Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Word gets out about word of mouth

posted by Andy Leff
What do religions, roadsters, and razors have in common? Their popularity and adoption is spurred by word-of-mouth validation.

That type of validation was the topic of our conversation with Ed Keller, CEO of Keller Fay Group; author of the seminal book, The Influentials; and President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).

Clearly Ed's career revolves around making sure the word gets out -- literally. Today, companies can no longer simply push brands on consumers. That's because consumers are pulling information themselves to share, discuss, and even contest.

The corporate impulse is to try to control online buzz. That's why many companies remain fearful of starting corporate blogs, for example. Instead of fostering word of mouth (buzz), they avoid it. They think it opens the floodgates for negative feedback that will tarnish their brand.

As you will hear in our podcast, Ed says that's all hooey. He counsels corporate marketers to join the conversation; accept, learn from, and improve products and services through online criticism; and ultimately, strengthen trust with customers.

In turn, they will spread the good word on your behalf -- the most powerful form of advertising.

Of course, that's just a nutshell of Ed's advice, so tune in our podcast get the full frontal on fostering positive word-of-mouth, both online +and+ off. Then practice what he preaches by passing it along!

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