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August 2005
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October 2005

How to Generate Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is one secret of Human Touch Marketing. It is also one of the very best ways to position your business ahead of the competition.

Word of mouth can be quite easy to harness

First, you have to sell ideas, not products or services. If an idea creates a feeling, like happiness or solves a pressing problem, the word will spread.

In Unleashing the Idea Virus, Seth Godin tells us to make sure our product is remarkable and virus worthy. Then give people a way to spread the word easily.

The reason Hotmail spread so well was because it was a great idea that was easy to spread. It focused on a tight network of people (called ‘hives’) that wanted the idea.

It always comes down to networks and niches

But knowing people is not enough. Energy is a key element.

The publicist for the book Cold Mountain spent hours listing authors they thought might be interested in reading the book. Then they gave each a copy of the book in the spirit of “wanting to share it with you.”

This, in turn, inspired the authors to talk about the book within their networks.

The energy of well thought out networks paid huge dividends. Of course the people who spread the message were credible to the networks they reached.

Credibility is another key in spreading the word. Tap the networks where you have built trust and share a good idea with them.

This Weeks Action

1. What is the greatest value you provide to others? This is where buzz begins.

2. How can you spread the word?

3. Pick one group who can benefit from your idea. Then provide them with a sample of your idea in the spirit of “wanting to share it with you.”

4. Follow this plan consistently. Like marketing, creating buzz is an ongoing process.

5. Make interacting with you a memorable experience. Caring is still one of the very best ways to generate massive word of mouth for your business.

6. Request a copy of Unleashing the Idea Virus by Seth Godin, with my compliments. Email and I’ll email it to you right away.

What do I do when my mailbox is full

I was running and moving and shakin’ over the past couple of days. As a result, I didn’t check my mail for 2 days.

I know, it’s a bad thing to do – but life happens. What can I tell you?

When I finally checked it last night it was full to the brim. There was a CD set I ordered and a ton of other mail.

I went through it.

Mortgage offer, ad paper, more mortgage offers (hey I already own a house and already have a low rate and I don’t need a second mortgage or line of credit), credit card offer, business credit card offer, the super money saver paper, a bill for internet access, more mortgage offers, another credit card offer, a bill for Michelle’s (my wife) car and yet another mortgage offer, a call to join AARP, advertising for AAA,.

What did I do?

I opened the bills and scheduled payment dates. I also started enjoying the CD set I purchased.

Then, toss, throw, shred, toss some more, shred, throw away yet again.

Tons of mail and only 3 pieces were relevant.

Everything else was simply thrown away. I am VERY happy I have a recycling program in my town.

Direct mail, like all marketing communications, has to be personal, relevant and anticipated (thank you Seth Godin for teaching us that lesson) to be kept from the recycle bin.

Remember that the next time you plan to spend $100’s or $1,000’s or more on mailing. If I don’t know you, I’m tossing your letter away. My mailbox is too darn full to do otherwise.

Tragedy Touches Our Hearts

050904_neworl_vmed_5p Perhaps the greatest, single catastrophic event in the history of the United States, Hurricane Katrina has touched each and every one of us to the core.

People have blamed global warming for increased storm activity for decades. Global Warming is one effect of burning fossil fuels; thus damaging the environment in places as far away as the Arctic Circle.

Most mainstream hurricane scientists have been skeptical of a  connection between global warming and heightened storm activity.

However, the growing intensity of hurricanes and the frequency of large storms are leading some to rethink long-held views.

A paper published last month in the journal Nature by meteorologist Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is part of an emerging body of research challenging the prevailing view.

It concluded that the destructive power of hurricanes has increased 50% over the last half a century, and that a rise in surface temperatures linked to global warming was at least partly responsible.

There are over 2,000 other scientists who agree with Emanuel.

What can you do to help future generations lead a safer life?

One idea is launching a grass roots effort. I would encourage you to join myself and people like:

  • Robert Kennedy Jr.
  • Senator John McCain
  • John H. Adams
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Former Vice President Al Gore

and thousands of others who are taking part in Stop Global Join their virtual march on Washington and make your voice heard now.

Find out more about Stop Global by clicking the link. Join us. Together, we can make a difference for our children and for the generations to come.

Photo by Dave Martin, Associated Press (AP)