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  • Marketing is not something you do to customers; it's a service you do for customers – the service of helping them make the best decisions more easily.

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« A new word-of-mouth phenomenon that could shake the world | Main | Brand Autopsy: George Knocks Trout Out of the Water »

March 07, 2006


Vince Golder

Hi George,

FYI, I submitted the following reply to Jack via the editor of;

Hi Jack,

You stated in your article “I certainly would never tell a CEO, "B.J., I just put a big chunk of our budget into word-of-mouth."

Jack with the greatest respect, you would only make such a statement if you DIDN’T WANT the CEO to consider word of mouth strategy in his marketing plan. I’m sure if you did want the CEO to consider word of mouth you may approach him with this pitch;

“B.J. I know how important your customers are to you and your business and prospect of continually growing your company and market leadership. With these important points in mind I strongly suggest we take a serious look at investing most of our marketing budget on our existing customers.

They are of course the most important part of our business and if we totally focus and “invest” in them, they will continue to focus and “invest” in and help grow our company.

How do we invest in them? Well let’s first take a look at some sound basic marketing practices i.e.

Customer Care and Communication
Let’s talk more to our customers and ask them what they think of our products/services, our company, customer care/service, the benefits/value we give and ask them where we can improve.

Let’s communicate with our customers more (with their permission and in a balance way), to develop best relationship, show our appreciation for their business, “educate” them on our existing/new products/services, motivate and reward them for referrals and loyalty.

Develop an official “Customer Care Policy” with dedicated Customer Relationship and Account Managers, plus let’s have an official “Customer Charter”, incorporating various policies which include complaint handling, referrals etc. to show we really care about them.

Let’s set the highest standards, train and closely monitor ALL our employees on the best customer facing skills and care and also reward employees for best practice.

The benefits from such a programme will be many and include; a huge increase in referral leads, closure, new and up-sales, customers, profits, customer satisfaction and loyalty, business growth and worth. Other benefits included; higher credibility, lower marketing costs and challenges from our competition.

If we develop and operate this programme correctly we will save a considerable amount on our current advertising spend and achieve a high ROI.

What will this all cost? A good CRM and loyalty system, management and professional referral marketing programme, Staff training and monitoring, communication to customers etc., all of which can be covered within our current budget.

Our pass strategy has been to constantly seek new business with the high cost and challenges that involves. I strongly advise our best opportunities for continuous company growth is through their existing customers, who if treated right will continue to purchase and refer us, resulting in higher sales and new business.”

I’m confident most CEOs would consider this proposal more seriously if presented professionally.

Word of mouth marketing is the same as any other marketing strategy and the results achieved are dependent on how well it is applied.

elan star

Your work is just incredible
It is practical and intuitive and dynamic

I look forward of all your works.
Elan Star


Mike H.

George - Absolutely brilliant! Well done. What shocked me the most was this: "You just can't buy mouths like you can buy media." It demonstrates his entire marketing strategy is the delivery of a message.

Would you not say that the real power of WOM is the teaching and learning element of it between customers? Buying media and spending company dollars may have been Trout's way of marketing. That all changed to a teaching model when information overloaded us.

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts.


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