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NCompass Live: The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing, with Peggy Barber

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In this totally 'wired' time, the commercial world is turning to word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) as the most powerful form of advertising. This is great news for libraries because WOMM is truly …

In this totally 'wired' time, the commercial world is turning to word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) as the most powerful form of advertising. This is great news for libraries because WOMM is truly powerful and because we can afford it! In this program you'll learn: What it is/Why to do it?/Who can do it?/How to do it and Where customer service fits in.
NCompass Live - April 27, 2011.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology

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  • Thank you for inviting us here today to talk about our very favorite topic. We truly believe that once libraries get the hang of this it will rock our world—and change how the people out there see us. But first let met ask you a couple questions— How many of you do media interviews? How many do presentations to groups? How many of you talk to other people? That’s good!!!! Because what we’re talking about today is not just for the boss. Very few of us will ever do media interviews. But we all have countless opportunities every day—in the library, in the grocery store line, at church, community meetings, with our friends and neighbors—to deliver the library message. We can’t be passive about this anymore. And I think you all know the reason why. Libraries have competition—big time. Is there anybody here who hasn’t been asked….” Gee, aren’t computers going to put the library out of business????” Do you have an answer for them? We’re going to talk about that today. But it’s not just the Internet, is it? It’s super bookstores, work, sports, school, TV, shopping…anything and everything that makes people “too busy” to get to the library. So how are we going to get them in? How are we going to get them to support us? It starts with us.
  • Our goal for today is to help you get people talking about the library—and to have some fun while we’re doing that. Remember when I said, we believe WOM will change our world. Let me show you why….Our goal for today is to help you get people talking about the library—and to have some fun while we’re doing that.
  • Take a look at this chart: Suspects, Prospects, Customers, Clients, Champions Our real goal in being here today is to help you turn your customers into champions and to get them delivering your message for you. There are a million conversations happening out there. Our challenge is to be part of that. Discuss: How are you going to do that??? (Kill them with incredible customer service) (Deliver the message) (Ask them to deliver your message)
  • Where do people share news, gossip, good and bad ideas in your community? Liz Cashell was in a workshop we did in Missouri a few years ago….and we enjoy sharing her wisdom
  • We’d like to take just a minute to talk about the marketing part of word-of-mouth marketing. Most libraries are just getting hip to marketing.
  • It used to be beneath our dignity- LJ editorial Kotler definition Marketing has to be part of the way we run libraries And we like this definition because it makes it clear that marketing is 2 way communication…..listening is as important as telling and selling.
  • If you don’t remember anything else from this webinar….know that marketing is essential and it must be organized, focused and consistent.
  • Everyone on the library staff can and should be involved….also Board members, Friends, volunteers…..and those CHAMPIONS We need everyone --the people at the top—the delivery drivers, the IT people, the people at the checkout desk, the clerks—to be telling the library story. We need our trustees, our volunteers, our Friends and our customers to be And if you’re what we call a true Library Super Salesperson, you’ll do it on the job—and off.
  • Everyone on the team should not only deliver the library’s message, but listen and feedback both the good and bad comments. Two-way communication Some libraries keep a “no diary”
  • Bill Gates says it sooooo well. We’ve gotta be listening in the library and in the community
  • In this age of Twitter, Facebook, and texting, there is still no substitute for good old-fashioned person-to-person communication. The commercial world knows this and is placeing renewed emphasis on this basic strategy. It’s time libraries got on board. The good news: We can afford it!! And do it even better than they can.
  • The Silverman quote says it all Think about it.... What makes you decide to see a movie or read a book? Is it some ad on TV or a recommendation from a trusted friend? Wow how advertising has changed! We're not all watching the same TV shows or reading LIFE Magazine. Traditional advertising isn't as powerful as it used to be.... That’s OK cause we couldn't afford it anyway. Today there are so many more choices and so much clutter. One study says the average person is exposed to 3,000 advertising messages-in a day! Mark Hughes- Buzz Marketing book---Clutter- "America spends more on advertising than Mexico's entire gross domestic product (something over $230 billion each year)-- (page 121) Average evening on U.S. television- 128 commercial messages (I think it's more) Do we remember them? No. But chances are we'll remember what our friends tell us. Think Starbucks. The Body Shop. Wal-Mart. E-Bay. These are all companies that did not use traditional advertising to become household names. Their strategy was to get people talking based on the strength of their product, good customer service. Their customers became their sales force! They also did things like place stories in the media but they did not do paid advertising. That came later. Getting the name out there was done by word of mouth...a conscious effort to win and woo customers and to get them talking about their product and why they liked it.
