This is a long article. But this is perhaps, one of the better emails that I have ever written. There is no pressure of reading the entire thing… but hey, I say with 95% confidence that this email might open a few doors for you…
If you haven’t read the last email, please do hear it. Here is the link.
The last email was all about the importance of enabling the word of mouth for a business. By now, you and I (I hope) are convinced that if people tell their friends about your product/service, it makes everyone’s life a lot easier.
However, making people talk is difficult. It is challenging to push people out of their inertia, and help them talk about your brand.
In the last email, I listed down a few businesses; 6 to be precise. The homework for you and me was to think deeply about these businesses and see how we can enable word of mouth for them.
Here is the list of the businesses that I mentioned –
- Karate class
- A Digital Marketing training institute
- A grocery store
- An Author
- A Software development company
- A Dentist
Did you get a chance to think about these businesses? What kind of word of mouth strategies do you think these businesses can use?
Well, I did my homework. And here are my thoughts.
Let’s dig in.
- How can we enable word of mouth for a Karate class?
I learned about this example from Seth Godin in his brilliant course – The Marketing Seminar.
Here is the trick – Do not keep a changing room for the kids in the class premises.
No, actually think about it for a minute…
Did you get the answer?
Well, because then the kids would have to wear their karate robe (it’s actually called ‘karate gi’) at home, and walk all the way to the class. Every person on the street would notice this kid, and it’s not hard to imagine the conversations that would take place because of this.
Okay, that’s one.
What is the other way of doing this?
Let me also share the other trick that Seth told us during the course.
For the same karate class, give students this assignment –
“Every week you have to do a random act of kindness”.
Again, take a pause. Think about this.
How would this work?
Why should the karate class bother about these acts of kindness?
Well, first let’s acknowledge that any act that makes the world better should be appreciated and encouraged. But it’s not just that…
You see, here is the thing…
When Mr. and Mrs. Jones notice that their daughter Kathy did a ‘kind act‘ this week, their heart is filled with pride.
“I always knew my daughter had a heart of gold. Now she has found the right set of teachers who are helping her. In her small ways, she is changing the world.”
Empathy plays a key role here. Every parent believes (and also wants to believe) that their kid is a smart, kind person. And whenever they get any evidence that their kid is being smart and kind, they would want to tell other parents about it.
Perhaps, this is confirmation bias? We are always inclined to confirm what we already believe in.
Of course, this would help the karate class to spread their word.
Okay, let’s jump to the next one.
- How would you make people talk about your Digital Marketing training institute?
If you are teaching Digital Marketing, give a blog creation assignment to the students. In this assignment, ask them to create a WordPress blog, and write about what they learned in their first digital marketing training session. Or, you could encourage the creation of a Youtube channel…a podcast works as well. This will create online assets for you, that will directly or indirectly work for the brand and help in spreading the word.
- How to get people to talk about your grocery store?
Well, firstly, unlike most of the grocery owner stores start caring about the customers. A little bit of politeness goes a long way…
Secondly, what about having a purple sustainable bag for your customers to carry their groceries? The unique color of the bad has the potential to enable conversations. When these customers are asked about this unique purple bag they are carrying, they would feel quite nice telling others about how they are contributing towards making the earth greener.
- How to get people to talk about your book if you are an author?
Well, firstly the book itself needs to be remarkable. But then, there is another tactic that Seth Godin used to sell his book “The Purple Cow”. Seth shipped this book in a milk carton.
Imagine that… a book comes to you and sits at your desk in a milk carton.
Your office desk is a weird place for a milk carton, and this will give rise to conversations. These conversations would lead to further people getting curious about the book and buying it. At least, that’s what happened in Seth’s case.
- How to enable word of mouth for your software company?
I really struggled with this one. Perhaps my friend Scott Woods, who is on this list can help me out here…
All I could think of is this –
After the successful completion of each project, how about making a custom video for your client, where all the stakeholders in the company talk about the project, the ups, and the downs? Could this be like a fun, goodbye video that would make the client smile?
- How to enable word of mouth for a dental clinic?
I am yet to meet a person who likes dentists. None of us like the image of seeing the dentist with the drill.
Saif, a dentist friend of mine, is on a mission to change that.
As most of his patients are children below the age of 12, he has planned something quite extra-ordinary to make their dental experience fun.
Saif plans to have a small train inside the clinic, that the kids can ride in. The kids will hop on this train, get greeted by their tour guide, and then will get a tour of the entire clinic.
Would a kid and a parent talk about this?
A big, big yes.
Phew, this was hard-work. I crossed 1000 words here. If you are still with me, I appreciate your time and don’t take it lightly. Send me a note, will you?
Not a hate message though. Something that has love. 🙂