Showing posts with label Public Relations-Word of Mouth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Public Relations-Word of Mouth. Show all posts

ALS Association| Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge is now considered one of the legendary social media campaigns of all time after using a simple (but unpleasant and hilarious) challenge to raise over $115 million dollars for a disease that most people had never even heard of.
What helped propel the virality was the fact that people were publicly challenging their friends and family on social media, which made them more likely to get involved than someone asking for a retweet.

Hitchcock as a movie marketing

Hitchcock wasn’t only a master of moviemaking, he was pioneer of movie marketing. Psycho was a low budget film ($800K) that could have easily tanked.

When Hitchcock finished the movie, the studio refused to premiere it. Which forced him to come up with his own marketing strategy. He filmed this message to moviehouse managers across the country to show them how to “sell” Psycho, which (brilliantly) advised them to forbid anyone entrance after the movie started. This resulted in long lines of ticket-holders outside theaters and drive-ins, jittery with anticipation, which translated into great WOM, much harder to achieve when social media required social contact. Psycho became one of the hit movies of 1960 and was nominated for an Oscar.

Victim Support |Find The Strength

Victim Support, a UK charity giving free and confidential help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family and friends, is running a print, radio, television and ambient advertising campaign featuring the stories of people affected by crimes. Launched in May 2010, the campaign began with the narratives of victims of attack, burglary and domestic violence, written in handwriting across the faces of the victims, with a reference to the role of Victim Support in helping each one find the inner strength to face life again. The campaign, promoting Victim Support’s new logo and strapline, “Find the Strength”, was followed up with a further campaign with the tagline, “Invest Now”.
Victim Support Face with story of domestic violence

Victim Support Face with Mugging story
Victim Support Face with Burglary story
Victim Support Face
Victim Support Face
Victim Support Face
On Saturday 11th June, 27 volunteers performed a mini flashmob drama in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens. Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube (HD)


The Find the Strength campaign was developed at MWO, London, by art directors Steve Williams, Mark Hurst, Jo Webb, copywriters Martyn Smith, Natasha Freedman, Jez Cripps, and photographer Jad Oakes.

From consideration to advocacy or is it the other way??

If the post on the purchase funnel and the consumer decision journey was a little too academic , then meet Dave, and follow his idealised journey from initial consideration to becoming an advocate:

The purchase funnel is no more

The purchase funnel has always been one of the main tenets of marketing theory.

purchase funnel

We’ve intuitively known for while that it no longer holds true (if it ever did), but despite many attempts, we’ve had nothing come along that’s replaced it. For example,Forrester had a go a couple of years ago with the diagram below, but crucially it failed to provide a model that was easy to visualise, and it failed to catch on (surprisingly, neither did Giles Rhys Jones’ simpler alternative).

Forrester's funnel

Now, finally, we have a viable alternative model, along with the science to back it up.McKinsey have conducted a study examining the purchase decisions of almost 20,000 consumers across five industries and three continents, and come up with what they callthe consumer decision journey:

The funnel concept fails to capture all the touch points and key buying factors resulting from the explosion of product choices and digital channels, coupled with the emergence of an increasingly discerning, well-informed consumer. A more sophisticated approach is required to help marketers navigate this environment, which is less linear and more complicated than the funnel suggests. We call this approach the consumer decision journey.

Because of the shift away from one-way communication — from marketers to consumers — toward a two-way conversation, marketers need a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth.

consumer decision journey

We hate the word ‘consumer’ (we are all people as far as We Are Social is concerned), but that doesn’t make their model any less valid. David Court, Director ofMcKinsey’s global Marketing & Sales practice, has an excellent presentation that explains the research and what it means for marketers. The most salient parts being:

You have a trigger of some sort, where people start across the decision journey — they are now going to move towards purchase. The first stage is initial consideration. In many industries, people actually start in their initial consideration of a brand with a relatively narrow list, we believe because of the busy lives and bombardment of media — it’s just very difficult to get through all this clutter in this consumers initial consideration set. However, once the consumer decides they are going to buy a product, they move into a stage that we call active evaluation. It is here that the number of brands they are considering increases. Which is exactly the opposite of the premise of the funnel, going from broad to narrow. This is the stage when the consumer is intent on purchasing and they are actively researching the product.

