Why is marketing where it is today....it leads down a very self-serving path...but it's so true and we can't put the genie back in the bottle and go back to the Glory Days of Marketing 1994 (or 1984 or 1974 or 1964 depending on your age and perspective):
Why is it that some people are
listened to while others are ignored? Why do some ideas people talk about “tip”
while others die off? As part of our Influencers community project, we added a section called How To Spread Effective Word fo Mouth as an Influencer. We studied the best of from the fields of academic, psychology, word of mouth, marketing and anthropological life and pulled together our list of 30 tips. After all, about 4 out 5 word of mouth occasions are face to face conversations. Some of it is very Infleucners' focused but thought it might be of some value to the blogosphere.
#1 - Leverage the Six Key Motivations Why
Humans Talk – tap into basic
human instincts that control most of us, we talk: 1) to survive, 2) to connect,
3) to make sense of the world, 4) to reduce risk, 5) to benefit economically
and 6) to relieve tension. Try to make your word of mouth quench one of these
#2 - Be Natural - the best word of mouth is unplanned, unrehearsed,
spontaneous and consistent with your personality; with the average Influencer
having over 200 word of mouth conversations each week, there is plenty of
opportunity to get the word out, don’t force it.
#3 - Find the Right People – the #1 reason somebody will participate
in word of mouth is that they find the topic relevant to them; there’s very few
other ways to jump the “junk filter” but to find the people who care about your
buzz – the opinion leaders, trendsetters, experts, tastemakers and social
ringleaders with an interest in your topic.
#4 – Have Fun – Influencers love to spread word of mouth, its
fun talking about new, exciting stuff. It’s not a job. It’s not a chore. It’s a
rewarding experience (we’re biased but we also think it’s a pretty cool social
#5 - Launch a Meme – a meme is an idea designed to spread; create
a “bandwagon effect” for your word of mouth by attaching your own meme to it
through catchphrases, lingo, metaphors, jingles…etc. so that not only does it
convince others but encourages them to pass your message onto others.
#6 - Use the Learning Principle – pass out Influencers’ Referral Cards to
word of mouth campaign participants when the situation presents itself.
Pictures and words ensure better recall and involvement of the word of mouth
referral (they can also tap benefits online as an Influencer Referral too!).
#7 - Give Practical Tips and Suggestions – effective word of mouth is more about how
something fits into a receiver’s life; provide people an idea of what to expect
in the real world under typical situations before they incorporate your word of
mouth into their life.
#8 - Provide a Balanced View – people don’t believe false “shills” or
“cheerleaders” but find honesty remarkably disarming; let people know the
upside and the potential downside of whatever word of mouth you’re advocating.
#9 - Feed the Personality – we’re all wired differently: trendsetters
want to be first in line, experts want to know the facts, opinion leaders want
to know the possibilities, tastemakers want to see the big idea, social
ringleaders want to know how to share it with others, mainstreamers and
laggards want to reduce risk and feel safe. Modulate your word of mouth for
#10 - Love being the Expert – word of mouth is truly for lovers, great
word of mouth evangelists embrace their role as expert, social glue or
trendstarter and are motivated to share their experiences, very approachable about
what they know and feel unthreatened by not knowing everything.
#11 - Create the Best Soundbytes – most human’s capacity to only recall 7
things at one time, above that number and we either have to commit it to memory
or more likely toss it out for other stuff to wade in. Take the most relevant
points from your own experience and our Word of Mouth Handbook and make your
key word of mouth points in 5 bytes or less.
#12 - Approach People You Know – in order of frequency, people word of
mouth with their family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours and online
members, there’s a reason – people trust and like the familiar, strangers
resist. Your first word of mouth port of call should be people you know.
#13 - Be Conversational – people enjoy and pay more attention to
your words when they realize they’re in a “tennis match of conversation” and
have to keep up their end.
#14 - Provide The WOW – the 2nd, 3rd and 6th
most important reasons why people engage in word of mouth about products is to hear
about stuff that is innovative, exciting and new. Average stuff is boring, answer
the question - what’s so different about your discovery.
