Friday, November 12, 2010

Word of Mouth

One of the most powerful marketing tools a creative person can benefit from is 'word of mouth'.

What does that mean? Pretty much what it sounds like. Get people talking - in a positive way - about your product, letting their friends know you think the product is A Good Thing for them to invest their money in. :)

Recently I was asked to read and comment on a new work of historical fiction by the author, Laurel Corona.

Corona, like other authors in the 21st century, is facing the challenge of getting enough people to buy her book to make it worthwhile for the publisher to consider publishing further works that she writes. Not to mention any royalties that may accrue based on sales. To that end she has a FaceBook page and no doubt a Twitter account.

When I took a marketing class a number of years ago (my how time flies), one of the methods of marketing that was addressed was word of mouth.

The presentor gave some statistics. If a customer is unhappy with your product s/he will more than likely tell an average of 26 people about their negative experience.

If the customer is happy with your product, they will more than likely tell on average about 11 people about their happy experience.

Why the disparity? Mainly because anger is a form of energy and if a person is unhappy they are likely angry and that anger will fuel their desire to dissipate their anger by venting (telling lots of people about it, garnering sympathy for their plight) and from a sense of warning others of the danger in buying that product.

Creative people - whether or not you are making up stories or cloth - generally don't have a big budget for advertising. There is the added complexity of the new age of information - how many people actually watch commercials on tv, listen to them on the radio, or read them in a newspaper/magazine? How many instead rely on their friends to give them a head's up about a great new product? How many of us tweet or post on Face Book.....or have blogs?

The most effective advertising/marketing of creative works is done to a target market. So authors try to get reviews posted to Amazon. Authors writing technical works (like weavers) try to get mentions on the chat groups. Weaving teachers try to get good reviews on chat groups and in guild newsletters.

So you, dear reader, must not underestimate the power of your endorsement of a writer, teacher, or creative person who is trying to earn an income by their creative efforts. If you get a great new weaving book, or read a novel with textiles/weaving in it, attend a fantastic lecture or take a fabulous workshop - tell your friends.

And continue to watch this space for books I enjoy reading. :)

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