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04/15/2009 Word of Mouth Marketing


Cover of "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Sm...Cover via Amazon

I took advantage of my travel time this week to jump into a book that I ordered two months ago but never made the time to spend reading it. I turned off the TV on Jet Blue and tuned into Andy Sernovitz’ “Word of Mouth Marketing” second edition.

It felt right that Seth Godin wrote the foreword to this book because it seems like a logical extension from Seth’s “Purple Cow” and “Free Prize Inside” to Andy’s “WOMM.”

This is another book that is well written, easy to read, and supplies good examples to get you going. Most importantly, it gets you going of doing word of mouth and not just talking about it. That was one of things Purple Cow did at an old workplace: it got everyone talking about remarkable but no one agreeing on what remarkable was or what we were actually going to do differently.

In some way it feels like the manual to a lot of Seth Godin’s thinking.  And I have to admit that I like it when Andy stops you and points out the key points and reminds you to, well, remember.

The book has two sections: Essential Concepts and How To Do It. The How To Do It section is so full of different angles that it almost feels silly NOT to do try any of these.  Reading this section gave me 5-10 immediate ideas I’ll be talking to my clients about over the next few weeks.

More importantly, it spurred a great idea for my own business. I love it when you see something and it just goes “Pop” and there the idea is. I can’t wait to do this, I hope my clients have as much fun with it as I’m going to have putting it into action.

And isn’t that word of mouth is all about? Generating interesting, creating something fun or unexpected and not being able to wait to tell someone about it?

I think, though, that one of the things that make Andy’s ideas stand out is that he seems to promote what I call “Moral Marketing™.” As he puts it “word of mouth marketing is about being good to people.” If you took out the words “word of mouth” from that sentence and just let it speak to marketing, imagine how different our world and the work we do would be.  Social media seems to embrace this philosophy, when done correctly, which is perhaps why word of mouth marketing now has a platform to flourish on.

So add “Word of Mouth Marketing” to your reading list. When you finally get around to reading it, you’ll be glad you did. It will either reinforce what you now do and spur more ideas, or it will get you to start looking differently at the marketing you currently practice.


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