#15 - Share an Indirect Experience – people have an alarming shortage of three
things – time, attention and trust. If you can provide a credible word of mouth
referral, it can act as a valuable guide and time saver without requiring the
person to experience “the thing” themselves.
#16 - Be Inspired – genuine authenticity and passion greases
the conveyor belt of word of mouth; true word of mouth advocacy can’t be faked
(nor should it be), but honest enthusiasm is magnetic and powerful and infects
others with a feeling of excitement and energy, use is to make your word of
#17 - Get Your Facts Straight – one bad fact or overstated truth to word
of mouth is like one bad coffee bean to espresso – it ruins the whole batch.
Word of mouth is built on the stilts of trust, when that leaves so does its
#18 - Make the First 30 Seconds Count – most people make impressions lightning
fast – provide the “why I should I care benefit” in the first ½ minute of your
conversation to avoid the “why didn’t you tell me earlier, I would have paid
more attention” response.
#19 - Answer Key Prospect Filters – effective word of mouth gets to the heart
of 4 questions - what is it?, why is it
so special/different?, how can I use it/see it/purchase it? And will it improve
#20 - Deliver Social Currency – people love hearing about things well
before the Smiths and Jones, provide them a glimpse through your insider’s
lense and you’ll build up value in your “social” bank account.
#21 - Get People to Make Small Commitments – people who take even a small position
will have a natural tendency to become stubbornly consistent with that “stake
in the sand”. Word of mouth acts as a trigger to make that first step.
#22 - Altruism Trumps Ego – word of mouth spreads further when you’re
genuinely trying to help others vs. trying to enhance yourself. Its human
nature to reciprocate with someone we believe is out to help us.
#23 – Buzz Buttons – so much of what we listen to is in one
ear and out the next - the word of mouth radar perks up when something is
attached to: the taboo, the outrageous,
the hilarious, the remarkable, the secretive and the unusual.
#24 - Be Animated – psychology research proves that people
that have a bigger range of voice, facial expression and body language have
greater conversational impact.
#25 - Capture the Imagination – find areas of common interest that make
people consider through open questions: “where could you go …?”, “what do you
think about…?”, “when was the last time you…?”- avoid closed questions that
shut conversations down like “are you”, ”have you”, “did you”.
#26 - Listen to Feedback and Answer all
Questions – word of mouth
is a two-way avenue, it’s effective because it answers other people’s questions
and lets them customize what they’ve learned to their own lives; when done
well, word of mouth is a collaborative effort.
#27 - Synchronize Body Language and Voice – people that have the same rapport with other
people are predisposed to listen – get on the same conversational wavelength
and watch the antenna go up.
#28 - Disclose You’re an Influencer – people always ask “doesn’t it ruin the
effectiveness of word of mouth when it’s sponsored by companies?” In fact, the
reverse is true. By disclosing that you’re part of a group of Influencers who
are sponsored to learn about new and interesting products, it actually improves
the effectiveness and curiosity of the word of mouth on its recipients. People
reward honesty and intrigue, so go ahead disclose.
#29Become a Merchant of Influence – by
providing frequent (at least every 2 weeks) and insightful feedback about your
word of mouth experiences to the Influencers (www.theInfluencers.ca), you
become part of a small and powerful panel of superinfluencers that shapes the responsiveness of companies to
real consumer needs and wants.
#30 Keep in Contact with The Influencers – check back to The Influencers regularly for
new word of mouth programs, polls and announcements. We live and die as a group
based on your participation and hope you will find our revolving set of word of
mouth activities and content fresh and exciting.
Congrats to the makers of Bon Cop Bad Cop. It raked in $2.6 million in its first week (principally in Quebec) and was the highest revenue per theatre beating out Talladega Nights by a clear $4,000 per screen. I haven't seen the flick yet but plan to. From what I've read, it's about time we shot more homebrewed stuff. The draw on this one - it's a blingual movie with clever premise to bring in both solitudes, Colm Feore is a great actor (his role as Pierre Trudeau in the CBC mini series was dead on perfect) and it doesn't pretend to be a poorer, greyer version of something that came out of Hollywood.
