Category : Word of mouth

How to be a word of mouth supergenius

So much of social media is word of mouth marketing. But I fear folks are overlooking what it takes  to get people talking about your product, your company, your services.

On December  16 I’ll be speaking at: Word of Mouth Supergenius: The “How to be Great at Word of Mouth Marketing” Conference in Chicago.  The one-day agenda includes 12 how-to classes, 12 real-world case studies, and 6 word of mouth authors — including moi.

If interested in going   apply the coupon code “Loisismyhero” to get $101 off registration. Hope to see you there.

More egoboo

“How should we incent people to participate in our online community or be our word of mouth ambassadors?” clients frequently ask.

Forget money, give them egoboo.

Not the game Egoboo, but egoboo, derived from ego boost, which people get from seeing their name in “lights” and getting recognition for what they have to say.

According to Wikipedia, egoboo originated from science fiction fandom around 1947:

As a reliable way for someone to get their name in print was to do something worth mentioning, it became caught up with the idea of voluntary community participation. As a result of this, in later years, the term grew to mean something akin to an ephemeral currency, e.g., “I got a lot of egoboo for editing that newsletter.”The term later spread into the open source programming movement, where the concept of non-monetary reward from community response is a key motive for many of the participants.

Marketing tips for resort retailers

NewportJPEG

Yesterday was one of those precious few Sept. New England days where the sun is bright and the temperature balmy. So at lunch I skipped out of the office and went to  Newport, RI for a walk on the beach and a tour of the shops.

The beach was great and Newport’s downtown was jammed because a huge Bermuda-bound cruise ship was stuck in the harbor, forced to stick around due to impending bad weather. What a boon for retailers, who have had a poor sales season due to the rainy, cool summer.  Yet I  think some  of these retailers may be struggling for other reasons.

Here are some observations and marketing advice for retailers at a resort location like Newport:

Be open: many shops were dark, with ‘closed for Monday and Tuesday’ signs on the doors.  When the weather is good and a cruise ship with thousands of people are in town,  open the doors and make some money. Cash flow is king. In another six weeks the tourist traffic is going to dry up. Catch up on your rest then.

Be different: so many stores looked the same, carrying similar merchandise, having similar looks and feels. The bland and blander tourist tee shirt storefronts,  hippy clothing stores and   pizza shops made it easy for me to just skip past them. One store caught my attention because of its name, “Gossip: a boutique to talk about.”  Alas, it was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Stand outs, however were Tyler Boe, with a unique collection of cashmere-cotton sweaters in unique colors. But Tyler Boe has no web site.  I want to  give some positive word of mouth marketing but the store makes it hard for me to do so. No Web site is being different, but not a smart marketing strategy.

Be interested: one of the biggest challenges for any retailer is staff. Too many stores had help that looked  bored  to death, probably lamenting the departure of their hip friends and cool summer people, left to wait on cruise ship patrons whose taste looked more J.C. Penney than J. Crew.  Disinterested staff dampens the shopping vibe. Perhaps it’s wiser for owners to work the floor more themselves  or pay more to get better help.

Be helpful:  conversely the stores with friendly, helpful people were great shopping experiences that earned my word of mouth recommendations. I walked into Sovereign Bank to ask for change so I could feed the parking meter. I fully expected them to say they didn’t do that, as I had already seen signs in stores saying this. Instead, the teller was delightful and gave me my quarters and a few insider tips about what’s going on in Newport. I might even change my bank account if that’s what every Sovereign branch is like. Similarly the owner of RoyalMale on Bannister Wharf and Spring St. was an example of superb customer service, providing suggestions, pulling out sweaters not on the floor that she thought might look good on me. No wonder that the store was doing a brisk business  even though the items had a relatively high price point.

Be ready: Running a retail business in a resort is unpredictable, but that’s no reason not to be ready to take advantage of happy surprises, like a cruise ship pumping thousands of people through the town on a typically “off” day.  Have a back up plan to get more help into your store when lucky breaks happen. The Rockport shop on Thames street was jammed, but staffed by just one person.  What a shame to see people come in and leave empty handed because they couldn’t get help.