a reason to talk about you. If your business is merely fine, no one is going to care. You will have to do little special things (my emphasis) that people will go home and tell their friends about. The Carnegie Deli in New York gives you the best corned-beef sandwiches in the world—and they pile it up 7 inches high. If it were only 2 inches, it would still be the best, but you wouldn’t run home and tell your friends.”

You can probably think of a time when you went to some store, or received some type of service and were so WOW’d that you told everyone you knew about it. I’d bet that when the subject comes up…that store or service provider is probably the first one that pops into your head.

That’s word of mouth advertising. What special things could you do that would WOW your customers into advertising for you? If you can’t think of anything, you haven’t thought hard enough. Think again and then do it.

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