A comment from imdb as support: "It's rare that a Canadian movie has people talking like this one. What
other subjects than the so-called rivalry between Ontario and Québec
could have made a better film. Add to that our national sports, hockey,
and you've got a winner. It's a winner also because it's funny,
especially the first half. The location where the first body is found
is hilarious! Patrick Huard and Colm Feore are both doing an excellent
job. They're supported by a great cast. I especially like Pierre
Lebeau. That guy knows how to swear! Of course, it's full of clichés
and stereotypes that the population from the two provinces (English and
French) have of the other. But that's why it's so funny. I hope this
film does very well at the box-office. My guess though is that people
from outside Canada will not find it as interesting. But too bad!"
I would internet in Canada would be growing stronger given IAB's projected 2006 year-end total for Online advertising in Canada is
estimated to be $801 million - a full 43 percent more than the 2005
figure - or over 6.4 percent of an estimated total $12.5 billion ad
spend in Canada for 2006.
I came across some great info about the power of brand communities...and then lost the url. Now two weeks later...I found it again...some powerful data from Communispace on the benefits of creating your own brand fan clubs/communities.
Nine smart facts about communities that are good to have in your back pocket...
percent of community members said they were more likely to recommend
the client company’s products since joining its community; - 76 percent
felt more positively about the company; - 52 percent reported that
they were more inclined to purchase products from the sponsoring
company - 75 percent of the
community members surveyed said that they felt more respect for the
company sponsoring the community - 63 percent said that membership had
increased their trust of the company - 91 percent felt
that their community enabled them to give candid feedback and
suggestions to the company - 89 percent said they felt the company is
truly concerned with what its customers have to say - 82 percent of members asked said they were more likely to recommend the
company’s product than before joining the community - 59 percent of members reported talking
positively with friends and family about their community experience and
the sponsoring company.
When I used to work at Procter & Gamble, we used to call projections that showed outlandishly aggressive growth - hockey stick curves - linear and then straight up. We were either applauded for our aggressiveness and targetting our BHAGs (more P&G lingo - stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals) or more frequently, they were called broken hockey sticks and we were asked to go back to the drawing board and provide more realism to our plans.
For an upcoming client presentation, I needed to provide a sense of just how powerful word of mouth can be in its speed of dispersion. As you can see by the seven word of mouth power brands provided below, hockey stick curves are a part of the social media world. Now the question is do they accelerate as quickly down. Thanks to Alexa for the charting of traffic.
On my typical Sunday, I like to escape for 3-4 hours and bike across Toronto. I usually grab my Canon Powershot and take pics of discoveries I find across our great city. Today I bisected Toronto on Queen St. from the tip of Parkdale to the end of the Beaches.
Today's top spottings: - the closing of Caban - a real blow to another Canadian brand that attempted to be different - once again, I cycle across the DVP with jaw agape as I witness the coolest car dealership I have ever seen with the "Matchbox" BMW building - Queen St. also has some of my favourite restaurants and watering holes - Bonjour Brioche, Gio's- The Nose, Fresh, The Horseshoe, Black Bull, Gypsy Coop, Amato Pizza, Pulp Kitchen, Remarkable Bean, JOV Bistro, Tango Palace, Queen Mother, The Gladstone, The Drake, Chippy's and Dufflets
I also spotted this "SMART" ad on one of the bus shelters (hadn't seen it before)- a co-promotion between Smarties and Smart cars. I thought it was quite clever, engaging and unlike most co-sponsored ads...each brand adds something to the other - Smarties provides a sense of fun to Smart and Smart provides some aspirational value to Smarties. The URL hosts a contest held online to win 1 of 3 Smarts - it's simple, clean and designed to get people to come back for 8 different monthly contests. No big takeaway here except a good SMART co-promotion.
Sending my props out to John Moore @ Brand Autopsy for considering my football smack talk up to Fantasy Football standard. I'll now be horse-trading football talent with some of the well recognized experts and up-and-comers of the marketing and word of mouth blogging worlds. I've already detected team biases to capitalize on.