What marketers should know
The most important thing for marketers to do is to make sure that their marketing activities are aligned against how their consumers research and buy products [...] companies need to look at their messaging in light of where they have the greatest opportunity. For example, companies’ messaging is all about trying to get into the initial consideration set, and yet, when the consumer reaches out during their active evaluation stage, they’re not providing the right facts and testimonials that the consumer is looking for [...] most companies are going to have to make fundamental investment in what we would call consumer driven marketing

Consumer versus company driven touchpoints
We analytically looked at which touchpoints were most influencing the consumer’s decision. We found two types — company driven versus consumer driven. In consumer driven, the consumer is reaching out to get information — they’re talking to their friends, doing internet searches, seeing what’s said on third party sites.

In the initial consideration it was still very much still company driven — the advertising was a very critical part of the touch points that influenced the consumer. However, when we got into active evaluation, two thirds of the influence of those most powerful touchpoints were from consumer driven touchpoints — word of mouth, talking to friends and family, searching on the internet.

And that is a very big change — you need to develop ways for people to talk about your product, so that word of mouth works. Be represented on independent internet sites where people will go and research and buy products. Because, if you don’t have enough presence on those types of consumer driven approaches, when the consumer is reaching out during active evaluation, you’re not there for them to find.

Aircel boat – brand to the rescue?

Brands love telling consumers their products are lifesavers, but rarely does the claim hold as much water as when Aircel’s Mumbia billboard rescued stranded citizens during India’s monsoon season.

The weather can turn very quickly in India during monsoon season, often with fatal effects. Flash floods have claimed the lives of many in the past. It was this knowledge that prompted Aircel to attach a life-raft to its billboard, with the instructions: in case of an emergency, pull rope.

On July 15th, flash flooding, as expected, occurred. The Milan Subway beneath Aircel’s billboard became virtually impassable. Six lucky Mumbians, taking advantage of Aircel’s foresight, cut the rope and rowed themselves to safety aboard Aircel’s branded dinghy.

The innovative idea gained major press coverage in India; Aircel was crediting with achieving where the government failed. It now plans to extend the billboard scheme to Delhi and KolKata as well.

In early July they tethered an inflatable dingy (complete with ‘cut rope in emergency’ instruction) to a billboard in an area of central Mumbai notorious for its flooding problems. Within a couple of weeks, it monsooned, the rope was cut and pedestrians were paddled to safety.

aircel boat branded helpers

But hang on, this wasn’t an impulsive ‘power to the people’ moment, a second glance at the photos shows that blokes with Aircel branded t-shirts were in charge of the whole operation.In one way this is kind of sweet, the brand making sure that their boat was used properly to really help people – and in another way it makes me a bit cynical, with images in my head of a marketing team sat there waiting for the heavens to open so they could dispatch their branded team of helpers – plus of course a photographer to document it all.

aircel boat press coverage

Brilliant coverage achieved, but it all feels a little bit too planned and manipulative to really connect with cynical old me – then again I’m not exactly Aircel’s target audience – and I wasn’t the one getting my feet wet.
Aircel Boat - Innovative & Socially Responsible

BRAND : Aircel

BRAND OWNER: Maxis communications

CATEGORY: Telecoms/ Mobile


DATE: Jul 2009

MEDIA OWNER: Primesite


Out of HomeAmbient

Your Best Customer Is Not a 'Woman With Children Under the Age of 4'

Josh Bernoff
Josh Bernoff
Who are your best customers?

Do you know their names?

Here's a conversation I often have with marketers:

Josh: Who are your best customers?

