Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Making it Easier

I received three funny Christmas boxes from Makers Mark this year (Me-Wow Weights, 100 year old fruitcake and a chest hair waxing, tanning and styling kit) that conveniently hold a bottle of Makers Mark. Now I am buying three bottles of Makers to give as holiday gifts. That is three more bottles than I originally had on my Christmas shopping list…genius! I cannot wait to see the look on the faces of my friends when they unwrap the boxes. Makers Mark continues to make it easy to spread the word about their product.

To learn more about becoming a Makers Mark Ambassador click here

Just Add Zombies!


Don’t be a wireless phone company, always fighting over plans and rates. They always battle over the same points and victory is never assured.

Instead focus on what makes you different that provides value to your prospect. Focus on areas where your competition cannot compete with you, if they try they will lose.

Check out how this event company used zombies to set themselves apart from other competitive events being offered.


What is your zombie?

Also check out this cool write up they had in the Wall Street Journal.


Rockstars on WOMM

At the last WOMM Supergenius conference we went to Martin’s talk, and we walked away with a ton of ideas… check out his post below, and come see Martin and others at the WOMM CrashCourse Conference May 10th in Austin, TX!



[Welcome back to our Word of Mouth Marketing Lessons newsletter. This is text from the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using this handy form.]

Martin Atkins is a rock star.

Like, an actual rock star. He’s a drummer and has played for bands like Public Image Ltd., Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails. Today he still tours and performs on stage — but now he does it to teach new bands how to earn loyal fans.

The bands he works with have no budgets, no extra resources, and face a crowded and noisy market. Sound familiar?

Martin spoke at our last word of mouth event, and as a preview for our Word of Mouth Crash Course in Austin on May 10, we wanted to share it with you. (If you love this presentation, register here to see more like it live and in person).

His tips for getting people talking:

1. Aim low, start small, and stay humble
2. When in doubt, DTO
3. Small is the new huge
4. Steal ideas from other industries
5. Make it one-of-a-kind
6. Watch Martin’s video

1. Aim low, start small, and stay humble

Martin talks about how bands often start out by worrying about filling stadiums of 20,000 people — but that’s before they’ve taken the time to think about the first two fans on the couch who might actually love them. Martin says to start small, think small, and stay humble. Very, very few bands earn 20,000 fans at a time. Instead, focus on the first two and then repeat 9,999 more times. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

2. When in doubt, DTO

If all else fails, DTO: Do The Opposite. During his presentation, Martin pulled out a giant old cell phone and told the story of how he once walked into a crowded room of celebrities and pulled it out. His point: You can’t win the new iPhone/Blackberry/Droid game. But you can do something unexpected, memorable, and remarkable by doing the opposite.

3. Small is the new huge

Martin works with bands all the time and says that if given the choice, a band will always choose the 5,000 or 20,000-person venue over a small one. But that’s not creating the best experience. Instead, he urges them to choose the smaller venue — one they can sell out and leave people standing outside wanting in. Martin shared the story of how one band actually got a record deal by locking everyone out of the venue, which drove a bunch of interest in them.

4. Steal ideas from other industries

Rock superstars Radiohead got everyone talking when they released their album and told fans to “pay what you want.” A few years later, Panera did it with one of their branches in St. Louis. And again — people talked about how brilliant it was. You can do this too. Look for ideas that create excitement in other industries and markets and give them a try. If it fails to create word of mouth — no problem! That means nobody knows about it (and you can try again).

5. Make it one-of-a-kind

People talk about the different, the unique, and the can’t-get-anywhere-else. Musicians are doing it by creating one-off merchandise at tents outside of concerts. They’re doing goofy things with their packaging (Martin once released an album that smelled like blueberry muffins). This works in business too: Your fans want to see your personality and your uniqueness. So, what can you make more personal today?

6. Watch Martin’s video

Watch Martin’s video below (but a friendly warning: A lot of Martin’s great ideas are wrapped in NSFW language). And to see more incredible presentations like it live, check out the lineup for our upcoming Word of Mouth Crash Course conference.


