If there’s one thing marketers love, it’s getting other people to do their jobs for them. That’s been the tempting lure of Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) for years, particularly with the rise of social media. But like all other marketing initiatives, it requires strategic thinking, planning, and discipline. Ted Wright lays out the principles of successful WOMM quite nicely in Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth.
Wright makes it clear that “word of mouth” doesn’t equal “free.” Nor does it mean “unplanned.” Finding influencers, product sampling, honing in on a brand story that’s easily told, and other techniques are all discussed here. Best of all, there’s a section devoted to “Myths, lies and misconceptions” about WOMM that counters much of the conventional wisdom surrounding it. Using some wonderful examples, including unexpected ones like BISSELL carpet sweepers, Wright shows how any product can benefit from positive buzz.
I’ve never believed WOMM should be a substitute for traditional marketing techniques, and it’s foolish for marketers to believe that a brand can magically appear on everyone’s lips without much effort. Fizz makes a good case for why it’s an important addition, not a replacement. It’s a great read for marketers who want to boost the buzz surrounding their brands by understanding what to do — and what not to do.
Special thanks to Cave Henricks Communications for providing me with a review copy.