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8 posts from July 2009

July 30, 2009

PQ Media WOM Forecast Report

Clearly my WOM Enthusiast hat is on with this post.

Did you see this?

PQ Media has released its second Word of Mouth Marketing Forecast Report. The report offers a deep dive into the size, scope, and growth of the Word of Mouth Marketing industry.

It’s a hefty read at 115 pages. But the information is worth digging into for marketers at both brands and agencies. WOM spend is on the rise, even in today’s recessionary times. In this report you’ll find out where money being spent, why it is being spent, and how companies are benefitting from their strategic WOM spend.

WOMMA members get this report free. (Membership perk.) Others must pay.

However, I’ve compiled a few highlights from the report into this short video. Hopefully this video will whet your marketing appetite to learn more from reading the full report.

RSS Readers ... click here to view the video

NOTE: cross-posted on the All Things WOM Blog

July 25, 2009

Starbucks Petri Dish: 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea

A Starbucks location once destined for closure has re-emerged as 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea. No Starbucks logo. No venti-sized cups. No sassy promotional signage. No automated espresso machines. The location is designed to look, feel, and act not like a Starbucks, but rather a one-off local boutique coffee shop.


On the surface, it appears to be an odd move. Why spend so many years building a global brand only to reject most everything about it? The answer … TO LEARN.

This is clearly an experiment, a four-wall enclosed retail petri dish. It’s a way for Starbucks to RE-learn some of the personal touches it has lost due to making so many compromises in order to grow to over 16,000 locations in 40-plus countries around the world. (We’ve gone over all these compromises on past Starbucks postings so read-up if need be.)

Some of these re-learning opportunities include:

Coffee served at 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea is roasted in small batches and brewed within days of roasting. (Coffee served at Starbucks is roasted in mega-huge industrial machines and could be months before it is brewed in-store.)

Espresso served at 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea is drawn from a classic La Marzocco machine and baristas will add latte art flair to drinks. (Starbucks uses automated espresso machines and baristas are too busy to add latte art touches to espresso drinks.)

Passion for coffee oozes at 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea. Limited-edition roasts are served through single-serving low-tech brewers (pour-over, press pots) or a high-tech brewer (Clover). (Starbucks uses large-scale brewers to mass brew gallons at a time.)

Pastries served at 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea are from a local bakery. Baked daily and delivered daily. (Starbucks sells lots of “thaw and serve” pastries baked in far-off places that are then frozen, packed, and shipped to stores for serving days later.)

Ambiance at 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea will be warm, welcoming, eclectic, and subtle. (Ambiance at nearly every Starbucks is uniformly clean, cold, and sterile.)

15th Ave. Coffee & Tea is not a growth vehicle for Starbucks. Can’t be. It’s too expensive and time-intensive to scale. It can only be viewed as a learning opportunity for Starbucks.

Perhaps some of the learnings on how to add personal touches will find its way back into the Starbucks experience thanks to the company’s petri dish known as 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea.

July 22, 2009

Would You Miss Costco?

Continuing my “Would you Miss” series ...


Does Costco provide such a unique product and customer experience that we would be saddened if it didn’t exist? Does Costco treat its employees so astonishingly well that those workers would not be able to find another employer to treat them as well? Does Costco forge such unfailing emotional connections with its customers that they would fail to find another hardware store that could forge just as strong an emotional bond?

What say you?

Post inspiration | Mavericks at Work

July 16, 2009


On the ALL THINGS WOM blog, I’m sharing bite-size lessons on key ideals that make word-of-mouth marketing more effective and ethical. The series is called WOM TRUTHS. Three lessons are posted with many more to come…


#55 | Word of Mouth is the Original Social Media

#37 | Reviews aren’t Sexy. But the Results are Sexy.

#09 | Buzz Doesn’t Create Evangelists. Evangelists Create Buzz.

July 09, 2009

Bake it or Make it. (Just Don't Fake it.)

