…and that’s “Word of Mouth”.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while and this post from Brad Feld, “Are Customers Your Best Marketing?”, drove me to finally jot down some bullet points on how I feel about Word-of-Mouth marketing.
Here’s Kay’s law #21: “The amount of marketing dollars required to generate sales is inversely proportional to the product’s buzzability”.
Buzzability = ability to generate activity via word of mouth discussions.
Whenever I think about spending marketing dollars, I think about how much money Google spent to market their search engine: Zero.
I’ll bet you can remember exactly how you found out about Google and of course it was through a friend.
So what simple rules can we take away from the Google lesson that can help you figure out how to increase your product’s buzzability?
- Your product has to be superior to the competition. As superior as Google’s was over Yahoo’s (at the time).
- Customers must be able to easily (trivially, actually) describe what your product does and how their friends can try it. Your goal should be to come up with a single statement that you and your customers can use that instantly describes your product so that new customers “get it” immediately.
- New customers must be able to try your product with a near-zero effort (how much work did it take for you to try the new Google engine back then?).
Leighton Chong once made a point that many new inventions are really superior, but they take too much effort on the part of the customer and so they fail. One of the biggest problems I had with one of my previous companies was that our product rocked but was difficult to explain, hence customer’s couldn’t explain it to their friends, and so we had a big challenge in getting the word out.
You want success? Make sure your product hits those three points and watch your word-of-mouth marketing take care of the rest.