Science of the Memes

Posted by timwesley on August 12, 2016

Today I’d like to discuss the science of the memes and how spreading ideas around and through society is ingrained in humans.
Memes

This refers to types of ideas that spread the fastest through society, why they spread fast and how that affects consumerism. You can use this same information to create a lasting positive impression about your company, products and services. People are more likely to try a new product or services when they feel protected and reassured by the masses.
It’s been determined that spreading ideas is essential to the survival of a society. There are 5 main situations where this occurs. They are:

Crisis
Mission
Problem
Danger
Opportunity

Think of evangelism. This is prime example of people not only spreading the word, but convincing people to jump on board and start to spread the word themselves. To do this effectively, you need to incorporate a few key things that always catch people’s eye:

Sex
News
Unique Results
The Unusual
Helping Others
Secrets

Next we are going to switch gears a little and talk about viral marketing. While, traditional marketing can be used to your advantage, the reality is viral and online marketing is the king of the castle. You can spread the word online like the plague, if you know what to do. Here are some simple steps to do this:

Find an interesting idea
Make it easy for people to experience or trial
Spread the idea while people who are in close contact with others
Take advantage of existing communication methods
Develop the way of trying your product in such a way that it automatically draws more try-ers

Some great places to use viral marketing are:

Geocities
Ebay
Roger Wilco
ICQ
AOL Instant Messenger
MSN Instant Messenger
Winamp
Hotmail
“Tell A Friend” Buttons
E-Greeting Cards

There are six things everyone should be doing to benefit from word of mouth on the Internet:

Put WOM components on your website.
Assign people to monitor your viral marketing.
Place testimonials in different places on your website to walk a customer through the purchasing cycle.
Set up an email marketing campaign.
Stay up to date on what products and services the experts in your industry are recommending.
Use your website to demonstrate the great ways people are using or finding success with your products and services.
Here are other non-viral Internet opportunities to explore:
iPhone’s
Handheld PC’s
Blackberrys

And other well connected electronic devices

For more FREE marketing information visit www.deepequity.net

Decoding WOM Messages

Posted by timwesley on August 5, 2016

Today’s lesson will talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and how you can influence those messages.
There are essentially 3 methods of word of mouth:
• Expert to Expert
• Expert to Peer
• Peer to Peer

When experts are talking about your products or service you will usually receive an amazing rush of sales and new customers, so obviously this is one of the best things that can happen. You can also help to facilitate this by offering free products to experts for them to review.
Expert opinion can also bring about new ideas that help to fuel new products, services and operating systems within your company. If you take the time to change or develop the opinions of even a small group of experts, you will have the opportunity to help your market explode.
There is a standard word of mouth delivery system that, in most cases, takes a few years. But, you can speed this up into only a few weeks. The standard system is:
• First impressions from an expert
• Organized trial of your products or services
• Pooling peer experiences

It’s important to know exactly who is advocating for your products and service. Take the time to find out who they are and reward them. While, you may already have a customer service system for filing complaints, do you have one for compiling praise? Most likely not. If you take the time to show these people appreciation, they will help take your products and services to the top.
• Some of the ways you can show them appreciation are:
• Invite them to a customer appreciation dinner
• Offer to video tape their testimonials
• Ask to interview them for feedback to improve with
• Offer them a premier customer membership
• Ask them to join a referral incentive program

There are lots of things you can offer your biggest fans to help spread the word about your products and services.
Conventional media has been around forever and while it can still be effective, it’s lost a little of its luster over the last few years. There are a few reasons for this:
• Expensive and doesn’t necessarily return results
• Boring, lacking something fresh and new
• Too short of a time slot to offer enough information

While these are all true, there are ways you can make conventional media work for you. For the information to be effective it needs to be presented in the right sequence, come from the right sources, be relevant to the target customer, be credible and be delivered at the right time in the medium.
We’re going to switch gears a little and talk about the two phases of the product adoption cycle. Traditional media is great for taking you through the information stage where you can offer the information you need to your potential customers, but it’s not so great for measuring the results of those efforts.
Without these results you can’t fine tune your marketing and therefore can easily miss the boat and lose potential customers and waste a whole lot of money. Once a consumer has the information they need, they’ll go through a verification process as they analyze whether or not the purchase was a good one. They generally get their information through:
• Direct experience with the product
• Interaction with peers using the same product
• Experts’ experience
• Scientific journals and other resources
• Independent reviews and opinions
• You can accelerate this process by:
• Providing your own demo’s and free trials
• Offer them indirect experience through the experience of others
• Offer a good true story that can be passed around

Once you have the ability and are able to work through these concepts, you will be able to target your customers much better.

