Andy Sernovitz

Word-of-mouth marketing—using viral e-mails, sample distribution and buzz factor—is taking off. Follow these principles to get the most out of your word-of-mouth campaign: 1. Be interesting. Before you run an ad, before you launch a product, ask your spouse about it. Trust me, if he or she finds it interesting, you’ve got a winner. 2. Make people happy by creating amazing products. Go the extra mile and provide excellent service. Make sure the work you do gets people energized, excited and eager to tell a friend. 3. Earn trust and respect from your customers. Be good to them. Talk to them. Honor their intelligence.

Everyone knows positive word-of-mouth is a good way to boost your reputation with customers and potentially spur sales. It’s a concept that’s been around for a long time, but it’s gaining even greater momentum now that the Internet and blogging can take customers’ opinions of your company and products and speed them around the world to thousands, if not millions, of other folks in a matter of seconds. So, what constitutes word-of-mouth in this age of cyberspace? And how can direct marketers optimize the power of word-of-mouth in their marketing campaigns? To answer these questions, and more, TM Tipline spoke to Andy Sernovitz, CEO

What was your free time like when you were a teenager? I loved shopping at the mall and talking on the phone with my best friend for hours about life's critical issues (or nothing at all, if you subscribe to my parents' interpretation). Teens these days engage in many of the same activities, albeit via more advanced technologies. But they also have the time and knowledge to put a hurting on your brand image. "The most dangerous thing to your brand is a kid with a blog," joked Andy Sernovitz during a presentation at CADM DM Days this past March. Well, he was sort

By Hallie Mummert Years ago, word of mouth meant that a dissatisfied customer told about 10 friends about her experience with your company and then maybe a handful of these people related the story to two or three more people. Your company's gaffe was not desirable, but it wasn't disastrous on a large scale. Today, word of mouth has evolved into a more serious threat or opportunity, depending on how you view it. Consider that 26 percent of Americans posted a product or service review online last year, says Andy Sernovitz, CEO of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, in Chicago. Those reviews

What was your free time like when you were a teenager? I loved shopping at the mall and talking on the phone with my best friend for hours about life’s critical issues (or nothing at all, if you subscribe to my parents’ interpretation). Teens these days engage in many of the same activities, albeit via more advanced technologies. But they also have the time and knowledge to put a hurting on your brand image. “The most dangerous thing to your brand is a kid with a blog,” joked Andy Sernovitz during a presentation at CADM DM Days this past March. Well, he was sort of

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