Part 2

Today, your word is not good enough.  The growing and incredible power of word-of-mouth and reviews through uncontrolled communication channels is the antithesis of traditional advertising.  Oh, the good old days when you placed an ad that said, “One spritz of this air freshener and say good-bye to houseatosis for hours.”  Now, word-of-mouth is so powerful that in a battle of words, the random blogger may win over the paid spokesperson.

I do a lot of research to learn how people select companies and really important professionals.  I am amazed at how many really educated people selecting really important providers will seek word-of-mouth referrals rather than rely on professional referral sources.  It reminds me of the line in Ferris Buehler’s Day Off when the student body is learning if Ferris is really sick: 

“Um, he’s sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night.”

Well, there you have it. Truth.

Word-of-mouth is the marketer’s nightmare.  Why?  It is uncontrollable for the most part.  So, ask yourself:  What have you done to create positive word-of-mouth about your offering?  What systems do you have in place to immediately detect and respond to potentially harmful posts, tweets, comments…?

To know where to direct your energy, it is important to understand what concerns your customers might have.  What messages (good or bad) would resonate the strongest?

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