Word of Mouth Marketing

** UPDATE **

I now have Andy Sernovitz’s Podcast interview up on my podcast site for you to listen to.


I went to an excellent marketing conference yesterday at the Portland Art Museum. Weep all of you who weren’t able to go because you really missed something special.

The topic was “alternative” marketing techniques such as word of mouth marketing, viral marketing, the use of social media and so on. I’m not sure where to begin but I’d say the big idea was that new communication technologies enable people who like your products and services to be able to easily pass the word around. Of particular interest to small businesses is that word of mouth marketing is relatively cheap! It takes some careful and creative thought but does not necessarily require a lot of cash.

Andy Sernovitz the author of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking was the morning keynote and he had a great example of a commercial blender company that created a video showing the power of their blenders by blending an iphone! This video has been passed around and seen more than 4 million times. Now not all of those viewers will be real prospects but you can bet the word is out! Here is the link if you are interested:

The point is that the video did not cost a lot but it was very interesting and uses the power of the internet to quickly spread information.

Andy had a great tip that I think is worth repeating here. He pointed out that many of us create white papers, podcasts or other interesting free information products but that we lock them up behind long registration forms. He suggested that we encourage people to share them more easily. Capture the least (if any) information necessaryand let people know they can give them to their clients or friends or whomever. That will then spread the word about your product or service much more quickly than anything you can do yourself.

I did a podcast interview with Andy and will be posting it in a week or so. Sign-up for my newsletter if you would like to know when it is available.

There were many other good speakers and I will blog on some of their comments in the days to come.


Word of Mouth Marketing — 2 Comments

  1. Michael,

    Great post. Loved the blender video….makes me want to go buy one of their blenders. Seriously. I make smoothies 3 times a week for my kids, and believe me, frozen strawberries can be a challenge. If this thing can pulverize an iPhone, think of what it can do for my strawberry problem.

    I think the problem most small business owners run into in terms of Word of Mouth Marketing, is that it’s like referral marketing. They passively accept that they’ll get some leads this way, and they don’t go out of their way to DO anything to systematically produce leads from their efforts.

    Adrianne “The Marketing Machine” Machina (Is that too hokey?)

  2. Adrianne,

    You are so right. This thing can make serious smoothies. Just keep it away from your kids and any iPhones you have lying around!

    I agree with you on the referral thing. Most small businesses wait for referrals to come but they can do so much better by creating a system.

    Note to readers, check out our Referral Flood workbook. I will be scheduling a teleclass on that subject in the near future.

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