Shedding more light on WOMM - Destination: New Zealand

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Today, we're hopping over the big pond to beautiful New Zealand, thanks to Decisive Flow (a very cool little kiwi web design company). Their blog, which I enjoy a lot, recently tackled the subject of word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM to you Marketing 2.0 veterans out there), and some of the points either Tim, Natalie or Laurel touched on (I'm not sure who wrote the piece) were worthy of note.

First, it's pretty important to note that the DF team's first 'exposure' to WOMM wasn't positive. (Actually, it wasn't WOMM at all... which is kind of my point):

"The first time I heard the term 'word-of-mouth marketing' was in relation to companies who pay trendsetters from their target markets to chat about/wear/eat their products in view of anyone who could potentially become a customer. This is pretty unethical and something to avoid like the plague. The concept, however, is excellent - happy customers selling your stuff for free."

It seems that their experience isn't unusual. I have gotten feedback from other sources over the last few months that kind of echoed this negative/shill-first, enlightenment/true WOMM-second pattern of introduction onto the world of great business.

What does that tell me? One: That what constitutes real/true/authentic/ethical WOMM still hasn't been clearly communicated, especially in relation to its evil shill cousin. Two: That the charlatans are out there en force. (Yeah, we might still be slightly outnumbered.) Three: The good word still isn't touching enough people. Four:WOMM hasn't reached "the tipping point" yet.

Fortunately, the folks at Decisive Flow were quick to get past the shill smokescreen:

"The idea is to make your business or product so good that your customers rave about it to their friends, family and anyone else who will listen."

Bingo. Once you get that, everything else falls into place.

Check out their full post here. Pay particular attention to the "Things That Impress Me" section. If you own a business... or work for a business, the five bullet points are absolutely the Holy Grail of customer experience salvation (and its crucial role in establishing yourself as a solid brand). These are the tests that most companies routinely fail, but that great brands ace on a pretty consistent basis.

Take an honest look at those five points and ask yourselves (honestly), "are we nailing this, or are we falling short?"

Are your customers raving about you, or are they complaining about you?

The difference between being great and being like everyone else might just be in a smile... or in a "yes, we'll be happy take care of that for you right now" attitude.

Could it really be that simple?

You bet.

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