Learn word of mouth in one incredible day – Austin, May 10th

Recent post from Andy’s Blog:

“You have ideas that the world needs to hear.

But great ideas don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

You need to help it along, and that takes word of mouth marketing.

Learn how to do this at the Word of Mouth Crash Course on May 10 in Austin.

This is the “How to be Great at Word of Mouth Marketing” conference.

Learn specific, useful strategies to get people talking about you:

12 How-to Classes:
Simple hands-on lessons on essential word of mouth skills

12 Case Studies:
Real-world success stories from Dell, Costco, Boeing, Domino’s, and more

6 Brilliant Authors:
Bob Pearson, Jeanne Bliss, Steve Farber, Rohit Bhargava, and more

Compelling Keynotes:
Southwest Airlines’ Colleen Barrett and Word of Mouth guru Andy Sernovitz

See the fascinating full agenda:

Our promise: You’ll use what you learn to get more business the very next day, without spending money.

Get simple, hands-on advice from people who’ve really done it. This is a practical, you-can-do-it, blow-your-mind-with-results kind of day.

Make it work for you with real-world case studies from companies just like yours. Make it work with no budget — just brains, vision, energy, and a compelling reason for people to talk about you.

You’re going to learn how love and happiness bring in more customers.

And I guarantee you’ll feel lovelier and happier when you get more sales while spending much less on marketing.

Find out all the details:
The Word of Mouth Crash Course
The “How to be Great at Word of Mouth Marketing” Conference
May 10, Austin

You’ll learn the 12 essential word of mouth skills to run an effective word of mouth marketing program.

1. How to be work with influential talkers
2. How to join conversations about your brand
3. How to create buzzworthy topics
4. How to deal with negative word of mouth
5. How to inspire word of mouth with customer service
6. How to measure word of mouth
7. How to get people talking offline
8. How to get great reviews
9. How to be amazing in social media
10. How to create word of mouth on zero budget
11. How to create a fan community
12. How to stay ethical and out of trouble

Learn about the fascinating experts teaching each class:

12 fantastic brands will show you exactly how they do it, so you can bring in more customers too.

Real advice based on real-world word of mouth success stories from Discovery Communications, Maker’s Mark, Noodles & Company, Threadless, WindsorONE, Don’t Mess With Texas, Headsets.com, Movember, Costco, Domino’s, Boeing, and P&G.

Learn about the incredible case studies:

Why is it a one-day conference?

Because we’re going to blow your mind, man.

Because you are going to be so energized, so empowered, so excited to do what you learn — that there’s no way you’ll be able to sit still for a second day.

You will run out of this meeting and plan your first big word of mouth campaign. You’ll do it the next day. It’ll be simple, easy, and cheap.

And you’ll get more customers. Immediately.

And then you’ll do it again. A little bigger. And again. A lot bigger.

And then you’ll be bringing in more customers, every day, because your fans will tell their friends how much they love you.

But I’d rather spend all my money on expensive advertising!

You go, girl. Advertising might work for you. Not us.

Advertising is the price of being boring.

You only have two ways to get your message out there: Love or money.

You can buy advertising, you can pay people to talk for you. But you always pay, every time — forever.

But when people talk for love instead of money, it’s sustainable and renewable and it grows with use instead of getting used up.

Now is the time to build an army of fans who will talk about you because they love you.

Find out how you can stop paying for ads and start earning love:

Love? Happiness? WTF?

This isn’t Woodstock. We’re talking about selling stuff.

Southwest Airlines has nearly 40 consecutive years of profits.

In an industry where everyone else is struggling financially, facing disgruntled employees, and making customers angry, Southwest is thriving.

In her keynote, Southwest’s President Emeritus, Colleen Barrett, will teach us how she inspired an entire company to earn the love and respect of their customers — and how it’s led to incredible success.

(We do it here at WordofMouth.org with 10 employees and some clever interns. It works for any size company. It’ll work for you.)

You’ll meet Colleen and learn how to lead with “LUV.”

Learn all about Colleen’s keynote:

Holy moly! Do I get to have lunch with an amazing author?

Yes, you do. It’ll be a tough choice.

