I think Word of Mouth Marketing by Andy Sernovitz is the best book on the topic of word of mouth. I recommend that all marketers pick up a copy to learn why word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing methods and several actions you can take to improve word of mouth of a company’s offerings.
Here my favorite quotes from the book:
1. Learn to make customers really, really happy. It doesn’t take much more than that.
2. Be interesting, or be invisible.
3. You will get more word of mouth from making people happy than anything else you could possibly do.
4. Offering customers incentives to spread the word about your stuff is often a mistake.
5. A blog is a tool that enables a company to talk directly with fans, giving them a story to share.
6. When people are talking about you, answer them.
7. There are a thousand websites for every one traditional newspaper or magazine.
8. You are the sum total of what people do and feel when interacting with your stuff.
9. Marketing is what you do, not what you say.
10. A 2006 study by the Verde Group showed that people who hear about a bad shopping experience are less likely than the people who actually had the bad experience to ever set foot in the store.
11. Customers’ experiences will drive more word of mouth sales than another ad.
12. A happy customer is the greatest advertisement.
13. Bad service is expensive. Especially when you look at the marketing cost to replace the leads burned through negative word of mouth.
14. Satisfied customers who will spread word of mouth are the most powerful assets you have.
15. Put a “tell-a-friend” link on every single page. Make it incredibly easy to spread the word.
16. When she walks out the door, what have I given her to talk about?
17. To do these things really well, always remember the three reasons people talk. They want to feel good, they want to help others, and they want to belong to a group.
18. Use an email-delivery company that lets you track who forwards your newsletters-those are active talkers.
19. Talkers live on a diet of information. Keep them fed to keep them talking. The word of mouth stops when there is nothing to talk about.
20. Without a doubt, the most powerful thing you can give away is a free weekly email newsletter. It’s easy to produce, relevant to the reader, and easy to pass along. If you don’t have an email newsletter, start one today.
21. Why blogs matter: They are a tool for extending and accelerating the conversation.
22. A blog is the tool that lets you put out fresh ideas and information.
23. It’s [a blog] the perfect way to keep your talkers fed with new topics and ideas.
24. People rarely criticize a product that they helped build.
25. It is perfectly fine to ask any customer, “Would you mind giving me a short recommendation?”
26. As you know by now, people are talking about you. Wouldn’t you rather have them talking with you?’
27. Finding a way to make unhappy people happy is worth 10 times more free word of mouth marketing than making them happy in the first place.
28. Fixing problems is the most powerful marketing you can do.
29. Create an online message board where customers and future customers can talk to you and to each other.
30. The value of unsolicited, genuine feedback is incalculable.
31. If you know the average lifetime value of your customers and you can estimate the number of customers you acquire through word of mouth, you can place a dollar value on your word of mouth marketing efforts.
32. Word of mouth marketing is about being good to people.