Jay Ehret (@TheMarketingGuy) and I recently talked Word-of-Mouth Marketing on his Power to the Small Business podcast. I had on my WOM Enthusiast hat and talked about how there are two ways to generate word of mouth … You can bake it. Or you can make it. (You just don’t want to fake it.)

A little explanation is needed.

Word of Mouth is baked inside how a company does business every day. Baking it follows the thinking that a company’s personality is its best form of advertising.

Baking It examples include: [1] remarkable product (iPod); [2] over-the-top customer service (Zappos); [3] awesome customer experiences (Kimpton hotels).

Word of Mouth is a program that is layered on and is part of the marketing mix. Making it is about doing interesting things to get customer’s attention.

Making It examples include: [1] memorable advertising (Subway “$5 Foot Long” jingle) ; [2] interesting activities (Southwest Airlines “Porch” pop-up lounge concept) ; enabling interesting conversations (HP’s 31 Days of the Dragon).

Full explanation can be learned by listening to the podcast.

July 07, 2009

Don't Tell. Do Ask.

More chatter is happening regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s forthcoming guidelines on endorsements and testimonials in online marketing. It’s not an easy topic for us marketers to understand. However, it is something we will need to understand if physical word-of-mouth and digital word-of-mouth are to remain the most credible form of advertising.

No matter what the FTC dictates, I believe if we marketers follow a DON’T TELL. DO ASK. policy … all will be fine.

“Don’t Tell? Do Ask?,” you ask.

Click below for a 3:20 minute video ditty explaining why “Don’t Tell. Do Ask.” is a basic policy all marketers should follow when designing and delivering their next word of mouth marketing program.

RSS Readers … click here to watch the video.

(1) Cross-posted on the ALL THINGS WOM blog
(2) I work with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association

July 03, 2009

SEDONA | The Moore Boys (home video)

NOTE: OFF-TOPIC blog post Since the Fourth of July weekend is usually when families gather together, I'm sharing a recent gathering of the Moore Family.

Technology makes home movies and old-school slide shows so much better. Super 8 home movies and Kodak Kodachrome slides on the projector screen were great back-in-the-day. However, these days, we have iMovie to make our home movies of vacations more enjoyable and sharable.

Recently I spent a few days in Sedona, AZ with my father (age 74), brother (44), nephew (13), and of course me (39). We called it our “3 Generations” trip and the Moore Boys had fun seeing the natural beauty of Sedona.

I compiled some photos and videos from the trip and whipped up a home movie using iMovie. It’s over 10-minutes long so posting it to YouTube was a no-go. Instead, it’s posted on Vimeo.

Have a look-see, if ya like. (Note: the helicopter video is really cool. It begins at the 11:20 mark.) Enjoy the video and enjoy spending time with your family this weekend.

SEDONA | 2009 ... The Moore Boys from john moore on Vimeo.

July 01, 2009

Refresher Course: BROKEN WINDOWS


Seeing this hideously dirty ceiling tile at my dentist’s office today reminded me of the Broken Windows theory and how it relates to businesses.

The Broken Windows theory hypothesizes higher crime rates occur in cities when broken windows are left unrepaired because people will conclude no one cares enough to fix them. More windows will become broken and attitudes of lawlessness will spread, resulting in higher crime rates. Michael Levine applied this theory to business in his book, BROKEN WINDOWS BROKEN BUSINESS.

According to Levine, broken windows are telltale signs to customers that a business doesn’t care, that it is poorly managed, and or it has become too big and arrogant to adequately deal with little details.

He warns businesses that customers draw wide-ranging conclusions based upon their perceptions of the broken windows they find. These negative perceptions will undermine a business as they can turn once highly-satisfied customers into very-dissatisfied customers who choose take their business elsewhere.

I’m not saying my Dentist poorly manages his business. I am saying his patients could draw wide-ranging conclusions based upon the fact he hasn’t replaced the severely water damaged ceiling tile.

Every business has broken windows. The easiest way to tell if your business has a broken window is when you find yourself saying, “A customer will never notice that.” Because chances are, they will … just as I did with the way too soiled ceiling tile at my Dentist’s office.

Learn more in this vintage Brand Autopsy post (Dec. 2005).