Bob Pearson — author of “Pre-Commerce: How Companies and Customers are Transforming Business Together”

Jeanne Bliss — author of “I Love You More Than My Dog: Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad”

Steve Farber — author of “The Radical Leap Re-Energized: Doing What You Love in the Service of People Who Love What You Do”

Greg Link — author of “Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World”

Rohit Bhargava — author of “Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior, and Inspiring Action”

Rob Fugetta — author of “Energize!: How to Turn Social Media & Word of Mouth into Sales by Energizing Brand Advocates”

Check out their fascinating books:

This is not what you are expecting.

No panels, no vendors, no blather, no selling.

30 speakers. 20 minutes each. TED-conference style. It’s fast, it’s fascinating, and new ideas come shooting at you like marshmallows from a marshmallow gun.

Why TED-style? Because if it’s good enough for Billy Graham, Bill Gates, and Bill Clinton, it’s good enough for us marketing dudes.

But I hate conferences!!

This is not a conference. You won’t find yourself locked in a dark hotel ballroom with scary carpet and bad light for three days.

It’s one invigorating, intense day in a sunny room. 20-foot windows and blue skies. An environment to open your spirit and open your mind to ideas that will change how you do business forever.

You’ll be refreshed, excited, and ready to do it.

And great food, all the time. We’ll keep you on a sugar and caffeine high. (I’m sure there will be a broccoli, if you’d rather have that.)

Is it really as good as you say?

It’s better. Here’s what past attendees had to say:
“This conference was excellent.”
-Seth Brewer, The Hartford

“Definitely a ‘must attend’ conference.”
-Michelle Halm, Kolcraft

“This conference is worth twice what was charged.”
-Delaina Lee, The Coleman Company

“This is awesome: well-organized, effective, and the people are smart.”
-Molly Catalano, Five Guys

“My senses were popped, poked, and plastered with information, perspective, and knowledge — all in a ‘this is how you do it’ format.”
-Jim Fitzpatrick, Santa Barbara Montessori School

“All I can say about this conference is WOW.”
-Stephanie Lewis, TC Public Relations

“Great content throughout the day really kept things fresh!”
-Brent Bynum, State Farm Insurance

“I enjoyed every moment of the event.”
-Saul Colt, Thoora

“An excellent and extraordinary conference!”
-Lane Becker, Get Satisfaction

“A stellar event!”
-Nichole DuPont, BUNN

“Short, sweet, and to the point.”
-Michele Gehrmann, Progressive Insurance

“I got my money’s worth in the first 20 minutes! The conference was full of ready-to-use tips and advice.”
-Janine Smiley, Dairy Farmers of America

“I got a hand cramp after the first two hours of feverishly trying to take down all the cutting edge ideas coming my way.”
-Bill Moller, TC Public Relations

“What a well run seminar! Everyone stayed right on time and there was plenty of time to network and talk to peers.”
-Sandra Buettner, Johnson Controls

“The content was top-notch. The quality of speakers were great. The vibe was very good.”
-John Moore, Brand Autopsy

“We now have so many ideas we don’t even know where to start!”
-Heather Vyvyan, Educators Credit Union

“This event was super. Super informative, super collaborative, and super-well organized and executed.”
-Bruce Montgomery, Technology Access Television

“It felt good to know I was surrounded by others who share my passion for WOM marketing and crazy ideas that help spread the word.”
-Shannon Huot, Educators Credit Union

Find out how you could feel this good:

Still not convinced? Look who comes to our events:

Word of mouth and social media leaders from 3M, Aflac, Allstate, American Express, American Family Insurance, Ariba, AT&T, Audi, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Boeing, Campbell Soup, Capital One, Charles Schwab, Chevron, Chick-fil-A, Cisco, Clorox, Coach, Coca-Cola, Coldwell Banker, Community Medical Centers, ConAgra Foods, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Discover, Dole, Domino’s, DuPont, eBay, FedEx, Ford, Gannett, Gap, GE, General Mills, General Motors, Google, Graco, Hertz, The Home Depot, HP, H&R Block, HSBC, Humana, IBM, IKEA, Intel, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Levi Strauss, Mattel, Mayo Clinic, McDonald’s, MetLife, Michelin, Microsoft, Molson, NHL, NBC Universal, Nestle Purina, Nokia, Northwestern Mutual, Novartis, Oracle, Orbitz, PayPal, PepsiCo, Petro-Canada, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, SAP, Sears, Serta, Sharpie, Sony, Sprint, Starbucks, State Farm, Sun Microsystems, SunGard, Symantec, Target, The North Face, Ticketmaster, TiVo, Turner Broadcasting System, Tyson Foods, United Airlines, UPS, USAA, U.S. Navy, Verizon, VIZIO, Walmart, Wells Fargo, and Whirlpool.