  • Can we inspire spontaneous delight?? YES!
  • Why does WOMM work????
  • (It’s real and immediate. Real, live people telling other people in real time. (It’s personal—not a pitch. The person knows you and is trying to be helpful. (It’s honest. No commission. No connection. You’re more likely to believe. (It’s catching. People love to share a good idea/experience and other people love to listen. In fact there’s only one thing people like to share more than a good experience…. a bad experience. If 10 people tell 20 people…(virus) (It’s customer-driven. The customer determines when she/he will talk/listen.)
  • Now that I’ve made a case for it– Linda will start telling you how to make it happen. As we said before, you can’t just wait for it to be spontaneous
  • 1. A good product/GREAT customer relations Does anyone know why??? (Discuss) Because if they REALLY, REALLY like you, a good product is good enough. A good product also means that you -- everyone on the staff-- feel good about what you do and are committed to spreading the word. Luckily we in libraries have a very good product. But good service isn’t good enough. It won’t get people talking. Why??? Because people expect good service. They’re only going to talk if it’s really good. OR, if it’s really bad. You’ve probably heard those numbers that say if folks are happy they’ll 4-10 people. If they’re unhappy, they’ll tell 8-20. What kind of stories would you rather tell??? Those horror stories are a lot more fun. Many small libraries don’t have the greatest collections. But their users love them because they have great customer service. The staff greets them by name. The Cheers factor The key is to surprise and delight your users. Linda’s Little Library story…. Any stories good or bad??? Having great customer relations means constant contact with customers.... It’s not just about talking. It’s about listening—asking them what they think...what they want. How to you find out what customers think? ASK THEM. Surveys are one way—in-house, telephone, email. Focus groups are good, especially for being able to explore how people really feel about libraries. But those can get expensive. But there are a lot of other ways that don’t cost nearly as much—and can help you build a buzz. 1. The president of Revlon…calls 8-10 customers every week. Do you think we might do that? And…do you think they’re going to tell their friends if they get a call from the president of Revlon…or the library director? 2. Take at least one customer to breakfast or lunch every week. ...Ask them as many questions as you can think of...and listen. Also have a message for them and ask them to share it with others. 3. Use online surveys...send to your email list. 4. Create a customer advisory board. (Teen focus group) 5. Ask your friends, neighbors…then listen. Don't assume people are happy if they don't complain. 91 percent don’t complain. They just never come back.
  • Why a plan? The whole point of word-of-mouth marketing is conscious communication. Most libraries have strategic service plans. But very few have communication plans. Remember we said marketing is about communication as well as a product or service. You can't have conscious communication without a plan. The plan is what helps you get organized, focused and consistent. It’s your map and everyone knows where you’re going. What do you want people to know about the library? Who needs to hear the message? How are you going to deliver it? How will you listen? How will you going to know if you’re effective? All of thee are elements of your marketing communication plan. Also it’s important to remember, WOM doesn’t replace other forms of promotion—media publicity, paid advertising, online. It is the most powerful strategy but it isn’t the only one. The more ways you deliver the message the better.
  • Heard any good messages lately? Why do you remember them? Your message doesn’t have to be a slogan. It should be something you can say in conversation with your neighbor. It does have to be easy to say and remember —about 10 words. Some people call this an elevator pitch . If you have only 30 seconds with someone, what would you tell them that would be memorable and meaningful. And it helps if it’s catchy. But clear is more important. Ed the plumber story Mission statement as the ultimate message. You should be able to say it at the drop of a hat. Read examples: But your message might be as simple as “Please tell your friends .” Or “Did you know you can use the library in your pajamas?” Or, “A library card is the smartest card.” Bookstore—message of the week. What are you going to do? You're going to repeat it at every chance. And you're going to ask other people to deliver it for you. Advertisers know that for someone to "get" the message. They must hear it at least 7 times. That generally means that about the time you are getting sick of the same message, the folks out there are just starting to get tuned in. Repetition does make for learning. Some people call word of mouth planting an "idea virus” or “building a buzz.” There are a lot of tricks to doing it—Wear the message—t-shirts/button. Email signature. E-newsletter: Do you know about our ebooks? Please share this message with a friend. If it’s going to catch on, the message must be consistent.
