Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Word of Mouth Marketing... earnest intercession

by Dale Shumaker

Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz is the modernization of the most powerful marketing tool... people telling others about what you do and its value. Today we have the tools to make it work even better. It is creating conversations we have, we create and participating with others in it. It has been around forever, but his book is a how-to book on using the tools and building knowledge on how to do it well. It is the lowest investment for the greatest return of marketing costs you can purchase today.

The four rules of word of mouth marketing are 1. Be interesting, 2. Make it easy, 3. Make people happy, 4. Earn trust and respect.

The three reasons people talk about you:
1. It's about you... they like you and like your stuff.
Or they hate you; you give them something to talk about; you've made it easy for them to talk about you.
2. It's about the talker. It makes them feel good.
They feel smart; they want to help people; they want to express themselves.
3. It's about the group. They feel connected.
They are part of your brand's family; they belong to the community; part of the team; they are insiders.

You can kill word of mouth marketing by offering prizes and rewards (people feel sleezy being paid to tell others about you), too much over exposure, or forgetting why people talk about you and departing from your original intrigue.

The rest of Word of Mouth Marketing expounds on the five T's of word of mouth marketing.
1. Talkers. Who will tell your friends about you?
2. Topics. What will they talk about?
3. Tools. How can you help the message travel?
4. Taking part. How should you join the conversation?
5. Tracking. What are people saying about you?

Word of mouth marketing can't be faked. It must be genuine. Be yourself. Avoid the hint of deception and follow a tight code of personal ethics. Word of mouth marketing is the most profitable marketing. It reduces customer acquisition costs, it's free advertising with better results than traditional advertising, makes sales people more productive with more sales leads, reducing customer service costs while building a stronger brand.

For each of these areas create your word of mouth marketing plan:
1. Talkers. Find people who will talk about you. Fans, volunteers, customers, bloggers, influencers.
2. Topics. Give people a reason to talk. Special offer, great service, cool products, silliness, neat ad, new feature.
3. Tools. Help the message spread faster and farther. Tell-a-friend form, viral email, blogs, handouts, samples, coupons, online discussions.
4. Taking Part. Join the conversation. Reply to comments, posts on blogs, join discussions, answer email, offer personal service.
5. Tracking. Measure and understand what people are saying. Search blogs, read message boards, listen to feedback, use advanced measurement tools.

To find the talkers, Sernovitz provides this worksheet.
What products do you want talked about?
Who do you want to reach?
List the who's.
Who are they connected to?
Do they have connections, conversations, and audience?
What is the word of mouth (WOM) topic?
You can recognize talkers by their passion, credibility, connections and the opportunity they provide by the number of interactions they have.
Build a talker profile. Rally the faithful.

Find a great topic. Great topics are organic, the exceptional quality of the product, something they are amazed about. For finding a topic use this brainstorming guide. Is your topic buzzworthy? Ask the tough questions until you get a strong yes.
Would anyone tell a friend?
What would they say? This is the WOM topic.
Who would they tell?
How could they tell more people.
Make it easy and provide ways so it is easy for them.

The next T is tools. Look for ways to use these tools. The Internet is a powerful tool. Ask people to spread the word. Put everything in an email. Put a tell-a-friend link on every page of your website. Make your information easy to steal. Use samples and seeds to plant. Give things away. Start a blog which makes messages portable, highlights new topics, comments and conversations can begin. A blog builds credibility for you. Create an online community, use social media to create contacts, be careful to build an intriguing profile page. Make it exclusive, reveal secrets and have surprises. Add testimonies and customer reviews.

Take part and join conservations. Comment on blogs and social network conversations. Find your right talkers and just join in. Some places to look are blogs, community forums, social networks. Be sure to watch your manners. Never sell, follow the rules online. Say who you are in ten words or less. Be open and disclose who you are, be honest, don't impose.

How to deal with negative word of mouth. Word of mouth will happen and sometimes people say bad things about you. It is an opportunity to put your best foot forward. Don't feel you have to win every argument or even respond to negative people. Four defenses to use are to build credibility before you need it, bring it in your own tent which is in your own website or blog, let your fans do it, don't get caught off guard and respond quickly online. Respond calmly, don't get in a fight, be human, write for the record, followup, and do something wonderful.

Track what people say about you. Use online tracking tools. Encourage feedback.

Do something worth talking about. Create your Action Plan. Assign a team. Hit the WOM basics. Viralize everything. Start talking. Try lots of little things. Go deep and have fun.

For more and worksheets visit:

In the Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray, we learn the power behind humble, earnest petitions to God and the impact it has. The Holy Spirit has been given to us. It is by His Spirit in us that the Divine Power or energy maintains and strengthens our lives. The Holy Spirit is prayer. It makes intercession for us to our Father in Heaven. The Power of prayer comes from the power of the Spirit in us. For us to pray right, the life of the Spirit must be right in us. Everything depends on this indwelling of the Spirit.

There are three lessons the believer must know to receive the blessings of prayer.

First, believe that the Spirit dwells in you.
When we quietly believe that in the midst of our weakness, the Spirit is petitioning for us... for the very purpose of enabling us to pray in the manner and measure that God desires. God has made an abundant provision for our being what He wants us to be. We see the Holy Spirit will pray and is praying in us.

The second lesson is beware of everything that may grieve the Holy Spirit. We grieve Him by sin, unbelief, by selfishness, and unfaithfulness to His voice. Reject any sin that rises up against your will, such as slothfulness, pride, self-will or passions of the flesh. Each day accept the Holy Spirit as your leader, your life, your strength. He is revealing Christ who is actually your life and strength unseen within you. Do you grieve the Holy Spirit by distrusting Him just because you do not feel His presence in you. Be quiet before the Lord and give Him time.

The third lesson is Be Filled with the Spirit. It is only the healthy Spiritual life that can pray right. It is God wills that we be filled with the Spirit. We can count on and expect the Holy Spirit to take possession of and fill us. Be willing to receive Him, to yield yourself to God, to trust Him for it. Through Him we have access by one Spirit to the Father and Son. It must be by The Spirit. The Spirit can pray in us only when He lives in us.

One last lesson is to pray in the Spirit for all saints. The Spirit of supplication is the Spirit of intercession... a humble, earnest, compelling request of God's Spirit to respond to our pleas. When the Spirit of intercession takes full possession of us, all selfishness vanishes, and we no longer want to have Him for ourselves alone, apart from His intercession for others. We can begin to avail ourselves of our wonderful privilege to pray for others.

Claim and accept Him to work in you whatever God desires. Let Him be the Spirit of your whole life and you can count on Him to take charge. Depend on Him regardless of your feelings or your experience to His work of pleading for others through you. Renew this act of faith through you every morning. Trust Him in spite of all appearances to work through you for others. Only this indwelling of God through the Spirit will enable us to appropriate the wonderful promises given to prayer. The Spirit is given so we can be everything God wants us to be. Depend only and entirely on Him.