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Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking Hardcover – 3 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Trade; Revised edition edition (3 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427798613
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427798619
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,101,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
People love to talk. Now, thanks to the Internet, they also like to post reviews about the products and services they have experienced. This combination of people talking and a new democratic medium has helped create a variation of marketing based on word-of-mouth. Of course, any good business owner recognizes that word-of-mouth, or customer referrals in the old lingo, is a time-tested form of marketing. But the new twist is that, thanks to increased ad costs, more intense competition and smaller budgets, marketers are stretching to develop new tactics. Enter author Andy Sernovitz and the word-of-mouth concept. The author contends that this is a novel idea, but is it really new? Probably not. Most of the ideas are self-evident and Sernovitz tends to repeat them. While we love a new thing, readers instead might see this as an updated look at a known phenomenon: the power of neighbors who talk to each other.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Vergaert on 29 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK, world of mouth is the most effective advertising. And in case you didn't get it, it will be explained through 60 pages. Then, finally we go to some practice: refer-a-friend scheme (that's already 2 years ago...), blogs and boards (nothing new), making people talk about yourself... with some few cases of interesting ideas already put in practice. We all know that enthusiasm is not a strategy, and devil lies in details of implementation, which are critically lacking in this book. So if you already have read any other book about word of mouth, you won't learn anything. If, like many Managers, you don't know anything about blogs, forums, communities, and importance of customer service, then you can start reading this book - and to confirm your sudden conversion to this new idea, distribute it to your commercial staff who already knows everything about it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 186 reviews
146 of 150 people found the following review helpful
Word of Mouth Marketing - An Essential Read! 17 Nov. 2006
By Dana - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished Andy Sernovitz's new book, "Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking". Actually, I finished it a while ago, but haven't had time to do a full blog review.

The book is a quick read - 4hrs total, give or take, and it's packed full not only of WOM theory and a bit of history, but also with some concrete ideas from real WOM marketers and a checklist or two to boot. I love checklists!

The really "shocking" thing about this book, is that it's not one of those "wow, wouldn't it be cool if our company could do that" like "Blue Ocean Strategy, but rather, a book about WHAT EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD ALREADY BE DOING WITH THEIR MARKETING. Seriously, let's look, at what the book tells me to do.

You need the Five Ts. Talkers, Topics, Tools, Taking Part and Tracking.

* Talkers: Find people who will talk about you

* Topics: Give people a reason to talk

* Tools: Help the message spread faster and farther

* Taking Part: Join the conversation

* Tracking: Measure and understand what people are saying

Andy has another tidbit that worth the price of the book (or a visit to his site). The Word of Mouth Marketing Manifesto:

1. Happy customers are your best advertising. Make people happy.

2. Marketing is easy: Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers. They will do your marketing for you, for free.

3. Ethics and good service come first.

4. UR the UE: You are the user experience (not what your ads say you are).

5. Negative word of mouth is an opportunity. Listen and learn.

6. People are already talking. Your only option is to join the conversation.

7. Be interesting or be invisible.

8. If it's not worth talking about, it's not worth doing.

9. Make the story of your company a good one.

10. It is more fun to work at a company that people want to talk about.

11. Use the power of word of mouth to make business treat people better.

12. Honest marketing makes more money.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A brainstorming guide to becoming remarkable 21 April 2008
By Lindy Dreyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is exactly what it promises to be...a fun, practical, hands-on guide to the art of word of mouth (WOM) marketing. This book is about getting back to the basics and fueling your desire to build a remarkable organization. The quick summary of what's in the book...

* 3 Reasons People Talk About You
* 4 Rules of Word of Mouth Marketing
* 5 Ts of Word of Mouth Marketing
* 6 Big Ideas: Deep Stuff That Changes Marketing Forever

The first 59 pages of the book give a thorough, yet concise, overview of the concepts of WOM marketing. For me, the really juicy stuff began on page 61--the HOW-TO section. (That's the pragmatist in me.) Page after page, I found myself writing down ideas, usually a spin-off of something Andy's seen or done...which is a considerable amount. Going back through my notes, many of these ideas are things we can do right away along with things we should have always been doing, but somehow got off track. This book is like a brainstorming guide...it helps you focus on the WOM concepts that matter most.

Word of warning...if you're looking for detailed, data-driven analysis of WOM, this is not your book. Most of the negative reviews on Amazon criticized the book for being too "obvious" or "simple." I'd argue that it's the simple and obvious ideas that make this book so powerful, not just for marketing and PR professionals, but for anyone in your organization who interacts with your customers and prospects.

