A lot of people begin conversations with their friends with “I am on the market for _____ ” and it got me thinking about word of mouth marketing.
I personally am on the market for an HDTV and looking at all the options. (Opinions are welcomed but more on that later.)
This phrase got me thinking about how people talk about and tell their friends about products. To flip the thought process for a minute I put this question to companies; Is your product or service word of mouth ready? I have been asking around not only for my own selfish gain of knowledge but also as a mini case study for this article. I am sure the immediate answer for most executives is “Yes!” but I am finding more and more the answer is really “No.”
I am a great example of someone that talks about a lot of products and constantly gets asked about the latest and greatest in technology. This makes me view products and marketing in a different way. That, and the fact that I also work in online advertising. When I first learn about a product I try to find out everything I can about it. Most people do not go to such lengths and rely on us “sneezers” for the expertise and information. This got me thinking about how companies are viewing new channels of marketing and advertising. Some are even going so far as to put “Viral” on their flowcharts trying to schedule and predict the viral marketing of their product. All of these steps without actually getting a solid SMM (Social Media Marketing) strategy in place.
Without realizing it, companies are actually making it difficult to get their products and services talked about. Below are a few questions to help get the thought process flowing:
10 Questions to ask to find out if your product is WOM ready
1. Is the product info embeddable?
2. Is there a quick FAQ page?
3. Can everyone in your company define your company in one or two sentence’s?
4. Are there too many buzzwords?
5. Is any new vocabulary needed?
6. Can you apply a fast analogy for people to comprehend?
7. Do you have logo’s, artwork, screen shots readily available? (relates to #1)
8. Have youyour people done interviews?
9. What competition is talked about alongside your product?
10. Is your product word of mouth ready?
I think the final point – also the name of this article – is a fast question that generates a lot of thought. Although it seems glaringly obvious, it is amazing how many folks do not ask this question.
Buying the story
So back to my original TV hunt. I found that people are most likely to discuss and talk about features they can related to and tell a story with. Nobody will tell me about HDMI inputs on a television without the accompaniment of a visual. For example, someone will be discussing different inputs while explaining a certain movie, sports, an HD show, etc… All the while they will be explaining to me the benefits and drawbacks of each topic via a story.
I first heard this concept via Seth Godin awhile back and it always stuck with me; People buy stories not products. I think this is the reason why word of mouth marketing works so well. People are telling each other stories instead of listing off features and providing context for the specifications and fine print of your upcoming purchase. I also think this is the reason why you can always find context around items being sold. Whether it is a picture of a computer actually in an office to someone driving a vehicle on a winding road context always plays a large role. My point is that without a story behind something people are less likely to make a purchase. Going a step further, without a simple story and context people are less likely to discuss your product or service.
I hope this generates some good conversation and has at least one person ask her marketing manager at the next meeting; Is our product word of mouth ready?Tags: Marketing, Marketing.fm, seth godin, WOM, Word Of Mouth