This week's "60 Seconds with..." features John Moore, WOM Enthusiast at WOMMA. John was formerly in marketing at Starbucks Coffee and Whole Foods Market. Today, through his Brand Autopsy Marketing Practice, he shares marketing advice with businesses aspiring to earn unwavering devotion from customers and employees. As a long-time believer in the power of word-of-mouth marketing, John is putting his experience and passion to good use as a WOM Enthusiast for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. In this role, John educates and motivates businesses to use word-of-mouth marketing effectively and ethically. And, he serves as a WOMMA spokesperson addressing hot-button topics covered by traditional media and joining interesting conversations about WOM in the social media world. John is also the author of the well-read Brand Autopsy blog and the author of TRIBAL KNOWLEDGE, a business management book. He lives, works, and plays in Austin, TX.
Word of Mouth marketing is very hot. What’s driving the interest in WOM marketing? Research statistics overwhelmingly tell us friends trust what their friends say more than people trust what companies say in their advertising. Traditional advertising just doesn’t have the same juice it once it did. I recently read a statistic from a study that said the typical American mentions specific brands 90 times a week in everyday conversations. Companies would love to be talked about in those conversations and that’s why WOM is becoming a more relied upon marketing discipline.
In your opinion, are brands maximizing the opportunity they have to energize their customers who are Advocates of their brand? Unfortunately, no. Most brands struggle with how best and how often to communicate with their advocates and evangelical customers. Also, many brands still do not want to listen to their customers for fear they may say something “off-brand” or negative. Too many businesses lack confidence that their products and services deliver great customer experiences. If a business has such confidence, they will find ways to energize customers to talk.
You’ve been blogging about WOM truths. Do you have a truth about Word of Mouth advocacy that you care to share with us? When companies think of WOM, many times they will create attention-grabbing stunts to get noticed. That stunt may create buzz, but the buzz doesn’t last. It’s a one and done blip of marketing gimmickry. A longer-lasting way to create buzz is to foster advocacy relationships with customers. Which leads me to an important WOM TRUTH: “Buzz doesn’t Create Advocates. Advocates Create Buzz.”
Aside from WOMMA, what other brands do you advocate? Ever since my first visit to Chipotle in 1998, I’ve been a big advocate. The Chipotle brand is a talkable brand on so many levels from their oversized burritos to their stance on sustainability to their unique in-store operations. I’ve long-championed Costco as a place to buy quality stuff at a good price. The over-the-top customer service from Lexus has made a big-time advocate of the brand.