Debunking Word-of-Mouth Bunk

The Internet show about small business marketing.

Podcast Episode #48 – Word of Mouth, Social Media and Bunk

The mantra used to be “Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing.” Now everyone’s saying “You have to do social media!” Word of mouth is largely going un-noticed because of the focus on social media. That’s bunk! In this episode of Power to the Small Business, word-of-mouth enthusiasts John Moore of Brand Autopsy, and Paul Williams of Idea Sandbox help us wade through the bunk to get to the truth about word of mouth, social media and how to create conversation about your business.


John Moore, of Brand Autopsy and WOM Enthusiast for WOMMA, Austin, Texas
Paul Williams, founder of Idea Sandbox, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Length: 29 minutes

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Show Notes:


Definition of word-of-mouth marketing: The act of giving people a reason or reasons to talk about a product or service. It can be online (social media, social networking) and/or offline (person to person, voice-to-voice).

The purpose of word of mouth: Take a customer from a conversation to a transaction by making a brand more talkable.

Selected quotes from the show:

“In the past, we just felt word of mouth would happen serendipitously…We’ve now learned through The Tipping Point…more people are trying to think about getting people to talk, not serendipitously, but strategically.”
– John Moore

“The key of it is, people passing the word about you. …It just boils down to ‘what does it mean to be remarkable?’ So remarkable, that people remark.”
– Paul Williams

“My advice is to be 100% confident in how you deliver a customer experience before you start to try to strike up conversations online. Because if you are not confident, you will not want to listen to some of the negative feedback online about how you are doing business.”
– John Moore

“Word of mouth, to do it properly, it’s not just a department head; it’s not just one person. It’s the way you run a company.”
– Paul Williams

“It doesn’t matter how many fans you have online. But we get caught up in that as a measurement of success, and frankly the real measure of success is; is a company making money. Are they turning conversations into transactions?”
– John Moore

“I sort of see word of mouth as how do companies, and businesses and people give a script to the people who might talk about you. That way you can guide the discussion. So, ‘how can I give you bullet points to talk about my brand?’”
– Paul Williams

Show Links:

John Moore – Brand Autopsy Blog, All Things WOM Blog
Paul Williams – Idea Sandbox Blog

Free webinar: Optimizing Your Online Presence
Workshop: Build an Awesome Brand, February 23, 2010 – Waco, Texas
– Conference: Optimization Summit, March 23, 2010 – Dallas, Texas

A complete archive of all past episodes can be found here: Power to the Small Business

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