Welcome to day three of Word of Mouth.
We’ve been exploring how we can inspire people to talk about your product or service, something that women naturally do anyway. So if women are already talking to other women, how can we make sure they’re mentioning you?
Today, we’re looking at three strategies from Creating Consumer Evangelists, by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. (There are six total – for the first three, please refer to yesterday’s post).
• Create a community. When you start treating customers as people instead of transactions, something amazing happens. They start talking to each other. And they figure out that they have you in common. So guess what they talk about? Here’s one example: a telecom company sponsored a dinner of current and potential customers, seating some of each at the tables. There were no telecom company sales people at the event – only the company president. The existing customers ended up selling the service to the prospects. When you put people in the same room and help them talk with each other, the results can be astonishing. Women tend to spend time with other women. How are you helping your (female) customers talk with your (female) prospects?
• Bite size chunks. We all know that driving trial is HUGE. So, what can you give someone that will encourage them to buy the 24 oz. bottle or the other half of the matching set or the beach vacation? Take a look at what a major appliance company is doing in Atlanta. They’ve set up a retail location where people can come test the appliances by baking cookies or doing their laundry right there in the store. If you like what you experience, they’ll refer you to a dealer. They’ve given away no product, but a taste of what their product does. A little nibble and people want to taste more.
• Create a cause. Many companies have jumped on the cause marketing bandwagon, but few have done it wholeheartedly. A company must adopt a cause and live the cause. Otherwise, women will figure out quickly that the commitment is not genuine. But it’s not only linking up with a charitable cause. It’s figuring out the emotional core of the company. Apple Computers (love them!) doesn’t sell hardware and software – it sells the tools to unleash the creativity of people at their desktops (and now with the iPod, it’s not limited to the desktop!). Find a rallying cry for your company that speaks to the aspirations of your customers, and watch the work of mouth engine speed across the landscape.
So there. After three days of word of mouth, I hope you’re all talking about it with your colleagues. And, in the spirit of constant feedback, let us know how we’re doing and what topics you’d enjoy hearing about.