WOM Meets Customers Head-On

Posted by timwesley on August 1, 2016

Today we’ll cover the idea of shortening your customers’ decision making process with positive word of mouth. There are essentially 5 stages in the decision making process.
They are:
1. Give the product a chance and transitions from a “no” to a “maybe”.
2. Check out the options and investigate the different products available.
3. Observe the product to check for potential benefits, features and operations to see if there is a fit with their needs.
4. Become a customer and purchase their first item. They will be discriminate with their first product as they form their opinion of you.
5. Purchases again and starts spreading positive word of mouth as an advocate of your products.

So, let’s take a closer look at each one of these.
From “No” to “Maybe”
This stage is really important because if your potential customers don’t even take a second look at your products and services, then you have no chance of sealing a deal. This is why you need to offer credible information and well thought out pricing, guarantees and incentives.
Investigating Your Products
At this stage they are taking a closer look at your product line to see if there is actually anything that could benefit their life. This is where you need to make sure your hard information is right out there in front for the customers to see and compare.
Trial Period
Customers often feel more at ease and ready to purchase when there is some sort of a trial in place. They usually want to try vicariously through someone else, so they don’t feel any risk involved. A good way to offer this is through demo videos, product demonstrations or a tour of your facilities. This stage may invoke a reaction of “I tried it and liked it. You should check it out.”
Make a Purchase
At this stage, they have taken the risk of purchasing one of your products or services and are now evaluating how easy, convenient, cost effective and satisfying your product or service is. At this stage a common reaction would be, “It was really easy to use and learn from. It’s really great, you should get it!”
Advocates for Yours Products
At this last stage of decision making the customer is immensely pleased with your product and often keeps using it and/or comes back for more products and services. They are likely telling everyone they know how much they like it, that they use it every day and have already (or will be) back to your establishment for more.
We talked a minute ago about the different types of purchasers. Now we are going to take a closer look at their characteristics, so you can figure out which tactics are best to use at the right stage of the decision making process.
The Innovator
• Wants to stand out from the crowd
• Know what’s hot and trendy
• Likes “strange” or “weird” new products
• Wants to be the first to try and will talk about it animatedly

Early Adopter
• Driven by excellence
• More concerned with possibilities than realities
• Always looking to be a leader
• Always looking for a new vision

Middle Majority
• Wants to be perceived as competent
• Concerned about practicality and easy comparisons
• Needs an easy way out if not satisfied
• Wants products that meet the industry standard

Late Majority
• Generally skeptical and wants to know the risks upfront
• Needs to shop around for the best deal
• Needs a support system
• Wants what everyone else has

Laggard
• Needs it to be completely safe and traditional
• Needs reassurance that nothing will go wrong
• Won’t try new things unless it’s the last resort
• Will search for loopholes and problems
• Wants to use it in the standard industry way

As you can see, each type of consumer wants something just a little different depending on their personality type. The key to successful word of mouth is to target and cater to each type of consumer. If you need help identifying the types of consumers you are currently helping and how to attract the types you are lacking, try our FREE test drive for the resources and tools you need to get the job done.
Next time we’ll talk about how word of mouth messages are delivered and what you can do to help facilitate that.

Harness the Power of WOM

Posted by timwesley on July 23, 2016

Today we’re going to talk about how to harness the power of word of mouth. Including the six step process to success and the 30 (that’s right, I said 30) ways to harass the power of WOM. So, let’s get started!
There are six steps to harassing word of mouth:
1. Understand your customers’ values and priorities, this will help you understand why they would buy your products.
2. Understand the different adopter types: innovators, early adopters, middle majority, late adopters and laggards.
3. Identify which decision stages are needed for your product to be adopted.
4. Use the information from steps 2 & 3 to figure out which wording and word of mouth tactics are going to work using the Decision Maker Matrix (we’ll talk about this in a minute).
5. Put together the resources for the highest word of mouth impact.
6. Create and implement your word of mouth campaign.