(And a lot of regular-size companies, too.)
Join them:

But I still don’t believe you. It couldn’t be that good.

The Word of Mouth Crash Course is so great we’re giving it all away — because we know you’ll just have to show up and see it live.

Watch the videos from our last event right here: http://vimeo.com/womorg

But are the new speakers as good as last time?

Yes — that’s why we’re letting you listen to a special preview interview with every single speaker here:http://youtube.com/womorg

Even if you can’t make the event, you’ll learn a ton. Share the videos with your office and friends.

Any other details?

What: Word of Mouth Crash Course
When: May 10
Where: Austin, TX

Important note: Attendees of our conferences report whiter teeth, shinier hair, lose an average of 6 pounds, and earn the respect of their peers. Results may vary.

All the details: http://www.wordofmouth.org/crashcourse

Strong Builder WOMM


Talk about some strong WOMM.

Across the street from this “blogger’s” (lol) home, a builder, architect, and investor built a very nice spec home… which they recently finished and sold.

Here’s the letter my wife and I, and surrounding neighbors, received today:

And the certificate:

What a brilliant idea.

Rest assured that I’ll be calling these guys when it’s time to remodel.

Herb Hawkins Construction & Rizzo Associates.


“3-Minute WOM Lesson”

Good stuff from Sernovitz for those of you getting ready to launch your first WOMM campaign.


“[Welcome back to the You Can Be a Word of Mouth Marketing Supergenius! newsletter. This is text from the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

You can have amazing word of mouth. You can get your happy customers and fans telling everyone about you — you can be great at this. Here’s how to get started:

1> Focus on a single group of talkers
2> Test something today
3> Repeat

1> Focus on a single group of talkers

Don’t start by trying to get everyone talking — start by trying to get someone talking. Maybe it’s a group of local daycare moms, restaurant servers, librarians, or auto mechanics. A good focus on specific talkers means you’ll have a better chance of creating something they want to share.

2> Test something today

By the end of the day, test a new topic with this group. Invite them to an event, give them a special sample, ask them for feedback, or just say thanks. It might not work, but that’s OK. There’s always tomorrow.

3> Repeat

Next week, try it again. This time with a different group and a different topic. When you find something that works, try it again — but bigger this time. There’s no science or secret recipe to great word of mouth, just a commitment to trying lots of ideas designed to find your talkers and figure out what gets them sharing.”

Dude, Where’s My Broccoli?

Check it out, this was some darn good WOMM… they just forgot the “Tool”…


A colleague, Chip, and his wife frequent the Capital Grille, which has dozens of the locations throughout the country.

Recently, they were at a Florida location, and as Chip’s wife was ordering, she looked at the menu, and exclaimed to the waiter, “You don’t have broccoli this evening? I love your broccoli!!”

The waiter responds, “I’m sorry ma’am, we do not.  However, there’s a Whole Foods two blocks down the street, and if you’re not in too much of a hurry, we’d be happy to walk down, purchase, and cook the broccoli to your liking.”

Solid.  In addition, the waiter then shared that they will update Chip’s profile to include that his wife enjoys the Capital Grille broccoli, and when they call in advance for a reservation, they will assure they have broccoli on hand for that evening.

Chip told me this story just last week; the only thing missing was an easy way for Chip to “tell-a-friend.”  A Tool.

Idea: gimme a card that says “Chip’s buddy, take care of me,” and I promise you the next place I eat would be Capital Grille.

Make sure you follow the 5T’s, found here.