Word of Mouth Marketing: It's the Product, Stupid.
How often have you had this experience?
Person A tells you that you SIMPLY have to try something he (or she) loves…it could be watching a TV show, eating at a restaurant, reading a favorite book, or shopping at a particular store. (Or many other such permutations.)
So, you listen, and you take this advice. You read that book, or watch that show…or go out for a meal at the restaurant in question, or peruse the store (online or off).
And you are not impressed. Read more below...
Here are a few of the examples I’ve had in recent months and years.
Enders Game. I know this book is hugely popular – and I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t LOVE it either. I was told by the friend who recommended it that I should read the next book in the series, as I’d definitely like that more. I have hundreds of unread books that I bought because I found them interesting. Why would I read a sequel to a book I found to be just okay?
Extras This series is very good – but in my opinion, it’s not great. The friend who insisted I hadn’t given it a chance had me watch several episodes (all of which I’d seen before) and demanded that I watch the two-hour series finale – which I did. And my new, revised opinion? It’s very good – but it’s not great. (Yeah, that’s the same opinion.)
In San Francisco, or the Bay Area in general, restaurants that don’t impress me the first time don’t get the courtesy of a second trip, because there’s no point. There are so many great restaurants that if I have a bad experience, I’m simply not giving them a second chance.
I think of this because of the keynote speech at shop.org by Andy Sernovitz was all about Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing, and it’s quite the buzz these days. The basic theory being…if you get people excited about your product, they’ll not only do free marketing for you – but it’s more effective than traditional marketing.
In as much as Sernovitz detailed this, it’s hard to argue. (I’ll let you know more once I read his book, which I got at the conference.) But my point here is…that product you are having folks talk about?
It better be good.
Word of mouth marketing – or any type of marketing, for that matter – will only do so much if the product isn’t great. Getting them to your site is a huge part of the battle, but if you disappoint them, getting them back is even harder.