The Decision Maker Matrix is based off years of trial and error by George Silverman. It essentially charts to different concerns you may come across when working with different adopters and putting together a decision process for each one.
We are now going to move on to the 30 ways to harass the power of WOM:
Use Experts
Experts can come in many forms and all their opinions should be taken into consideration when putting together a WOM campaign. Some experts to gather information from include:
• Customers
• Suppliers
• Experts
• Salespeople
• Experts’ roundtables
• Experts’ selling groups

Seminars, Workshops & Speeches
These venues are a perfect opportunity to gather information. People who attend these types of events are used to giving feedback, so you can use a survey or other method to gather information you can look over later. Some events to use are:
• Speakers program
• Seminars
• Group selling
• Dinner meetings
• Peer selling groups
• Teleconferenced experts’ panels
• Trade show events/opportunities

“Canned” Word of Mouth
The concept of “canned” word of mouth is using hard and online products to get feedback and offer information at the same time. Some ideas for these are:
• Videotapes
• Audiotapes
• World Wide Web
• CD’s

Referral Selling
As we’ve talked about before a referral program can help with a variety of things in building your business. By using some of the following tactics and opportunities you can find out exactly what you need to do to generate positive word of mouth. These tactics and opportunities are:
• Testimonials
• Networking
• Referral Selling Program

“New” Media
The concept of “new” media is the use of up and coming media sources and opportunities to get the word out about your products and services and listen for the feedback about them. Here’s some of the “new” media options:
• Hotlines
• Faxback services
• Web-based word of mouth, such as forums, e-mail, etc.
• Call centers

Using Traditional Media for Word of Mouth
Using traditional media is a great way to get feedback. These are still considered main stream ways of interacting with the public and consumers. Some traditional media outlets are:
• Customer service
• PR
• Placements
• Events
• Promotions
• Word of mouth in ads, sales brochures, or direct mail
• Salesperson programs, sales stars, or peer training,
• Word-of-mouth incentive programs (“Tell-a-friend” programs)
• Customer gifts they can share with their friends (articles, how-to manuals)

Internal Word of Mouth
• Encourage employee word of mouth and sharing feedback with family, friends and others
• Offer rewards or commission for word of mouth success

As you can see there are tons of ideas you can work with to increase your level of positive word of mouth marketing. If you need help with any of this, please try our FREE test drive to access our exclusive resources that can help you put this whole thing together.

Word Of Mouth Tactics- Part 3

Posted by timwesley on July 19, 2016

Last time we talked about the second part of word of mouth tactics which help you put together a system to help shorten the purchasing decision time of your customers which can increase your profits immensely.
Today we’re going to talk about the nine levels of word of mouth which gives you a tool to measure the word of mouth circulating around your company, products and services. You can then see where you are getting negative or weak word of mouth and find ways to correct it.
So, launching into the nine levels of word of mouth-it should seem relatively obvious that the negative levels are, well, negative and the positive levels are positive.
Minus 4
This is the worst of the worst and means your product is creating a scandal. Remember, when the popular over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol, were deemed unsafe? Yea, you won’t want that kind of word of mouth.
Minus 3
Disgruntled customers are going out of their way to convince other consumers from purchasing your products and services. They are boycotting you.
Minus 2
While, not outwardly boycotting, when customers are asked about you they will give a negative response.
Minus 1
At this level, people are mildly dissatisfied and while not outwardly talking about it, they will have an opinion if asked. Now they may purchase from you despite their negative feelings, this can be a little confusing.
Level 0
This is sort of a neutral place to be. Customers are using your products, but don’t really talk about it. People rarely ask them about it, so they aren’t sharing their opinion with others. This can be a bit of a slippery slope, because you don’t want to turn that neutral experience into a negative one. In fact, you should work to make it a positive one.
Plus 1
At this level we are finally starting to work our way into the positive word of mouth about you company, products and services. Plus 1 signifies that people are generally pleased with your products, but unless asked, don’t really say anything about them.
Plus 2
When asked, your customers will talk about how much they love your products.
Plus 3
Customers will go out of their way to talk about your products, services, company and their shopping experience with you. This is most evident when you see how people recommend movies to their friends and family.
Plus 4
Your product is the toast of the town. There is an obvious buzz going around and your business is the place to be. People are not only talking about your great products and services, but they are talking about their shopping experience, your customer service and how they perceive the company to help them in the future.
Some great examples of Plus 4 companies are:
• Lexus
• Harley Davidson
• Saturn Cars
• Netscape
• Apple Computers
• Celestial Teas

We’re going to leave this lesson for you to mull over and take a look at what kind of word of mouth you are generating. If you need help with this process, try our FREE test drive to get help from our experienced business coaches.
Next time we’re going to talk about the 30 ways to harness the power of word of mouth.