  • That would be you! Word-of-mouth marketing starts at home--with you, other staff, board, Friends and users— the whole library family. Each of us has hundreds of opportunities on the job and off--with our friends and neighbors to deliver the message. If we so choose. Some of you probably do this already. But to be effective, word-of-mouth marketing must be conscious and pro-active. That means everyone doing word of mouth must be on the same page. The clerk at the check-out-counter. The delivery driver. The children’s librarian. The trustees and friends. Ideally, there should be a script...a message sheet (sample in handouts) with your key message, two or three talking points, a couple good statistics and stories. You may also want to do some questions & answers. This is especially important if you are dealing with an election, a fundraising campaign or other important issue. But it's not enough just to know the message. You also have to know why it’s important and deliver it consistently at every opportunity. And have fun with it. Which is what we hope you’ll do when you leave here today. Peggy’s airport/dentist stories Middle managers have a key role to play… Studies show that employees turn to their immediate supervisor first. Your employees are your customers You need to listen and respond to your employees the same way you want them to respond to your customers. You need to feed back their concerns to management. All of you on the frontlines—who have direct contact with the public--have the most critical role. Doesn’t matter whether you are full time or part time or volunteer. You are the face and voice—of the library.
  • 5. One of the best and most important forms of WOM Marketing: Testimonials It's not enough to have your sales force out there. The most effective form of advertising is the testimonial. A satisfied customer who is willing to share his or her experience. Libraries have a lot of satisfied customers but by and large we have not used them. The goal is to get other people to say how good you are. The next time you hear someone say something nice, ask them if they would please put it in writing and permission to quote them. And then quote them to other customers, in the newsletter, on the Web site. Start a "brag board" where you post complements from your visitors. "Staff picks" are a form of testimonial. In essence, you are planting a "virus" suggesting a certain book or Web site. Alexandria story . . .NY Public Referrals are another form of testimonial. Building relationships with key staff in schools and other agencies so they can say good things about you. Make them part of your sales force. Expert Opinion-Get newspaper columnists to say something nice/endorse. Quote the principal about the importance of a library card. Spontaneous testimonials are great…but it’s OK to ask for them too!
  • Remember: It's not just what you say. It’s how you say it. Responsibilities: Educate. Inform. Sell. Exercise: Closed face/Open face Tools (Lustberg): Mind: To craft the message. Speak simply, clearly. No jargon. Voice: Expression. Pacing. Those of you who are storytellers are already good at this. People can hear your feelings. Face/Body: If people are going to believe you, they must first like you. Closed body/closed face. Open body. Open face. (facelift) (Mine) Heart: Your passion. Let your passion show! This is what sells the message. We have a great library. A library card is the smartest card. Remember to smile. Nothing that sells better than a smile. Let your passion show!
  • One of the things people that people worry about—and will happen—is you get asked a tough question? Because once you put yourself out there, you probably will. Not just by a library user, but maybe your neighbor. I mean, is there anyone here who hasn’t been asked, “Aren’t computers/the Internet going to put the library out of business? Discuss: What do you say? There are five basic rules when it comes to answering questions: There is only one way to deal with tough questions. And the first one is: Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Anticipate the hard questions—easy ones too. Prepare a Q&A sheet. Make sure everyone has the answers. Respond quickly and directly. Don’t ignore. Never ever answer a question you don’t understand or don’t feel prepared to answer. It’s OK to say “I’m sorry I don’t know the answer to that.” Either refer the question to someone who is prepared or promise to get back with an answer shortly. Always answer with a positive. Never repeat a negative. Isn’t it true librarians let children read smut? Absolutely not. Librarians guide children to good things to read. Shorter is better. Giving too much information may only provoke more challenging questions. (John Kerry) It’s sort of like telling your kids about sex…don’t tell them more than they want to know. Be honest but just answer the question. Let them keep asking if they want to know more. It’s not rocket science. Anyone can use these techniques. And I hope you will use them.