Marketer: Women with a child under 4. [Or "People with assets of at least $1 million." Or some such.]

Josh: No, I really mean "Who are your best customers?" What are their names?

Marketer: [No response.]

If you're seeking word of mouth, you should know who your best customers are -- by name. You should be feeding them previews of new products, asking their opinion of features you're considering, and finding out how they think to build marketing copy. You should get testimonials from them. And you should provide places where can submit their own opinions, and others can see it -- ratings and reviews, Facebook pages, community forums or whatever it takes.

Now, consider this. Some of your best customers are those who had a problem... but you reached out and found them and fixed it. There is nothing more enthusiastic than a friend who used to hate you.

Are you reaching out like this? @comcastcares is.

Or do you still think about customers by the thousands and not individually?

What if you could reach out to them individually, but do it efficiently? I ought to write a book about that.

Guinness::: Passport to Greatness

Leverage Guinness' sponsorship of Hong Kong Rugby Sevens by producing Passport to Greatness', 
A mobile widget to assist 20k overseas visit.

Singer sewing machines:: Mania in Arabia

Used items market places in Saudi saw a surge in people looking to buy Singer sewing machines.

“Singermania” broakout early april 2009 caused by story about the existence of a mythical substance called “red mercury” that — either helps you find gold, wards off evil jinni, or is a key and highly prized ingredient in making nuclear bombs.

The Singer machines have been fetching outrageous prices since rumors spread that they contain red mercury, according to rumors going around on , a sewing machine can be proved to contain red mercury if a phone signal cuts off when held close by.

As the rumors started sweeping , the prices of Singer sewing machines rocketed from SR200 to hundreds of thousands, with one reported case of a machine being sold for half a million riyals.

In-N-Out Burger: Professionalizing Fast-Food

How do you build a word-of-mouth following for your product or service? That's one challenge most companies would love to wrestle with, but few do.
California's fast-food chain In-N-Out Burger is an exception, with a famously devoted customer base that inspires envy throughout the industry—and brand recognition well beyond its geographic reach. But instead of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ad campaigns like rivals Burger King (BKC) and McDonald's (MCD), In-N-Out relies mainly on its carefully located stores, billboards, bumper stickers, T-shirts, and its own rabid fans to broadcast its message.
In this excerpt from her new book, In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules BusinessWeek writer Stacy Perman shows how the chain's marketing strategy works.

This excerpt tracks how Rich Snyder, son of founders Esther and Harry Snyder, expanded the chain, focusing closely on the quality of the food—and the staff—before he was killed in a plane crash in 1993.
Rich Snyder was 24 when he became president of In-N-Out Burger after his father, Harry, died in 1976. He shared Harry's belief that running a successful fast-food business wasn't about cutting corners or using the right equipment. What it boiled down to was the people on the front lines.
Where the two differed, however, was that Harry had hoped his "associates," as he and Esther insisted on calling employees, would work hard, save money, and leave. Rich had another idea: "Why let good people move on when you can use them to help your company grow?" Rich also wanted to establish a much bigger footprint for In-N-Out Burger.
There was another difference between father and son: Rich was a born-again Christian. In the 1980s he began printing biblical references on cups and burger wrappers, and then he went further, commissioning a Christmastime radio commercial that asked listeners to let Jesus into their lives, alongside In-N-Out's jingle. Many stations refused to run the ads, and Californians showered the company with complaints. Rich essentially shrugged off the reaction. The Bible chapter-and-verse references remain to this day, and radio ads commingled with evangelism still crop up.
But on issues of quality, Rich remained his father's son. In 1984, in Baldwin Park, Calif., he set up In-N-Out University, a training facility, with the aim of filling the pipeline with qualified managers and reinforcing the company's focus on quality, cleanliness, and service. About 80% of In-N-Out's store managers started at the very bottom, picking up trash before rising through the ranks. Rich realized that if he wanted to expand, he needed to put a system in place that would professionalize management.
To attend In-N-Out University, an associate usually had to have worked full-time at a store for a year. In that time, she had to demonstrate initiative, strong decision-making ability, and impressive people skills. A cornerstone of In-N-Out's limited growth strategy was to expand only as quickly as the management roster would allow. At the university Rich came up with a number of ideas to hone the training process. For instance, a team of field specialists was deployed to motivate and instruct associates. Inspired by pro sports teams, Rich began producing a series of training films and videotaped trainees to critique their performance.
Although the work could be dreary—imagine a four-hour shift spent cleaning up spilled milk shakes—associates were made to feel part of an important enterprise and given opportunities to advance. On-the-job training was wedged in between mealtime rushes, and everyone was given large helpings of feedback. Rich wanted each associate to understand his job and how he could do it better. The result was that many part-timers came for a summer job and stayed for a career.

