Small Business Talks Turkey with Steve Strauss of USA Today
Oh Brother! (said with a grin!)

Effective "Word-of-Mouth" Takes More Than A Mouth

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

819849_gossip Hot and buzzy phrases like "Social Media" "Social Marketing" and "Word-of-Mouth" always attract a lot of people looking for new angles.  And, that's both good and bad.  The traditional Mad Ave. types trying to force fit their obnoxious old ways into the new always makes for a mess. (Which is one reason you and I are often bombarded with screamin' hypin' emails for things we don't want, from people we don't know.)

And, then, of course - everyone knows how to do marketing, right?   And that "word-of-mouth" thing seems pretty simple.  Hmmm...

Effective word-of-mouth marketing takes more than having a mouth...or email account...or typing skills...or a product.  And technology will never replace people talkin'. (It's changing how we "talk" but we still do it, and we trust people we know  - even virtually - more than the most brilliant marketing pitch.)   

I've recently been getting eletters from a local CPA who is giving advice about word-of-mouth marketing. (Hey boys and girls!  Just fill out this matchbook cover and you too can become a marketer in your spare time! It's easy and fun!)

Snark aside, while I appreciate her trying new things, I'd  be far more interested (if I'd actually asked for her eletter) in micro biz financial tips to save money and reduce taxes...particularly since I - um - do marketing for a living. The CPA means well and if her clients (I'm not one of them) really want her to write about marketing, who am I to say she can't? (Shouldn't is another matter.) By all accounts (no pun intended) she's an excellent accountant.  Shouldn't she be talking about the things that make her THE accountant to go to - not other topics?   

So, here I am - mouthing off about her online. You can't control the message or the messenger...and people talk about you in ways you never anticipated for reasons you never expected.  (No, I'm not linking to the accountant - that'd be cruel.)


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Bolaji Oyejide

Well made argument. It is important for each of us to recognize what makes us special, and continue to sharpen that edge.

Forget focusing on your weaknesses. Forget gimmicks, and tactics of the week. Simply be the best in the world at what makes you remarkable, and word of mouth (the right kind of word of mouth) will follow.


(Eventually is key. It never happens overnight.)

Here's an example of the wrong kind of word of mouth.


Excellent point about the matchbook cover, there are so many "strike-it" experts filling out the covers.


Excellent point about the matchbook cover, there are so many "strike-it" experts filling out the covers.

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