My buddy Andy Sernovitz, the CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, is coming out with a new book called, duh, Word of Mouth Marketing.
I highly recommend this book because it was so practical, tactical, and hysterical. Here are the ten ideas, stories, and recommendations from the book that I liked the most:
- Companies could hire a customer service rep to cruise the Internet looking for kudos and complaints. When the rep finds kudos, he should thank the person. When the rep finds complaints, he should get it fixed. This is such a simple, effective idea—I doubt, therefore, that many companies will do it!
- Commerce Bank has a free change-counting machine in its branches that anyone can use. This beats the hell out of the machines in markets that take 7%.
- A study by the Verde Group showed that people who heard about a bad shopping experience are less likely to go to the same store than the person who actually had the bad experience.
- The most powerful word-of-mouth advocates might be the customers who have only done business with you once so far. They are the most excited; repeat customers are probably accustomed to the great product/service and therefore, ironically, less likely to talk about it.
- The Prostate Net, a not-for-profit educational organization, contacted 50,000 barbers to talk to their clients about prostate cancer detection and prevention.
- Incentives and rewards are likely to reduce word-of-mouth advertising because motivation becomes suspect. You can’t “buy” word-of-mouth advertising.
- The Wynn Las Vegas resort gave free rooms to cabbies to generate word-of-mouth advertising via this very influential part of the transportation infrastructure.
- Henkel Consumer Adhesives, the manufacturer of Duck Tape, sponsors a contest for college scholarships called “Stuck at Prom.” Is this funny or what?
- A word-of-mouth campaign, brought back “Family Guy” from the dead (that is, cancellation). How many tv series have you heard of coming back from the dead?
- Zappos has a one-year, no questions asked return policy for shoes. This boggles my mind although I’ve never heard of any woman return anything to Zappos.
Someday I hope to read about your kick-butt ideas in a book like this. Until then, your word-of-mouth marketing efforts will surely get a boost if you read this book.