George Knocks Trout Out of the Water
Check out this tasty touché from George’s must-read “Jack Trout Attacks WOM marketing” blog posting.
“In a dazzlingly out-of-touch article for forbes.com, Jack Trout has attacked word-of-mouth marketing. This probably means that word-of-mouth marketing is now a big enough threat to the establishment that it is worthy of attack. It's rather sad to see such a venerable old-line marketer so out of touch. It's also sad to think that a lot of old-line companies are going to listen to him.”
You go George ... read more HERE.
My beef with Trout’s take on WOM is that Trout wants to control every aspect of every consumer conversation about a product. Trout writes the following,
“There’s no way to control that word-of-mouth. Do I want to give up control and let consumers take over my campaign? No way. They aren’t getting paid based upon how many widgets get sold. If I go to all this trouble delivering a positioning strategy for my product, I want to see that message delivered. Buzz can get your name mentioned but you can’t depend on much else.”
Jack … it’s not about you. It’s not about how you, or any one marketer or one company for that matter, can control consumers with marketing missives. It is about how consumers can help marketers spread marketing messages.
In today’s multi-channel, multi-dimensional environment, marketers cannot begin to place marketing messages everywhere consumers are. The costs do so are way too prohibitive. WE NEED HELP. WE NEED TO ENLIST THE HELP OF CONSUMERS TO HELP US. The game has changed from when and where marketing messages are delivered to HOW and WHY marketing messages are delivered. Some companies get this (Apple, YouTube, Google, Scion, Skype) and some companies don’t (AT&T).
Trout has been touting the marketing concept of positioning for over three decades now. I’ve studied his writings on the topic and I’m a firm believer in this positioning concept. But I believe that if a marketer has properly designed a positioning strategy for a product/service, WOM will not only get people mentioning the product’s name … WOM will also get people mentioning why that product/service matters. Dig?
Ya know … when it comes to meaningful words on Word-of-Mouth Marketing, Trout is a fish out of water.