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Word of Mouth Marketing

Posted On: 2007-01-15
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Hello and welcome to another edition of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. This is your host John Jantsch, and my guest today is Andy Sernovitz. He is the chief executive office of the word-of-mouth marketing association, and the author of the just-recently-released "Word of Mouth Marketing, how smart companies get people talking." So, Andy, thanks for joining me.

It's my pleasure.

Hey, let me ask quickly, because well, this is about, I say quickly, this is going to be a three-part question. But, you know word-of-mouth marketing's been around for a long time, and yet it seems to be right now one of the hottest, and ironically, talked about marketing subjects. So, just from your point of view, what exactly is it?

There's two parts of what makes word of mouth marketing what it is. The first half of the definition is giving people a reason to talk about your stuff. They're not going to talk about a boring product or a boring service. Part two is making it easier for the conversation to take place. So the reason that this is so hot right now is companies are understanding that being remarkable, and all that golden talk about being the purple cow and being buzzworthy, that gives people a reason to talk and that's something to strive for. And then the other thing that's happened that's really creating so much of this enthusiasm, is the fact that we have all these new tools, like blogs and podcasts and social networks, that make it easier to accelerate the conversation.

So it's sort of a merging of the fact that prospects, buyers, people out there want the kind of stuff, and the fact that now the marketers, you know, have tools that enable them to provide that kind of information.

Exactly.

So, I mentioned at the beginning that you are the chief executive officer of the word-of-mouth marketing association, I suspect that there are two or three people still out there listening that don't know what that is. So you want to give us just a quick overview what WOMMA is and what its mission is?

Sure. We're the non-profit for companies who are doing the word-of-mouth marketing, so we're similar to the direct marketing association, or the American association of advertising. We've got a little bit, a little bit different things about us. We're very big on ethics. Because word of mouth relies on people trusting you and trusting your business. If they're going to recommend you, they've got to respect you. So everything we do here is driven by a fundamental ethics mission. So that pushes a lot of what we do. And we're very heavy on education. How do we do word of mouth? How do we learn these things? How do we make this part of our marketing business? So we do great conferences, we publish gobs of free research. And all of our members are very much in that semi-revolutionary phase. They have light bulbs popping on all over the country...

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