Most people would argue there can never be a problem with chocolate, however in terms of marketing, chocolate does have a problem. That problem is simple and not unique, it is that chocolate isn’t new. When a person enjoys a piece of chocolate, he or she doesn’t normally dedicate a blog post to it or phone a friend about their new found love of chocolate. There are numerous products and businesses that have the same problem chocolate does and libraries are one of them.Word of mouth marketing for libraries is about restarting the conversation, or getting people excited about the chocolate. Today’s presentation is going to focus on simple, inexpensive techniques to restart the conversation in your community about the library.
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) doesn’t have to be expensive. Sure there are services that exist to help make this easier, but WOMM actually can work as a grass roots campaign. WOM marketing does take TIME & EFFORT and is about having something worth talking about. Libraries have things (lots of things) worth talking about!But we need to be ready to restart/join the conversation and tell our story…make it a good story.Cat food (Fancy Feast)-cat food is marketed to cat lovers/owners, not cats. Cats do not care about the ingredient make-up, then are most proud and full when they catch a mouse!bottled water-This is a marketers dream! It started in the 80’s and still hasn’t stopped! Why do we think we need to drink out of a bottle of water?!?! Because someone told us we did, but yet the water that comes out of most American taps meets or exceeds state & federal water quality standards. In 2007 alone, Americans consumed 50 billion single serve water bottles!
How many people have a key ring that looks like this? You can’t go to a pharmacy, bookstore, grocery store, etc. without being asked to join their “club”. This club offers anything from points towards coupons, on the spot discounts, exclusive sales, etc. So, why aren’t we selling or giving away memberships? It fits all the qualifications: exclusive (must live in taxing district), there is an application process and you need to present the card to get the benefits! In the public library world we often refer to our customers as patrons, but why not make our first change in marketing by calling people members?
4 Rules of WOMMBe interesting-Would you tell a friend about this? Don’t be boring!Make It Easy-Put it in motion (email) and something people can rememberMake People Happy-make experience remarkable (happy members make good WOMM)Earn Trust & Respect-be honorable/ethics3 Reasons People Talk YOU-They love or hate you & your stuff, you made it easy to talk and given them something to talk aboutME-Talking makes me feel good and look smart and helpfulUS-Feel Connected to group, part of a team, have the inside trackHOW TO STOP WOMPrizes & Rewards-paying people to praise your product…what’s in it for me?Overexposure-if everyone already knows about it, no one needs to talk about itForgetting Why People Talk about You-KrispyKreme example (no one tells someone about gas station food)
Five T’s of Marketing1. Talkers2. Topics3. Tools4. Taking Part5. TrackingThese are the steps in “how to” do WOMM.
TalkersWe all have people in our lives that we would go for advice on different products and services? Give examples.This is your medium, real people!Who will tell their friends about you? Find people who will talk about you!! These are regular people who talk b/c they love share ideas and to help people. It is simple: if they like you and are given them something to talk about, your work is done.Who are your talkers? Could be regular members or people who get asked for advice/info, super excited members or brand new user. We seek out people like us for advice, not necessarily a celebrity endorsed product/service. Who is talking about you online (blogs, social networks)? Who carries a Friends of the Library book bag? Don’t forget about employees. Can you track who is forwarding your newsletter? It’s a hobby (Harriet Klausner, 16,000 Amazon reviews).Once you have your talkers identified, give them information (news, data, reports). Don’t forget to thank you Talkers! One on one and publically (high scores list).
Topics-give people a reason to talk, but not your mission statementsimple, organic & portableCan you believe _____________ did ____________?There’s nothing better than ____________ for _____________.What are your customers/members already saying? Where are they saying it? GO THERE! And talk about what they are talking about.Special Sales (email so it is easy to share)Do something silly (names of newsletters, signs)-Jansport “backpack camp”, American Girl doll “hospital”, Damn, I wish I I’d thought of that (newsletter)Extraordinary CSHope to go viral (video/top 40 song)Free info (we are already doing this!)Offer an ExperienceBuild your brand (anythink library, Colorado; IKEA)Wienermobile: WOM since 1936
Tools-spread msg faster and furtherSpeed/portabilityEmail signatureAsk people to spread wordPut in email (mark it private)Tell a friend link (15 sec or less to complete, protect privacy)Make it easy to share (YouTube example)Stuff the package-it doesn’t have to be related to your service/productGive them something to try-can’t talk about it, if they don’t know what it is. (Post-it note story-secretary of 3M shared product with other exec secretaries)BlogsOnline communities Testimonials (ask for it, permission to use, show it off, link it)What can you make exclusive? People love to feel special, privileged, play to that. Customer favs/staff recommendations
TAKING PART-join the conversationWOMM is as much about customer service as it is about marketing.How do you participate? First you have to find the conversation. Then start posting /participate in the conversation. This can feel like a loss of control, but this is normal. We can’t control the conversation, but we can respond and PARTICIPATE. We are thanking people for positive feedback and fixing problems (it is about how you deal with the problems).“participation should not stem from obligation” But anyone in your organization can take part, especially if they enjoy it. (They could already say and write something stupid anyway.)Guardrails and guideposts-teaching staff the rules of the road (ethics & forbidden behaviors). For example, never sell, you are a guest, state who you are, develop checklists (don’t reinvent the wheel, they already exist).When bad things happen….Don’t not do anything. Solve the problem as quick as possible. It can’t all be positive, but make sure you are giving correct information!
Tracking-measure and understand the conversationOnline tracking tools (Technorati)Encourage feedback-make it easy with online forms, create your own online community, don’t forget good ol’ paper forms tooOnce you have the feedback, do something with it. WOMM can be difficult to measure, but we count everything. So, also think about you ROI.
Sure-Thing, Must-Do, Awfully Easy, WOMM Techniques (By Andy Sernovitz)Look on the web for people who are talking about you.Assign someone to join the conversation.Put something by your front door that will remind people to talk to a friendCreate a private newsletter for your talkers.Create a blog.Make a new rule: ask “is this buzzworthy?” in every meeting.Pick one way you are going to track what people are saying.Put a tell-a-friend form on every page of your website.What ever is buzzworthy-Keep it simple.Do something unexpected.Apologize for mistakes and solve problems fast.Be nice.
Word of Mouth Marketing
The Chocolate Problem http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jan/14/cadbury-shares-soar
ResourcesRoyte, Elizabeth . Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought it. New York:Bloomsbury, 2008.Sernovitz, Andy. Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. NewYork: Kaplan Publishing, 2009.http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/http://www.damniwish.com/