Word of Mouth Marketing Part I

1. worthy of notice: worth noticing or commenting on
2. unusual: unusual or exceptional, and attracting attention because of this

The success of your next cause-related marketing campaign (and perhaps all your marketing efforts) may hang on this single adjective. That’s the word from Andy Sernovitz, author of the book Word of Mouth Marketing and founder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

I caught Andy’s remarks at a speech he gave last night. What follows is the first part of my precis of his presentation. Part II follows on Thursday's post.

Word of mouth has been around forever and everyone knows how powerful it can be, for good and ill. But without an assist from the tenets of marketing, word of mouth by itself is like pasta without the sauce. That is, incomplete.

Propelling good word of mouth, Sernovitz says, has never been easier. Email and the social media amount to word of mouth particle accelerators, getting more from word of mouth than it could under its own power.

For instance, Sernovitz says, Gap sends out an occasional email to their staff that is passed off as a super-secret friends-only discount. The email says that the discount is only to be shared with one friend or family member. But Gap has something like 100,000 teenage employees, and their definition of sharing with one friend is different than mine. The result is that the discount code ends up on MySpace pages and in blogs and the like.

What are some other word of mouth campaigns that demonstrate the use of the remarkable?
The genius of word of mouth marketing is that it’s relatively inexpensive. And if you can’t figure out something remarkable over a long weekend you’re either a dolt or you’re over-thinking it.

On Thursday: the five Ts of word of mouth marketing and The Chocolate Problem.

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