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Why did someone put this on the fridge?

CIMG2709Here’s how you get really great at word of mouth marketing: 

  • Pay attention to those moments when someone is making a recommendation.
  • Look for ways it could have been more effective. 

Example: Someone in my office put this Lowe’s coupon on the fridge. I immediately started asking myself about the motivation and process of that recommendation.

1. Why did they do it? 

2. How could it have been easier?  Make the flyer into a magnet?  A post-it?

3. How could we have encouraged it?  Add “Share a with your office?” in the copy?

4. What would increase the quantity of sharing? Multiple discount cards?  Little tear-off bits on the flyer?

Tons of people ask me about the difference between BtoC and BtoB word of mouth. (I don’t think there’s much.)  The key idea for BtoB: Why do people share something at the office.

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Comments

  1. Mike Ward April 18, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    On the BtoC side, kudos to Orvis for getting this right. A recent flyer I received from them included two $25 tear off coupons — one marked “for you” and the other marked “to share”. The second one even came with instructions…”give this coupon to someone special, or use it yourself on a second purchase”. I think spelling out the options for the consumer as Orvis did here makes the word-of-mouth process more appealing and ultimately more successful.

  2. Carrie Carter April 18, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    It would be interesting to see some of the answers to your questions, especially #1.
    In terms of the 3rd question, maybe including a phrase, such as “photocopies gladly accepted”, would help improve the reach of such promotions.

  3. Carolyn Grantham April 18, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    I often get coupons I can’t use/don’t need, and my usual M.O. is to toss them straight in the recycling bin. Rarely does it occur to me to give them to someone else. Maybe adding a line to a coupon like, “Can’t use this? Pass it along to a friend!” would give people a mental nudge to take a more viral action. Of course, it would be hard to track whether the coupons were being used by their original recipient …

  4. Chad Sly April 18, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    For me, and I think for a lot of people, we are more willing to pass something along if we received a benefit from it ourselves. For instance, the other day I found an auto glass place that replaces windshields for people with high insurance deductibles at a considerably lower price than others. After getting my windshield replaced I remembered a friend with a large crack in his so I called and told him about the place. It really wasn’t loyalty to the place, but more concern for a friend. That’s the key to getting customers to pass things along. They must see the value to themselves and feel it will be beneficial to their friends. If it is, I think they will pass the info along regardless of if it’s easy or not.

  5. oddpodz April 28, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    When I worked at a big company, several retailers in our neighborhood would get the email address of a good customer that worked in our building and send them an email with a coupon that could be endlessly forwarded throughout the company, printed out and used. The copy was worded so that it seemed like it was a special deal for our office, which was nice, and it was very easy to redeem.

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