Despite some flickers of media attention since its founding in 1948, nothing gave press-shy In-N-Out more publicity than its own longtime customers. Staying simple and remaining focused on its core values had allowed In-N-Out to stay true to its loyal fan base. And it was precisely those customers who often did the heavy lifting, frequently boasting about their zealous affection for the chain to everybody else. Regulars engaged in an ongoing contest, trying to outdo each other on how many hamburgers they could eat at any one time. Some regulars also assumed the responsibility of bringing in a constant stream of new devotees, an act generally referred to as "the conversion."

Rich thought of his job as the point at the bottom of an inverted triangle. He was there to support everyone in the company. When talking to store managers, he was always careful to refer to the shops as "your stores," hoping this would help instill a sense of ownership.
At one point when Rich was planning the expansion drive, he sought the advice of a food industry consultant. The expert told Rich that if he slashed salaries, In-N-Out could save a "ton of money." This infuriated Rich. Recounting the story, he said it was exactly the kind of advice one would expect "from a guy who wears a suit and who thinks you don't pay a guy who cooks hamburgers that much money."
From its start, In-N-Out paid employees more than the going rate. (Associates always made at least $2 to $3 above minimum wage.) As of February 2008, In-N-Out was paying new part-time associates $10 an hour—just 51 cents less than full-time workers at Wal-Mart (
WMT), whose $375 billion in annual sales is about 1,000 times greater than In-N-Out's. Store managers at In-N-Out make at least $100,000 a year and are eligible for monthly bonuses tied to store sales.
Rich also established an expansive set of benefits, including 401(k) plans, paid vacation for part-timers, and health, dental, and vision plans for full-time workers. Each year, he put on companywide picnics and a gala dinner. Managers who met their goals were sent on trips with their spouses, often to Europe in first-class seats. For a Christmas outing to a performance of The Nutcracker, Rich insisted that his managers wear tuxedos. He thought they stood shoulder to shoulder with any blue-chip manager and wanted them to feel that way, too.
The upshot of treating its employees with special care is that In-N-Out boasts one of the lowest turnover rates in the business. Industrywide, only about half of all fast-food workers stay beyond a year. And the numbers plummet to just 25% at two years and 12% at three. In In-N-Out's case, managers' typical tenure is 14 years, while part-time associates remain, on average, for two.
To this day, the corporate culture inspired by Harry and Esther and carved in stone by Rich stands in stark contrast to rivals' systems of low-paid burger flippers and cashiers who don their disposable hats for what society has deemed McJobs. And it never drove up prices or pushed down quality.

