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Extra! Word of Mouth Silenced

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-245820 ORIG FILE ID: 20160207_mam_al2_140.JPG

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When we think of word of mouth, we think of our (hopefully) satisfied customers telling their friends, family, and neighbors about our awesome products and services. While that still happens, it’s been essentially silenced.

In its place is Reviews.

Warning! Another Juliette Analogy ahead.

Imagine that you’re at the SuperBowl. You’ve scored a ticket (might as well be a free one since we’re daydreaming), and you’re seated at the 50-yard line. The stranger next to you makes a positive comment about your lightweight jacket, which you absolutely love for a number of reasons. You tell her about the zippered inside pocket, the weather-resistant finish, the choice of colors, etc. It also happens to be made by a friend of yours.

You’ve just created a word-of-mouth testimonial for your friend’s product.

Now imagine that you’re actually on the field at the SuperBowl. The seats are filled (except for yours, which you can return to in a moment). A hush falls over the crowd. You have a microphone and everyone can hear you clearly. You begin to speak. You tell the audience about your lightweight jacket and all of its features that you love.

You’ve just created a Review for your friend’s product.

That’s the power of one Review online. We never know who’s going to read it, relay it, or respond to it. We never even know when they’re going to do so. And we don’t know where that review will appear. Reviews are placed on Google (they’ve been in the Knowledge Graph for some time), Facebook, and any number of other places. Rest assured, though, they are read.

Word of mouth is dead; long live Reviews.

Tip: Reviews on our websites are invisible to the search engines. Years ago, they realized that it’s too easy to fake them when we control the medium. So they ignore the ones on our sites.

Regain control of what’s said about your business by monitoring, and even generating, reviews about your business. Address negative reviews before they’re even published. I can help. Contact me now. [email protected], 616-485-4966.

Marketing is like …

individuals… nothing else. And everything else. It’s complicated. And very personal. Let me use a few analogies.

Marketing is like decorating. The colors, furniture, art, and other elements say a lot about us. They give clues about our personalities. The style of our logo, the avenues of communication we use, our spokespeople, among other factors, tell people what our companies are like. And, just like marketing, individual. For example, I wouldn’t want to walk into someone’s home and see the exact same colors, items, placement, etc as in my home. (I would be creeped out.) Continue reading