  • THE BOOK! Quotes from Juli Javonicz- Winnetka--- Winnetka Buzz People are always looking for the magic pill that will make staff buy into things….and this is it. It's about empowerment. Because we undertake big projects but staff don't feel like they're a part of it or see the end results….with this one they have been a part of it from the beginning. And that's the magic. You see the database use increase but you also see staff morale increase. The excitement builds and as the patrons come back and give reports about how they've been using the materials at home…the process keeps growing and we're having fun. And work should be about having fun.
  • The very best way to get the word out is to tell people. Really. If every staff member told 10 people about this incredible resource, and those 10 people told 10 more people, and those 10 people told.... The word would be out in no time! We hope that when you sign off today you will all become advocates for word-of-mouth marketing for one very good reason. It works!! PB: There are some tips on your handouts. Here are a few more. Push yourself. Don’t just say you’re going to tell people. Set goals. Start with 5. Increase your comfort zone. Collect those testimonials . Invite community leaders, local authors/celebrities, etc. One of the best things I ever did at ALA was the LCL campaign. (They don’t have to be famous. Use them in the annual report, the newsletter, on the Web site.) Make sure ALL staff —not just professionals, not just full-time—know the library, understand why it is important and feel confident delivering it. Include your board, volunteers, anyone else you consider part of the family. LW: Three final words of advice: Plan. Prepare. Practice. --Get organized, focused and consistent. Develop a plan. --Be prepared. Know your message. Look for opportunities to deliver your message—in the library and out. --Practice your open face and open body. --Practice with your coworkers, your users, your friends and family. Start now. The minute you leave this room. And yes, it may feel a bit unnatural at first. I promise you the more you do it, the easier it will get. And the better you will get. The better you get, the better for your library and for libraries everywhere. Thank you for being such great listeners—and for your participation.
  • If you have comments or questions contact us….We’re here for YOU!
  • Transcript

    • 1. The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing Presented by Peggy Barber For the Nebraska Library Commission Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Library Communication Strategies © 2011
    • 2.
      • Understand and apply basic WOMM concepts
      • Get everyone on your staff involved
      • Share key techniques with your colleagues
      Objectives
    • 3. Customers Clients Champions Prospects Suspects
    • 4. “ It ’ s easy. Use the 3 Bs to get the word out: bars, beauty shops, barber shops. ” – Liz Cashell, Director Henry County Library Clinton, MO
    • 5. Word of Mouth vs. Word-of-Mouth Marketing
    • 6. “ Marketing is that function of the organization that can keep in constant touch with the organization ’ s consumers, read their needs, develop products that meet these needs, and build a program of communication to express the organization ’ s purposes. ” – Kotler/Levy
    • 7. Marketing is . . .
      • Organized
      • Focused
      • Consistent
    • 8. A Team Sport
    • 9. Key Elements
      • Research
      • Plan
      • Communicate
      • Evaluate
    • 10. Listen! Don’t just talk.
    • 11. “ Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning. ” – Bill Gates
    • 12. The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing
    • 13. “ Getting people to talk often, favorably, to the right people in the right way about your product is far and away the most important thing that you can do as a marketer. ” – George Silverman, “ The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing”
    • 14. “ No advertising is as trusted as the spontaneous testimony of delighted customers. ” – Betsy Sanders, former vice president, Nordstrom
    • 15. WOMM at Work
    • 16. Why It Works
        • It’s real and immediate.
        • It’s personal.
        • It’s honest.
        • It’s catching.
        • It’s customer-driven.
    • 17. What It Takes
    • 18. A good product. . . GREAT customer relations! 1.
    • 19. A plan 2.
    • 20. 3. A clear, memorable message “ Please tell your friends!”
    • 21. A prepared, committed sales force 4.
    • 22. People willing to testify 5.
    • 23. “ Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.” – Will Rogers
    • 24. Delivering the Message
      • Keep an open face & body.
      • Don ’t just tell them – show them.
      • Let your enthusiasm show!
    • 25. Dealing with the Negative
      • Be prepared!
      • Stay positive – no matter what.
      • Keep it simple.
    • 26. Going Viral
      • Choose the right time and audience.
      • Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want to receive.
      • Make it easy and fun.
    • 27. “ We actually had stories where people said we saved them money, and that was just gold.” – Joyce Fedeczko, Director, BP Information Services Success!
    • 28. 10 x 10 x 10… 10 x 10 x 10…
    • 29. Questions
    • 30. Thank you! Peggy Barber librarycomm@librarycomm.com 312-649-0028