A Double-Double, Twice
At the same time, without corporate solicitation, a roster of celebrity names regularly endorsed the chain. "When I first joined the band, we must have eaten there at least three days a week," recalled rocker Sammy Hagar, who signed up as the front man for Van Halen in 1985. "We were in the studio recording 5150, and we'd send someone to go get food, and we'd talk about sushi or pizza and always end up with In-N-Out." Gordon Ramsay, the British celebrity chef with 12 Michelin stars, global fame, and profanity-laced rants, once admitted to sitting down for a Double-Double and then "minutes later I drove back 'round and got the same thing again to take away." PGA golf champ Phil Mickelson mentioned the chain so often that whenever he fell into a losing streak, sportswriters began suggesting that he cut back on the Double-Doubles.
Before long, tourists got wind of In-N-Out Burger and began making their own pilgrimages to what was considered the quintessential Southern California attraction. Fans passed the "secret menu" on to one another and described the sublime pleasures of tucking into an Animal Style cheeseburger. Vegetarians talked up the chain's off-menu Grilled Cheese. Expatriate Californians pined for their favorite burger, and In-N-Out T-shirts were the epitome of cool. Analysts spoke of In-N-Out's "uncopyable advantage," while everybody else talked about its unparalleled cult following. According to William Martin, who devised the training curriculum for In-N-Out University, the Snyders and the rest of the chain's highest echelon were definitely conscious of the mystique that had developed around In-N-Out. "They were all aware of it, and they loved it," he said. "But they had no explanation for it." That didn't mean, however, that they didn't know how use it.

Website :

Holiday Inn :::Stay smart, presidential style

BRAND OWNER :InterContinental Hotels Group
CATEGORY :Travel/Airlines
DATE :Feb 2008 - Apr 2008

The Holiday Inn Express frequent business traveller spends a lot of time on the road and they know what they like: practical amenities, without all kinds of extra fluff (and cost).

This is the premise for Holiday Inn Express’ “Stay Smart” brand promise: you’ll feel smarter for having stayed with HI Express instead of “fancier” full service hotels.
Holiday Inn capitalised on the unprecedented level of media interest in the 2008 US Presidential race by creating a media conversation around the Holiday Inn Express brand positioning.

In the midst of the most expensive campaign in history, the Stay Smart, America website exposed how fiscally responsible- and irresponsible- the Presidential candidates were.
The success of the website hinged on a risky but hugely successful communications strategy that relied solely on PR to push the website and its message. No paid media was purchased, online or offline, to tout Stay Smart America. This was an unconventional strategy that paid off huge for the brand.
Leveraging the candidate’s public FEC filings, the website analysed and published the candidate’s campaign lodging expenditures and determined how much they would have saved if they stayed with Holiday Inn Express.
The story was first offered up to respected journalist and blogger Chris Elliott of The New York Times for inclusion on his blog. Once Elliott ran the exclusive, the release was then strategically distributed right before Super to the Top 100 daily newspapers, national television and relevant Web sites, blogs, social networks and message boards.
In the first 2 weeks the website generated over 85m media impressions and secured online and offline, national and international coverage on Fox News, CBS, The London Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, LA Times, and USA Today, among dozens of political and news blogs. The Stay Smart, America website, developed for $100K, set off a storm of press activity that returned over $2.5MM+ in free media coverage.

Word Of Mouth Visualized

As it says visually, we have three potential scenarios. Promoters, passives and detractors.
  • Passives :who have mediocre experiences don't talk about them and so there is no conversation around the subject (this is where most word of mouth marketing initiatives fail).
  • Promoters have a good experience and tell people about it,
  • Detractors who have a bad experience with something tell even more people about it.

Word of mouth isn't always positive, it's often negative and that's where there's opportunities to engage detractors, change opinions and improve products and services.

FreshBooks::: grow customer base by 150%

How a Company's Word-of-Mouth Strategies and Customer Focus Helped Grow Its User Base 150%
by Kimberly Smith
Case study published on 4/7/2009

Company: FreshBooks

Contact: Saul Colt, 'Head of Magic' at FreshBooks
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Industry: Small business services
Annual revenue: Confidential
Number of employees: 28

Quick Read
What's the quickest way to a small-business owner's heart? Make his or her life easier.

Toronto-based FreshBooks was founded on that idea—specifically, taking the pain out of small-business expense tracking, billing, and invoicing. That service, however, is not all that has made the company what it is today.

