Coaching the Creative

Creating Customer Evangelists

The main marketing strategy used in my coaching practice is WOM (word of mouth marketing). I learned about this concept from Ben and Jackie when their first book Creating Customer Evangelists came out. I trust them and their blog to keep me informed on the latest information about WOM marketing.

If you are creating yourself into a unique “brand” within a larger organization, if you own a small business or if you are thinking about starting one you may also be interested in our HeadTrip Audio program downloadable tracks on the subject of creating your own Customer Evangelists (Disc 4).

Here is a sample from one of the tracks where Ben and Jackie and I were discussing this very topic:

5 surprising things about word of mouth marketing         Diverted from


Social media marketing is still all the rage, but an important new book out from Ed Keller and Bray Fay reminds marketers where and how customers are actually talking about brands,services and companies. From their book, “The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace,” here’s 5 important things you need to know before putting that integrated marketing plan together:

  1. 90% of all conversations about brands happens offline. Ed and Brad’s company Keller Fay has been tracking Americans’ conversations, a new sample of 700 people every week since 2006, and have found that the majority of brand conversations happen offline: face-to-face (76%) and on the phone (14%). Online conversations only make up 8% of total conversations.
  2. Online conversations and offline conversations are not the same.Research shows that the people who talk about brands offline are different than the people who talk about brands online, especially in age. Also the types of brands dictate where most conversations happen: Brands that get the most online WOM skew toward those that offer uniqueness, and thus encourage people to express opinions as a way of signaling their own uniqueness and social status. Offline sharing had more to do with expressing emotions like satisfaction and excitement.
  3. It doesn’t take high-tech, innovative products to get people talking. Keller Fay’s TalkTrack research shows that products that consumers use in their everyday lives are the brands that get the most talk-value. Apple might have the coolest products but Coke products are the most ubiquitous.
    Kelly Fay Blog post.001
  4. Traditional marketing methods still matter.The TalkTrack study finds that about 25% of all consumer conversations about brands involve one consumer telling another about an advertisement that he or she has seen. Another 30% of of conversations mention retail displays, coupons, direct mail and public relations. Pretty old school, huh?
  5. Most word of mouth is positive. Keller Group’s research shows that overall, only 8% of brand conversations are truly negative, and 66% of brand conversations are truly positive. Another 11% is neutral, and 15% is a mix of positive and negative. Also, positive WOM is more credible than negative WOM. When people hear something positive about a brand, 66% of them assign a high credibility rating to it, rating it 9 or 10 on a scale of 0-10. Only 47% of people give the same credibility rating to negative opinions about brands.



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