The growth of your business will be determined by what your customers say about it. Do you know what they are saying? Learn more

from Guy Kawasaki

Blogger. n. Someone with nothing to say writing for someone with nothing to do.

If you are not regularly staying in touch with your customers someone else will. How do you stay in touch? Learn more

from Church of the Customer

All about word of mouth, customer evangelism and citizen marketers.

The Happiest customers tell on average 8 other people. Who are your happiest customers? Promoterz knows. Learn more

Listen First!

Listen First!

Listening is hard. Let's face it, we are all problem solvers. If we weren't, chances are we wouldn't be in business for ourselves. We don't have a lot of time to spend listening to long stories. So we quickly pick out the "important facts," develop (or should I say jump?) to a conclusion, and move on to the next problem. According to Laurent Flores , the founder and CEO of, crmmetrix not listening enough to customers is exactly what is wrong with most marketing today. Here are his steps to go from marketing to consumers to marketing with consumers:

First: Listen to conversations. Learn from consumers and leverage the words consumers "recognize themselves in": a message is about an idea, and the words that support it best.

Second: Listen and engage the consumers who matter in your category. Leadership is not universal, but category related. Look at natural touch-points with your customers, such as the brand website, to find the influencers who want to engage with their favorite brands.

Third: Test the words. As stated earlier, evolving the message with influencers is key. Indeed, rather than just testing the message idea, test the words consumers will recognize themselves in. Let them have a say with a simple online VIP vote, for example.

Fourth: Seed trials and give them the ability to spread. Engage influencers further in trying and testing your product during an exclusive special VIP invitation. Give them the means to spread the word by making samples and campaign materials available (that they actually developed themselves, remember), and they will drive sales for you.

Fifth: Continue listening and keep involving them. Because markets are conversations, continuous listening to consumers during and after the campaign is key. Listening will not only provide the necessary measurement to better manage WOM, but will also naturally boost consumer engagement and relationship with your brand for your next campaign.

Some really great ideas here. When was the last time you asked your influencers or promoters (you know who they are don't you?) to vote on one of your advertising ideas? Modern technology makes the logistics easy. How about exclusive previews and samples for your promoters? You want them talking? First listen and then give them something to talk about.

The Happiest customers tell on average 8 other people. Who are your happiest customers? Promoterz knows. Learn more

Fish Jumping in the boat!

Fish Jumping in the boat!
Remarkable Businesses get great Word of Mouth

I came across this amazing video. I don't know the story behind it but it appears two people are in a boat "fishing" at night with a spotlight. What is remarkable is that they don't have any fishing poles. The fish are just exploding out of the water and jumping into the boat!

Sometimes it seems as a business owner that if people just knew about our product/service they would be jumping into the boat to get it. In a way it is true. The trick is getting people to know about it and knowing implies believing too.

I would love to know the story behind this video, how did they discover this spot where the fish are jumping? Did they just come upon it themselves or did they hear it from someone else?

My bet they heard it from someone else. Word of mouth is powerful in its ability to not only share a message but to attach some trust to it as well. The trust part seems to be the key.

Not all word of mouth referrals come from a trusted source, think fish stories! But even the wildest fish story is often as believable as some ad copy!

So, as business owners, are we providing a service/product that is so remarkable that our customers will share the good news?

The average American consumer discusses brands 56 times a week. Are they discussing yours? Learn more

Seeds from the blogworld
We search the business blog world looking for posts that illustrate principles, or "Seeds", that if followed, or "planted", will help small businesses grow. We list them here for your convenience. Enjoy.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
After describing modern consumers and their desire to watch or read what they want, when they want, the current issue of Business Week concludes: The result: a serious case of attention deficit for ...more.
What is the most compelling thing about your business from your customers' perspective? Is it remarkable? ...more.
Another example of the power of promoters. Shade Clothing sells undershirts for women that are longer than normal for those that aren't interested in showing the world their belly button. It was fou ...more.
I read recently about a musician--a cello player to be exact--that moved to New York City. She didn't know anyone in the city and was looking for opportunities to play her cello. Her solution? She ...more.
I read a great article recently about George Washington. As I read about his amazing leadership characteristics it occurred to me that they are the same characteristics any entrepreneur or business l ...more.
On the company the effect is like being assimilated into the Borg, but for users of their software it's like having a friend with a malignant brain tumor. You're going to have to say "goodbye" soon t ...more.
What says summer more than traveling carnivals? Cotton candy, hot dogs, rides that go around and around until you puke! Does life get any better than that? I submit that it cannot! The blog worl ...more.
Remarkable is the key here. These native american kids are remarkable in and of themselves. Their product follows suit. They have figured out government issues, food serving issues, product, marketi ...more.
In the cluttered marketplace we compete in, I don't think the power (and necessity) of staying in touch can be overemphasized. I learned the lesson again last week--thankfully in a good way. It had ...more.

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