Saturday, May 14, 2005
Generating Word of Mouth Advertising
turning customers into sales forces
Tom Peters, who seems to be several decades ahead of everyone else, already answered the really rather pathetic business question about influencing word of mouth.
Often the question is phrased:
"How can I increase or manipulate word of mouth advertising, so as to generate good will and to sell more product?"
First, you cannot increase, influence, change, or manipulate word of mouth advertising (WOMA).
Technically speaking, WOMA is spontaneous, unpaid, unmotivated enthusiasm for how a product works, looks, solves problems, enhances life, and endures under repeated usage.
You can seem to influence WOMA by invading chat rooms, discussion lists, online forums, wikis, or blogs...
...and telling your stories, your propaganda, your agenda.
But it will be a short-lived blip on the blogoscreen.
Customers only briefly rave about what is hyped to them.
Aggressive hype backfires when the product, or CUSTOMER SERVICE, sucks.
Customers rave about what blows their minds.
Word of Mouth that works long-term is unprovoked, sudden insight into the advantages of owning a particular product or subscribing to a service.
Word of Mouth that won't backfire into devastating losses of revenue and reputation...
...is caused by
12 Core Values
Word of Mouth Advertising:
(1.) perpetual motion toward the Ultimate, the Realization, the Truth, the Perfection
(2.) respecting, listening to, and helping others
(3.) putting others first and self last
(4.) servant leadership pervading the organization from start to finish
(5.) self-sacrificing, charge-leading front-line leadership-by-example: doing everything your employees do, from top to bottom of the management-labor chain
(6.) modeling devotion to ever-expanding and intensifying activism
(7.) genuine user-friendliess
(8.) smart and cheerful helpfulness
(9.) sincere quest for improvement everywhere
(10.) honest dealings with others
(11.) heart-felt pursuit of higher standards, altruism, progress for all sentient beings, bettering the human lot
(12.) putting human values and philosophical ideals ahead of money-grubbing materialistic vanity.
"How can I increase the positive attributes of my organization and products, so that favorable word of mouth advertising, and peer-induced shopping trends occur?" is the real question businesses need to ask.
This question, though valid,
is asked by business people
who have little understanding
user observation tests,
user centered design,
when using the product
to solve a problem
fulfill a need.
ENTER TOM PETERS
Here's how Tom Peters explained it in his book
The Pursuit of Wow!
Vintage Books, New York, 1994
[QUOTE by Tom Peters]
How do you generate word of mouth?
Excellance, of course. First, last, and every place in between.
But, say you've got your excellent product or service--is there some way to stimulate that priceless good word?
Yes. If you really believe in that product, put your money where your faith is.
Give it away. That's right, let people try it for free. Whether it's salad dressing, software, or Saturn, offer tastings, tryouts, and test drives.
First, no one can be happy with your product until they've tried it. Second, you'll convey your passion about the product. Remember, passion is contagious--spread from person-to-person, mouth-to-mouth.
[END QUOTE by Tom Peters]
Now...what do YOU think?
Is word of mouth this simple to generate?
Excellence, the 12 Core Values of WOMA, and free samples?
Or do these "simple" tips reap tremendous results, when consistently applied for long periods of time?
Post a comment...or email me YOUR opinion.
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate aka Leopold the Told
Posted by steven edward streight at 5/14/2005 04:18:00 PM