The Age of Recommendation
What’s the one goal of marketing? Generate wide-spread and positive word of mouth. Gone are the days when advertising influenced behaviour because potential audiences aren’t as naïve as they were before the technology revolution. This revolution has allowed us to spread our reviews far and wide. But where do you start? Is it a matter of beginning with one person or is there a bigger recommendation system you can hook into?
I was reading an article in a zine about the return of eNewsletters. (I have never written a more hipster sentence in my life . . . but stick with me). While you shouldn’t believe everything you read in zines, I had heard about this idea from a couple of other sources recently.
eNewsletters are on their way back. As Facebook begins to control more of what we see online, people are turning back to methods where they have the control over who they hear from. And the most common and easily accessed form is the eNewsletter. Your mailbox is probably full with a multitude of eNewsletters but as you go through and delete them there are always a couple of sources that you will skim through first.
It could be a respected entertainment company that you opted to hear more from when purchasing tickets to a show. It could be an independent news site which writes about the biggest, best and newest events or activities happening in your city. It could even be this article that you are reading right now. But what does this have to do with recommendations and word of mouth?
These independent newsletters are giving you a recommendation. You are only going to read the email if it comes from a respected source that has either made great recommendations in the past or produces products and experiences which interest you. And learning about these experiences through these channels works in the same was as your friend or family member giving you a recommendation. (In fact it could be even better because at least you have opted-in for these recommendations whereas that is not always the case with your family!).
But how do you get involved with these mass word of mouth generators?
It comes back to the audience. Every time these recommenders make a recommendation it is their reputation on the line. If they don’t feel that the audience’s experience will be remarkable then they won’t promote it because if they promote a bad experience then their audience will lose interest.
So the audience is the important key. If you have created a product which is sure to enthral your audience and this is clear from the outset, then you won’t have any trouble getting the ever-important word of mouth machine encouraging every man, woman and eNews subscriber to get involved and join your audience!