An insight into word of mouth marketing

About 3 years ago I was really getting into some of the amazing business literature on the marketplace. Recovering from a very tough spell in my life, I found inspiration in the work of Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Sir Ken Robinson, Malcolm Gladwell (pic) and the like.

What really resonated with me was the ‘small is the new big’ message (Godin) and the potential we all have to re-define ourselves, and start attracting people IN rather than pushing our message OUT. And it takes very little capital outlay (social capital is now your currency).

Social media is a big part of this of course, but a lot of it is having the right mind-set and pursuing something with passion. Having a purpose is seductive and compelling for others.

Sat in Starbucks (Manchester Piccadilly Station), I was sat with a fellow trainer sharing notes on who we admired and how famous they’d become by living out this principle. All the above names came up, international travellers with a huge following – giants in their field. Then something weird  happened…Malcolm Gladwell walked into Starbucks and ordered a latte! Talk about getting what you focus on, law of attraction, etc. It was a light bulb moment.

Cajoled by my friend, I went over and introduced myself (trying not to come over all Kathy Bates “I’m your biggest fan” type of thing), and Gladwell explained he was in Manchester to speak at the Business School along with Daniel Goleman (Mr Emotional Intelligence).

Now I’ve mentioned this in a blog before, but relating it to a lawyer friend of mine yesterday, he surprised me by finishing off my own story. “I know,” he said, “I tell that story to my staff frequently.”

That’s word of mouth in action, but the interesting thing is this – it started with ME telling the story but it became more powerful when it was forwarded on by others.

And social media makes this a whole lot more powerful now.

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