Want To Generate Word of Mouth Marketing? Make Your Products ‘Simply Better’


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A friend popped round this morning to show me his new Mercedes. He was very happy with the car except for one thing; the automatic transmission doesn’t change up quickly enough for Autobahn driving, leaving the car revving at 4,500 RPM in 4th gear at only 80mph. He was on the way to the garage to ask what they could do about the problem. The shine on his new toy was clearly already on the way out of the door! And I am sure that I will not be the last one who hears about his problem.

Mercedes’ well known ‘over-engineering’ quality problems notwithstanding, it reminded me of a great post on George Silverman’s Word-of-Mouth Marketing Blog entitled ‘Warning: Is Word-of-Mouth Marketing Losing Its Way?’. Silverman wrote the article after returning from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) conference in Washington. Far too many of the presentations were about the tools & techniques of WOM, rather than about creating extraordinary, products, services and experiences which generate natural WOM.

He has a point. Far too much of marketing in general, and WOM in particular, is for thoroughly average products. Even for shoddy products. Why don’t more of the many billions spent on marketing get spent on creating better products instead. The sort of products that everyone wants to buy, that deliver a superior ownership experience and that drive natural WOM.

Patrick Barwise covered this in more detail in his recent book, ‘Simply Better’. Barwise’s research in many companies has shown that many of their basic business systems are out-dated, broken or unconnected with each other. Malfunctioning business processes lead to shoddy products and the wrong sort of WOM. Like Silverman, he suggests that companies spend more time, energy and resources on making their businesses and their products, Simply Better!

What do you think? Has marketing been consumed by its own smile? Or are there still extraordinary products out there that everyone is talking about?

Post a comment and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/grahamhill/


  1. I agree with your point wholeheartedly!

    True loyalty is what drive people to make referrals. And loyalty is driven by receiving an exceptional value, which could be a great product, experience, or something innovative not easily available elsewhere.

    I’ve always felt that what “CRM” means to most companies is “how to make more money from my customers without doing anything more for them.” Literally, manage the relationship to get more out of it: What Peppers & Rogers calls “return on customer.”

    Personally, I feel much of the effort in CRM projects to “manage” relationships would be better spent improving the products and services, as Barwise suggests in his book.

    Read my interview of Patrick Barwise here.

    Bob Thompson
    CEO, CustomerThink Corp.
    Founder, CRMGuru.com


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