While businesses around the globe have been faltering, five-year-old FreshBooks has grown from close to 300,000 users to over 750,000 in the past year, and much of that can be strictly attributed to word-of-mouth.

How'd they do it? Through a level of service that might best be described as refreshing.
"We treat our customers better than they've ever been treated, or expected to be treated, and we live up to everything we say we're going to do. We're overly attentive to listening to our customers, and we do fun and interesting things. That surprises people, and they talk about it," explained Saul Colt, who leads the company's word-of-mouth marketing efforts under the official title of Head of Magic. "It's so simple and ridiculously obvious, but for some reason more companies don't do it."

Read on for specific examples of how this online service vendor is keeping customers and winning over new ones, and getting a healthy dose of personal endorsements in the process.

FreshBooks is an online invoicing and time-tracking service targeting freelancers and small businesses.
"It's not the most interesting thing in the world…not something people will likely run around and talk about on their own," admitted Colt.
Yet, the company has set out to make it just that: something everyone can—and does—talk about, whether they actually use, or even need, the service.

The true success of FreshBooks has come from its commitment to forging real relationships with customers, potential customers, and others.

Online connections
FreshBooks uses social media, especially Twitter—where it has over 3,300 followers—to make connections with users on the Web.

On Twitter the company uses movie-quote contests and party invites to engage with customers and non-customers alike and to open the door to new conversations and relationships.

Moreover, FreshBooks has found Twitter to be an effective platform for listening to customers and other users and for getting to know them as real-world people. It then goes out of its way to respond to those people's needs, whether personal or professional.

Examples include making donations toward users' walks for charity, sending small gifts when someone has a baby, or flowers when someone has a bad day, or even just mailing off a funny story to brighten someone's day.

"Our goal is to make our customers happy, personally and professionally. We're available for advice, friendship, everything," said Colt. "The value of this is immeasurable if it is coming from a genuine place, and you make a connection with your customers."

Face-to-face interactions
Company employees traveling on business regularly host dinners for up to 30 local customers and influencers in the cities they visit. They've also been known to drive, rather than fly, to conferences in order to meet up with as many customers as possible during the trip.

At one such conference, they also used the company RV as a party shuttle and offered attendees hangover kits, along with a free pancake breakfast in the morning.

Client-centric promotions
"We don't make it about us, we make it about other people, using whatever small influence we have to prop up our customers," said Colt. "If they have better results, they will tell everyone about our service."

For instance, in March the company made up a series of "Internet All-Star" baseball cards featuring many of its customers with "shiny Internet personalities," then handed them out at the South by Southwest (SXSW) 2009 conference.

Customer involvement
FreshBooks also uses various opportunities—including its on-site user forums and weekly email newsletter, as well as in-person meetings—to garner feedback and solicit recommendations from its users.
"We rely on them for advice and suggestions, too. We make them a part of our company, and that makes everyone feel good and spread the word," said Colt.

FreshBooks had close to 300,000 customers about this time last year and now has over 750,000 users, according to Colt.

"We have amazing relationships with a lot of our customers, and through these relationships we have helped to grow the company exponentially," said Colt. "It all came from treating customers as best we could."

Lessons Learned

  • Customers are a business's most valuable resource. "Never take them for granted," said Colt. "If they care about your product and are passionate about it, they will champion it everywhere they go."

  • Non-customers can prove to be just as valuable. "We care about people, whether they're using our service or not, and nothing stops us from talking to people who will never ever use our service," said Colt. "They can still tell ten friends about something cool we did."

  • Generating great word-of-mouth is not a distinct marketing campaign; it's an everyday, ongoing part of the business. "It's our lifestyle," said Colt. "There's never a time limit or an expiry date. It's a lifetime commitment."

  • It's okay to ask for referrals. "We ask people to please tell a friend," said Colt. "We don't take for granted that it will happen by itself."