Chapter 4: Earning Word of Mouth Marketing through Brand Engagement

Marketing Plan Podcast_WEB BANNERWhats the missing ingredient in harmonizing your plan?

Many entrepreneurs search for that one thing that will put everything in balance. We start believing the hype of the marketing specialists: “the missing ingredient in your marketing plan is social media, or search engine optimization. But its not that simple. While there is a missing ingredient, it’s not externally found, but internally.

Let’s take word-of-mouth conversation, for example. The hype would have you believe that in this Age of Conversation, it’s all about social media. But that’s false hype. In  Chapter Four of The Marketing Plan Podcast we discuss how to earn conversation through brand engagement.

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Jay Ehret
Dean of Marketing Know-How
The Marketing Spot

Three Steps to Increase Customer Loyalty and Word of Mouth

using the customer experience formula to increase loyalty

Get to Customer Wow!

Email subscribers and feed readers, click here: The Customer Experience Formula

Topics Discussed:

  • Customer Loyalty
  • Loyalty and word-of-mouth statistics
  • The Customer Experience Formula
  • 3 steps to take your customer experience to Wow!
  • Free Tools to improve your customer experience.

Get complete show notes, and links to download the free tools here:
Use This Customer Experience Formula to Increase Loyalty and Word of Mouth
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Phenomenal Experience Design Creates Customer Stories

Your brand is part of your customers’ lives. The only question is: Are you a meaningful part of your customers’ lives? To the degree that you determines the frequency and impact of stories told about your business. Welcome to the world of phenomenology in experience design.

experience design and customer story telling

People are wired to share stories about meaningful experiences. It’s the fuel for word of mouth. But how are these stories born? Brian Clark of GMD Studios says it happens when you choose to put the audience, instead of the object, at the center of your work. Translation: Put the customer, instead of your product, at the center of your business.

I met Brian Clark at the BOLO Digital Marketing Conference last month in Scottsdale, and his presentation on Phenomenal Work really drove home the connection between storytelling, phenomenal experiences and word of mouth. In this episode of the Power to the Small Business internet show, Brian joins me to help us find those remarkable and out out-of-the ordinary things that create customer stories.

Guest: Brian Clark, CEO of GMD Studios
Host: Jay Ehret of

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Show Notes – Phenomenal Experience Design

Phenomenology: The study of consciousness and the things we experience.

How to get customers to tell stories about your business:

  1. Enable your employees to become story tellers.
  2. Look at your customers and see what meaningful experiences they’re already having, and amplify them.
  3. Write stories that tell what you have in common with customers.


  1. Shift the data you’re using away from the brand to the customer to make marketing decisions.
  2. Does this already exist? Listen to what people are saying in the various channels and then ask yourself: “How do I make that more meaningful?”

Selected Quotes from the Show

“It’s when our work is actually experienced by someone that it fully flushes out to what it is.”

“Our brands are there as part of someone’s life, and part of a story they’re going to tell other people.”

“We use stories as proxies for our own experience.”

“Meaningfulness has no upper end.  You can always create an experience that’s more meaningful than the one you have.”
~ Brian Clark, GMD Studios

Show Links

Audi Heist Links
Audi: Art of the H3ist
A New Kind of Car Chase (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Phenomenal Work on Tumblr

Download Brian’s Presentation from BOLO 2013 (Look under documents)
Phenomenal Work

Inspiring Word of Mouth With The Passion Conversation

Passion can go one way, but a conversation must go both ways. When it comes to word of mouth, If you want your customers to be passionate about you, then you have to reciprocate initiate. John Moore and Geno Smith take it up a notch in their new book: The Passion Conversation (co-authored with Robbin Phillips and Greg Cordell), saying that if you want passionate buzz about your business, you first have to love your customers.

right click to see Passion Conversation book by Brains on Fire

How far are you willing to go for your customers? And do you really care about them outside of their purchase from you? The more you care, the more love you show, the more passionate word of mouth your customers are willing to give in return. But where to start?

