It all comes down to
this: Happy customers are your best advertisers. If people like you and like
what you do, they will tell their friends.
1> Lesson 3: The Three Reasons People
Talk About You
2> Lesson 4: The Five Ts of Word of Mouth
3> Example: Kiehl’s Free Samples
1> Lesson 3: The
Three Reasons People Talk About You
Reason #1: You. They Like You and Your Stuff.
They like you. They
feel a connection to your company, they respect what you do, and they want to support
you. So they bring their friends. People feel driven to share things they like
with their friends, so their friends can enjoy them too. Create great products
and services that inspire them. (Think about TiVo, the best album ever, the
best cookie you ever ate, or the spot remover that actually works.)
Be likeable. Make
great stuff. Provide great service.
Reason #2: Them.
Talking Makes Them Feel Good
People talk because
it makes them feel special, smart, connected, in the know, and important. (Think
about the restaurant guy, the what’s-on-sale maven, the computer guru.) People
also feel good when they can help others find what they need or solve problems.
(Think about the guy who always knows which contractor to call or which car to
Provide reasons to
talk that make your talkers feel smart and special.
Reason #3: Us. They
Feel Connected to the Group
Talking about a
company and being passionate about it makes us feel like part of a family. We
talk about it because it makes us feel included on the team. (Think about
Harley owners, Apple junkies, sports fans, and anyone who loves a great band.)
Rally the team. Give them shirts, private discussion groups,
special events, and public recognition.
2> Lesson 4: The
Five Ts of Word of Mouth Marketing
Talkers: Find The
People Who Like To Talk
Are they your
customers? Neighborhood moms? Doctors? Bloggers? Think about the people who are
most likely to tell a friend about what you are doing. Make sure they know
about your new topic of conversation.
Topics: Give Them a
Reason to Talk
Give people a reason
to talk about you. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A special sale, good service, a
neat new feature, a better flavor, a funny package. (Remember the Gateway
computers that came in cow-patterned boxes?)
Tools: Help the
Message Spread Faster and Farther
Do everything you
can to make it easy for talkers to pass along your topic. Include postcards and
stickers in the box when you ship a package. Put up a chat room so people can
talk to each other. Join a blog conversation. Hand out samples. (Did you ever
get one of those emails with a “secret” coupon that was supposedly for
employees only? Did you forward it?)
Taking Part: Join
out when there’s only one person talking. When people are talking about you,
answer them. Reply to their email. Comment on blogs that write about you. Send
a lot of thank-you notes.
and Understand What People are Saying
The word of mouth
conversation is the best feedback you’re ever going to get. It’s far better
than any other kind of market research, because it is the authentic voice of
the consumer. Hear what people are saying, learn from it, and use it to be a
3> Example: Kiehl’s
gets people talking with free samples. They are crazy for free samples — if you so much as look at a product
on a shelf, someone in a lab coat will scurry out and hand you some
samples. Important: They never give you
just one. They give you one for yourself, one for your mom, and one for your
Last time my wife was
there, they saw her looking at products for sensitive skin, so they immediately
handed her two samples each of two other products for sensitive skin. Then they saw our baby, asked how old she was
… and gave us a baby t-shirt with their logo. Everyone who asks about the
shirt is going to get this whole story. More great word of mouth.
The Lesson: Samples
are conversation-starters. So is extraordinary service. NEVER let someone leave your store without a
reason to talk about you.