Sunday, July 27, 2008
The Word of Mouth Manual II - I'm not a hater!
I met someone at a VC gathering last week. He's an adviser for startups and we got to talking. We both determined that we were "haters". We don't like things just because everyone else does. In fact, that made us hate those very things. Apple for so many of my years (Mac Books, iPods, iMac's - all overhyped). Facebook. Yahoo Mail. MySpace. The Yankees. The Dallas Cowboys. Milk Chocolate. Whatever.
The point is, as it relates to this post, is that I've been surprised by the last two books I've read. Especially because I'm a hater. Made to Stick was great! And this latest read, which is part of a marketing campaign I belong to, was great too.
I am a Bzz Agent, which means I get free products to try. I try lots of things. And have to write some comments about it. The motivation for doing this was my lack of income - so I got free stuff. But it's actually been a pretty interesting social and marketing experiment. The stuff I get that I like definitely gets its moment of glory with my group of friends. Take this example - I got a bunch of coupons for Chili's new burgers. So a group of us went to Chili's - which I'd never do. Mainly because Chili's is crap. But we had a blast eating burgers, drinking beers, and we continue to talk about that trip to this day...spreading our word of mouth advertising for them. Other products haven't fared so well. Like a Norelco eletric razor I got. I don't use it. And so that was a fruitless effort on their part.
This all has a point. They recently gave me a book, called the Word of Mouth Manual II. It's all about real, grass roots word of mouth marketing. The benefits, the how-to's, the impossibility of actually succeeding with incredibly viral WOM campaigns. But it gives you insight into how things like Crocs gained popularity. I hate Crocs. How does anyone wear those god awful eyesores? Well, it's explained. And it's interesting.
The online version is a free PDF download (here). Or buy it from Amazon here).