The Chief Means of Marketing, Part 2

Word of Mouth. That would be the chief means of marketing, at least according to book people. And now it seems this is also the favorite tack of others in the business of selling, as evidenced by Andy Sernovitz‘s book Word of Mouth Marketing.

Just in case you’re unclear how this work, I’m actually demonstrating it by writing these posts. Author and one time marketer Brandilyn Collins blogged about WOMM, the book, and gave two copies away. The things she said convinced me this was a book I wanted, so I diligently left comments each day she posted about the topic, and wonder of wonders, I won a freebie. Now here I am, passing on to you some of what I’m learning. That’s word of mouth.

The organic kind—that which arises from happy consumers, not one, like a blog tour that is initiated by an organizer. In my way of thinking, the organized kind of word of mouth will generate the organic kind of word of mouth if the product (the book) earns it.

I ended yesterday saying that I believe this type of marketing is eminently consistent with the Christian life. Quotes from Andy say it best:

This is nominally a book about a specific marketing technique. But it’s really a new [old?] philosophy of business (and how to live it).

It’s about honesty and admiration. It’s about making people happy.

It’s a simple philosophy, a new golden rule:

Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers [readers], and they will do the rest.

  • Treat people well; they will do your marketing for you, for free.
  • Be interesting, or be invisible.
  • A new golden rule. Just like the one God set up in His word, about loving our neighbors as ourselves. Lo and behold, business people have discovered the pragmatic side of this equation, that customers, when treated with respect, become loyal to the point of talking about businesses they’re happy with.

    Of course, there is that all important ingredient—giving readers a product they’ll be happy with. That, above all else, is necessary with books. Andy explains:

    Word of mouth marketing only works if you have good products and services [books]. It only works if peole like you and trust you … If your product or service [stinks], no PR campaign, clever TV ad, or announcement on your website will make consumers believe that it doesn’t. Not anymore. And the speed of word of mouth on the internet spreads the truth almost instantly.

    The sum and substance of this first point is this: be buzz worthy. For a book to accomplish this, it takes more than a great cover or a scintillating premise. Those are ingredients that could initiate buzz, but the story and writing have to be there if it’s really going to catch fire.

    And speaking of buzz worthy, we are now twelve days away from Donita K. Paul’s DragonLight blog tour. This is one you won’t want to miss.

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