In this episode of Power to the Small Business, John Moore and Geno Church of Brains on Fire take a passionate dive into the business/customer relationship. They answer the tough questions and give practical examples of how it’s done.

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Selected Quotes from the Show

“A brand isn’t worthy of receiving love before they start showing love.”
~ John Moore

“If we have a better understanding of why people share and talk about what we do,  instead of (the conversation) being artificial, it’s authentic.”
~ Geno Church

“If a brand is to really make a connection and to spark word of mouth, they must speak to the customer like a friend.”
~ John Moore

“Doing business right, and purposeful, is going to be profitable.”
~ Geno Church

Show Resources

Buy the Book: The Passion Conversation
Brains On Fire
John Moore
Geno Church
Bolo Digital Marketing Conference

Holly Jolly Marketing Folly

Marketing Foolishness: What Not to Do

Marketing-foolishness-small -business-podcast[For feed readers and email subscribers, click here to see the podcast player: Marketing Folly Podcast]

When everyone else is doing it, shouldn’t you? Unless you’ve first asked the question: “Does it Make Sense?” …maybe not. You could be following the path of marketing foolishness.

In this special post-holiday episode of Power to the Small Business, Spike Jones, author of Brains on Fire and a digital communications specialist, joins host Jay Ehret to take a fun look at how seemingly good marketing ideas can really be marketing folly.

Guest: Spike Jones, Group Director of Engagement at WCG, Austin, Texas
Host: Jay Ehret, Dean of Marketing Know-How at
Length: 24 minutes

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Episode Show Notes

Spike Jones’ Marketing Follies

1. Crowd-sourcing  Missteps:  Not having guidelines in place, allowing the brand to be hijacked.

Lesson: Instead of “Hey, what do you guys think?” …allow your customers to have a voice in a pronounced, pointed, exact way. Use guardrails to keep the crowd-sourcing focused. You don’t have to do what the crowd says.

2. Hijacked #Hashtags:  Remember, you don’t own the hashtag.

Lesson: Be aware of what’s going on in your brand culture. You cannot control what people say about you, as Starbucks discovered with their hijacked #spreadthecheer campaign.  Have some context before you put something out there. Think like the public.

3. Feed the “Great Content” Monster:  Great content is really advertising, such as the Red Bull Stratos campaign.

Lesson: Content managers and content divisions are really just a new name for copywriters and graphic designers. We are really just slapping a new label on an old concept. Great content is really engagement and great ideas to engage customers. It is marketing foolishness to think content marketing is some new concept.

You may be interested in this review of Spike’s book: Passionate Movements Have a Barrier to Entry

Jay Ehret’s Marketing Follies

1. Looking for The Next Big Thing:  This is a symptom of businesses looking for answers outside of the business to market their business.

Lesson: It is marketing foolishness to believe that the answer lies outside the business; that if you can just hitch your wagon to the next big thing, everything will be alright. The next big thing lies within your business; it’s not external to your business.

2. Using Free Tools Only: There are so many free tools, businesses are unwilling to invest in their business.

Lesson: If you only use free online tools, you eliminate options that could be successful, such as advertising. Just because something is free, doesn’t mean it works. It is marketing foolishness to not ask this question about free tools: “Does it make sense?”

3. Not Having a Website: Facebook only allows 15% of your fans to see your posts.

Lesson: It is marketing foolishness to not have your own piece of real estate on the internet. More than a third of all buyers will visit a company’s website before making a purchase. Your website is permanent and can tell the story of your business and even engage potential customers.

Contact: Contact Jay Ehret to suggest guests for to schedule a marketing consultation for your business: jay<at> or call 254-399-8093

Tapping Brand Advocates for Word of Mouth Marketing

Brand Advocates - Word of Mouth Marketing - Social Media Marketing

You may be surprised at how many of your customers are really your brand advocates, ready and willing to spread the word about your business. You just need to give them a nudge in the right direction. In this episode of Power to the Small Business, Rob Fugetta, Founder and CEO of Zuberance, and author of Brand Advocates, joins host Jay Ehret to discuss how to turn your brand advocates into brand promoters.

