Well, as I promised, this is a follow up to my post last week. I attended a SIG this morning for CEO’s with Budgets Less Than $2M (sorry Gary LaBranche, it was a really interesting topic). The presenter was Andy Sernovitz from the Word of Mouth Marketing for Associations. Apparently there is an association for everything.

So the last post I enquired about good advertising. Well I think Andy gave me some insights. He laid out five steps for word of mouth marketing:

  • Talkers – bloggers, volunteers, evangelism programs
  • Topic – great service, viral campaign
  • Tools – coupon, blogs
  • Take Part – join conversations, outreach
  • Track – technorati, web stats, trend analysis

In the world of word of mouth marketing I think your biggest allies are the ‘Talkers’. Those are people or communities are going to do a lot of free advertising for you. You want to reach them and let them spread their word – good or bad. How do you get the talkers using your product or service? Do you try and hook them with a freebie? Do you try and create your own viral campaign with a blog and hope the talkers are listening and jump on board?

I also liked the ‘Take Part’ a lot. He talked about using your ‘Track‘ to monitor this closely (thanks Mike Mason!) and participate with others in your own efforts. This might mean finding good or bad conversations and writing some feedback thanking them or apologizing. This is a great idea! You should acknowledge those talking about you and show your appreciation by writing back. Give those people another reason to talk more about you and your service or product. Andy threw out a statistic about those who like you will refer you to 5 friends, but those who didn’t like you and you have won back are likely to refer you to 10 friends. So make sure you do your best to keep people happy and do a lot more to win those back who you might have lost.

The last thing I really hung onto was “UR your UE” or you are your user experience. What this means is that this is what best represents you as a company is your service or your product, not your advertising. The example he used was Comcast. We are all familiar with the ‘Comcastic’ campaign and for those who live in Chicago we know all to well that thier user experience is anything but ‘Comcastic’. Comcast is a product of their users experiences and hopefully so is your association.

So if you want to have success and don’t want to spend a $177 million dollars a day advertising, try and latch on to some organic, community based approaches.

Written by

Zachary Wilson

I enjoy reading & writing about the web and digital marketing. My day-to-day focuses on ensuring our clients have big wins. That begins with extraordinary website design and UX. The real exciting stuff is helping develop strategies to drive traffic (on-site page optimization) and help conversion rate optimization (getting new sales and / or customers). With all my “other” time, I enjoy exploring new adventures with my 3 daughters and wife.