How To Generate Word of Mouth by Jonah Berger #FOCI14 #MRX


Live blogging from the #FOCI14 conference in Universal City. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.foci14

How To Generate Word of Mouth 
Jonah Berger, Author, CONTAGIOUS WHY THINGS CATCH ON

  • how tasty are our messages? are they broccoli or cheeseburgers?
  • is it tastier to tell a pregnant woman “Don’t drink alcohol” or “It’s your choice”
  • does Disney, Cheerios or Scrubbing Bubbles generate more word of mouth. it doesn’t matter. what matters is WHY any of them generate more word of mouth.
  • why does cheerios generate most word of mouth?
  • WOM is 10 times as effective as traditional advertising. a dollar spent goes 10 times as far.
  • WOM generates more than twice the sales of advertising
  • do you care if you see a celebrity advertising a product? we don’t trust ads. they all say something is fabulous. they don’t say “this movie isn’t as good as the original.” Our friends tell us straight out.
  • ads need to advertise in the right space and you have to find that space.
  • WOM is always targeted – from interested person to another interested person.
  • why not let your customers figure out who would be interested in your product. if you find a great baby website, you will share that site with other people who have babies. and people generally have friends who are like them.
  • 7% of all WOM is online. so why are we spending so much online? Online does not = WOM.
  • will facebook or twitter be around in five years? who knows. myspace and QR codes didn’t really make it.
  • if there were no cats, there would be no internet [har dee har🙂 ]
  • six key stepps – Social currency, Triggered, Emotion, Public, Practical value, Stories
  • Need to turn customers into advocates
  • social currency is having knowledge that people want, people want to be the first to talk about something, it’s a signal of who they are just like how they dress, we want to look good
  • * Make people feel like insiders, make them feel special [funny, a million people feel that they are the only ones with the information]
  • mcdonalds decided to release McRib only in certain places at certain times and now people get really excited about when they can get one, they made people feel like insiders
  • In-and-out has an insider menu, makes you feel like you have status, are in the know
  • but what if you sell something really boring, remarkable
  • * find the inner remarkability, surprising, novel, or interesting
  • can you sell boring blenders? make them remarkable and interesting – check out “Will it blend”. millions of people share these videos. 700% sales increase after these videos. do you know what kind of blender you have and will it be able to do this? I bet you’re going to check what blender you have. anything can be made remarkable if you think about it.
  • * triggers. remember the humpday advertisement with the camel? this Geico
  • ad is not funnier than any other ad, they don’t show it more than any other ad, but it is the second most shared ad. it spikes in shares every wednesday. if we think about something, we’re more likely to take action on it. liking isn’t enough. it needs to be memorable so that people think about it. Top-of-mind means tip-of-tongue. Playing german or french music increases sales of german and french wine because it is more top of mind.
  • You don’t go to disneyworld everyday but you do eat cheerios everyday. that’s why it has more top of mind, WOM.
  • what will make people think about you every day? what’s in the environment? jelly relys on peanut butter to make people remember it.
  • KitKat plus coffee. Pick something that is frequent – coffee four times a day, wednesday once a week. And the trigger needs to happen first.
  • * Make the private public. Just say no ads were govt attempt to stop using drugs. simple plan. but did it work. no, it didn’t decrease drug use.
  • people who saw the ads were more likely to do drugs… because most people weren’t thinking about it anyways and now you’ve just reminded them, now you’ve just told them the cool kids are doing this, other people are doing this. If you can’t see what people are doing, you can’t imitate them.
  • how do you pick a restaurant in a strange place? you choose a full restaurant, we use others as a signal. Is everyone carrying an umbrella? Are other people parking here?
  • remember apple’s headphones – white headphones – we could see who was using a digital music player right away, and the brand name. Make the private public.
  • People are more interested in 25% off vs $5 off of a $20 purchase. But when you talk $2000, people want to hear $500 off not 25% off.
  • Trojan horse story – good stories hide a lot of information. even though they didn’t tell you the blender was durable and tough, they created a trojan horse that carries that message. blend anything and everything easily, even an iphone.
  • Never say no to Panda ads – humor drives people to share, try to tell someone about the ad without saying the word ‘Panda’
  • Find your message and apply the STEPPS

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