Guest: Rob Fugetta – Zuberance.
Host: Jay Ehret – The Marketing Spot
Length: 24 minutes

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Rob Fugetta on Brand Advocates:

Definition of Brand Advocates – Highly satisfied customers, or others, who are willing to recommend your brand or product without pay or incentives.

Start by asking the ultimate question for customer loyalty:
“On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues?”

Steps to Tapping Brand Advocates for Word of Mouth

1. Identify – Ask the ultimate question across a variety of customer touch points and communications channels.

2. Energize – Making it easy for your advocates to recommend them.

  • Create ratings and reviews for your products.
  • Collect advocate stories and testimonials.
  • Get advocates to share content and offers with their social network.

3. Track your results.

Selected Quotes from Rob Fugetta:

“True advocacy cannot be paid for or manufactured, it can only be earned.”

“It’s really not about marketing to your advocates; it’s marketing through your advocates, and with your advocates.”

“Marketing is about more than clicks and impressions; it’s about building a movement around your brand.”


Buy the book: Brand Advocates: Turning Enthusiastic Customers Into a Powerful Marketing Force
Rob Fugetta at Zuberance
Rob Fugetta on Twitter

The Where and What of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Topic: Word of Mouth

Photo courtesy of DavidK-Oregon

Podcast Episode #74 of the internet show about small business marketing

The first thing you need to know is where word of mouth takes place. It may surprise you that social media is not as important as the current hype suggests. The second thing you need to know is how you can create word of mouth conversation for your business. It may surprise you that it can be deliberately baked in to your business.

In this episode of Power to the Small Business podcast, you get a double shot of word of mouth wisdom for no extra charge! Two word of mouth braniacs join host Jay Ehret to discuss the where and the what of word of mouth. Learn where you might be wasting time trying to create conversation, and also get some practical tips on how you can use the 4 P’s of marketing to deliberately create word of mouth.

Ed Keller, CEO of Keller Fay Group
John Moore, Marketingologist at Brand Autopsy Marketing Practice

Jay Ehret The Marketing Spot (Podcast Host)

Length: 38 minutes

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You can also download the mp3 file here: Download Power to the Small Business #74 (for personal use only)



Ed Keller on The Where of Word of Mouth

  • Marketing and advertising stimulate word-of-mouth conversations
  • Use your advertising to talk to your current customers instead of trying to attract new customers
  • Being present in advertising is important for word of mouth because it queues up your brand for conversation
  • 50% of all brand related word of mouth references marketing related activities

John Moore on The What of Word of Mouth

  • True word of mouth is how a business does business every day
  • Give people a reason to talk about you. Design products and services that are worthy of conversation
  • Deliberate Intention: Make every customer touchpoint a talking point by showing your personality
  • Use the 4 P’s of marketing to make sure you cover every customer touchpoint: Product, Price, Promotion, Place


On why word of mouth is important in the marketing mix:

“For a growing number of large, as well as small businesses, they’re beginning to realize the power of word of mouth in helping to make brand decisions in the name of marketing.”

On social media and word of mouth:

“There’s a lot of attention today to social media, but it might surprise a lot of your listeners to know that the overwhelming majority of word of mouth still takes place offline, when it comes to products, services and brands.”

On the advertising and word-of-mouth relationship:

“I think the number one objective for advertising in today’s marketplace is to spark advocacy and help spark conversation.”


On why some brands excel at word of mouth:

The best brands, that get the most conversation…it’s not about a campaign, it’s about how they do business.

On word-of-mouth marketing:

Word-of-mouth marketing is about giving consumers a reason or reasons to talk about a brand or product or a service.

On how small businesses can create conversation:

Small business people can strategically and intentionally design products and services to become worthy of being talked about.

Show Links

Keller Fay Group Blog
Kellery Fay on Twitter

John Moore’s Brand Autopsy Blog
John Moore on Twitter

– Free Recorded Word-of-Mouth Webinar: Creating Conversation

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