BONUS: One of the 5 Ts of Word of Mouth is TOPIC. People often latch onto the most unexpected topics and we need to have the courage to run with it. Andy uses the example of RedEnvelope. Their unexpected topic? Beautiful gift packaging. I've personally ordered from RedEnvelope...it was a gift for my mom. The first thing I heard from her after she received the gift? "The package was just beautiful! It came in this great red box with a giant bow!" She told all her friends about her "gift in the big red box." Not only did I look like the world's greatest daughter, but RedEnvelope likely got a few new customers.

What's your big red box?
63 of 77 people found the following review helpful
basic concepts presented as something fresh and radical 7 Oct. 2007
By Ala "Prompter" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've just gotten into WOM marketing and so I assumed that my knowledge on the subject is limited. After reading this book, however, I came to think that I could be a marketing guru as well. The ideas described in this book could be summarized on three pages and still those pages would not be worth reading! Rules such as: make your message interesting or make it short or make it easy to remember are obvious for all those who are capable to think logically. Others (e.g. Chinese banquet example) are simply ridiculous!
I expected to learn a lot from this book. I learned nothing new. Plus, the book appear to contradict all the rules he lists: it could definitely be shorter and more interesting!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Left feeling teased, and a little cheated. 3 Oct. 2007
By Rebecca Melvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was really torn between giving this book three or four stars. What inclined me toward four was that I didn't get a straight run through it, but instead was three quarters of the way through and had to put it aside for a week-which is a long time to put reading aside and then pick up again without it losing a great deal of its momentum. So, I went with the higher scoring in the belief that I would have had a more positive experience with the material if it had not been for a circumstance beyond the author's control.

That being said, you may still be wondering what I found lacking to keep it from getting five stars. First of all, I don't hand five stars out like candy (and I wish a lot of other reviewers would follow that lead, as it seems as though there are an over-abundance of five stars over at Amazon). I feel that a five star rating is for the exceptional. A four star is for the good. Three stars for the nominal, with two and one stars relegated to the bad and really stinky. I steer away from half stars as that smacks of indecision (and would require me having to add those images to my library and they are difficult to come by).

I rate this book at four stars because it is good. It is not exceptional. If you're purchasing as marketing advice, it will provide you with enough to know that you need to buy more books by other authors that go into a good deal more detail. If you've already purchased a couple of marketing books, it will reinforce what you've already read and give you a good pep talk to keep you motivated. It is not going to enlighten you to anything new (unless it's your first purchase of marketing material-in which case see point above about now knowing you need to buy more books).

As a writer, publisher and editor myself, I have to make one comment about the writing-more precisely the voice, or tone, of the book. I received the distinct impression that Mr. Sernovitz saw a trend of sales in marketing books, whipped one together with no real effort or research beyond what he already knew off the top of his head (which is considerable-no argument from me there) and tossed it out onto the market. Again, as in one of my prior reviews of a different book, I wish the author had taken more time, gone more indepth, researched and added to what he already knew and given us a real read. In many ways I felt teased, and a little cheated.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Easy Read, Quite Intuitive, Have Some Useful Tips 26 Sept. 2010
By loka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extremely easy read written in conversational style. The tone of the author reminds me of Seth Godin. If you love Seth's books, you will definitely love this book too.

The gist of this book centres around 5Ts - Talker, Topic, Tools, Taking Part, Tracking:

Talker - Find out who is talking about you and who you want talking about you.

Topic - Create something worth talking about - it could be product feature, sales promotion, connection with a charity cause or an exceptional shopping experience.

Tool - Make it VERY EASY for talker to talk about you and help spread the word. You can do this by reminding people to share to friends, including "Share to a friend" buttons in website, using email signature, giving out samples etc.

Taking Part - You have to take part in the conversation. If the word of mouth put you in a negative light - reverse it by listening, improving and telling people about the effort you put into that.

Tracking - Monitor word of mouth online and offline so that you know who is talking and what they are talking about you.

I think this is a good book - it has good examples and some useful tips (e.g. incorporating network effect to your product promotion so that people benefit from sharing). At the same time, I took 2 stars off because:

(1) One of pillars of the book is that you need to be a company worth talking about, which essentially means creating remarkable products and services (Purple Cow). This is always easier said than done and the book does not provide much guidance as to how this can be done.

(2) The book gets quite repetitive along the way. The author just uses different words to express the same ideas over and over again.

All in all, still a must-read for people interested in WOM marketing!
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