Be ready for slow word of mouth

This is a guest post from Andy Sernovitz — CEO of and and New York Times bestselling author of “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking.”

Sometimes word of mouth takes a while to travel.  Don’t miss this opportunity.

By the time you hear about a great new show on network TV, you’ve usually missed the first few episodes.  You may miss the key plot elements and never catch up (so you stop watching).

A new series on HBO or USA is rerun CONSTANTLY.  When you finally hear about it from a friend, it’s easy to catch up on back episodes. This is all it takes for the networks to take full advantage of the word of mouth and lock you in as a happy viewer.

What can you do to capture slow-moving word of mouth?  Set up an area on your web site for new users. Include how-to’s, instructions, back issues, or whatever they might have missed.  Make latecomers feel welcome.

Factor the time delay into your plans so that the second, third, and fourth generations have as great an experience as the friends who made the original recommendation.

Lesson: Word of mouth takes time, so plan for it.

P.S. This is why I’m constantly updating the website for my book. New readers keep finding it.  They should have the same pleasure of discovery as someone who saw the original PR push.  And sales keep growing.

About Andy Sernovitz

Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including and Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing, which teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.

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