Word of Mouth

The first official book review on Daily Sense. I don’t expect I’ll ever catch up to Paul’s prolific, insightful and hilarious reviews over at CosmicWanderlust.com, but at least you all can say you were here when….

I attended the Blogwell conference last week, put on by Andy’s Sernovitz’s company, Gas Pedal. Attendees were given an advance copy of Andy’s new book, Secret and Mysterious Order of Word of Mouth. I skimmed it quickly on the train ride home and then finished the entire book the next day.

It’s a very good book, but your opinion of and use for this book will depend a great deal on how much you already know about word of mouth, viral campaigns, remarkable products and outstanding customer service.

If terms like Purple Cow, Ideavirus, Buzz, Customer Evangelists, Sneezers, Cluetrain and World Wide Rave are already part of your daily lexicon, then use Andy’s book like a really great reference tool. It’s like a great set of Cliff’s Notes. WOM is not a new topic and people that already “get” this stuff should still own this book but you don’t need to read it cover to cover.

The concepts in Andy’s book have been touched on in varying levels of detail in such books as:

Andy’s first book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking, Revised Edition

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable (Seth Godin)

Unleashing the Ideavirus (Seth Godin)

Creating Customer Evangelists: How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force (Ben McConnell & Jackie Huba)

The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing (Emanuel Rosen)

The Secrets of Word-of-Mouth Marketing: How to Trigger Exponential Sales Through Runaway Word of Mouth (George Silverman)

The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual (Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls and David Weinberger)

and others.

However, if you are not already a WOM expert, Andy’s book may be the most straightforward set of nuts & bolts strategies and tactics to effectively execute WOM marketing ever assembled. It’s like a cookbook for word of mouth, with tried and true recipes that you can test immediately. This book isn’t conceptual, it’s instructive, and written with a bias for action. I don’t care whether you sell professional services or amateur widgets, Andy outlines things you can do today (and tomorrow, and the next day).

Regardless of which camp you fall into, the book is worth owning.

The most valuable piece of the book is the simple but true 12-step Word of Mouth Manifesto:

1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.
2. Marketing is easy. Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.
3. Ethics and good service come first.
4. Marketing is what you do, not what you say.
5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.
6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.
7. Be interesting, or be invisible.
8. If it’s not worth talking about, it’s not worth doing.
9. Make the story of your company a good one.
10. It’s more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.
11. Use the power of word of mouth to make businesses treat people better.
12. Honest marketing makes more money.

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