3-Minute WOM Lesson: 3 common problems facing word of mouth marketers

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Great word of mouth is the result of hard work and the ability to overcome these common problems:

1> The matchbook problem
2> The chocolate problem
3> The shiny object problem

1> The matchbook problem

The matchbook problem forces word of mouth marketers to ask: “What will they leave with?” When smoking was more common, matchbooks were frequently used tools for talking — lots of restaurants, bars, and stores gave them away to fans who shared and held on to them for years. With the decline in smoking, try solving the matchbook problem with something else: a coupon, a sticker, a flyer, or a snack.

2> The chocolate problem

Chocolate is delicious, but when was the last time you ate some and immediately told your friends about it? The problem with chocolate is the same that many great products share: Once everyone knows how great it is, the buzz can begin to fade because there’s nothing new to say. Smart marketers overcome the chocolate problem by regularly testing out new topics to keep the conversation about their brand fresh.

3> The shiny object problem

With all the new tools available out there, a common problem word of mouth marketers face is determining which ones to focus on. An easy way to overcome this issue is to focus on your fans: If your fans aren’t there, you probably don’t need to be either. Remember, your job isn’t to pioneer new technologies — your job is to build relationships and support your fans.

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