3 Ways to Brainstorm Word of Mouth Marketing

You want to generate more word of mouth…but it’s easier said than done. One of the biggest challenges banks and credit unions have is answering the question, “so where do we start!?” Here’s what we recommend: Round up a couple smart people in your company, grab lots of blank paper and pens, pour tons of coffee, pick one of the following three topics…and jump in! These are guaranteed to get your brains storming, and buzzworthy ideas flowing.

Brainstorm # 1: How Can I Make Someone Feel Important?
When you make people feel important, they tend to tell others. Why? Because recounting the story to others lets them feel that sense of importance all over again! So how can you make someone feel important? Well, that of course depends on the person. So first, assess your target person (the Talker) by asking a few questions like this:

  • What would make this kind of person look smart in front of their friends?
  • What is the “social currency” in this person’s world? (Learn more about Social Currency)
  • What defines a “VIP” to this person?

People like individuals and companies that make them feel important. How can you make that happen?

Brainstorm # 2: Find Something Totally Mundane and Make it Memorable
Pick the most boring part of your business or project―the thing that people just take for granted and don’t even really notice. If you’re generating WOM in the branch, it might be the sound the phone makes when it rings. Or the type of handshake you give. If you’re working on a marketing project, it might be the inside flap of an envelope in a direct mail package, or the way you phrase the disclosures at the bottom of an ad. Now, take that small, mundane thing, and find a way to make it strikingly unique. Maybe even downright weird. But whatever you do, make sure that it’s no longer easy to ignore. Make the person do a double take, wondering “wait a minute..was that what I think it was?!”

Brainstorm # 3: How Could Our Marketing Catch Someone Off Guard?
When someone opens a newspaper or turns on the TV, they are expecting to see ads. As a result, their guard subconsciously goes up, and their internal editor turns on and begins filtering out the advertising.

Instead, give people an unexpected experience. Ask yourself, “how can we catch them when they are not expecting it?”, and you’ll be on your way to creating some buzzworthy guerrilla marketing. You can catch people off guard by reaching them:

  • in unique places
  • at unexpected times
  • using non-traditional media

For instance, a classic guerrilla marketing campaign involves placing wallets containing marketing messaging in public places for people to stumble upon―giving the impression that the item has been lost. When the person who finds the wallet looks through it, they see the marketing message and appreciate the clever gag. This classic example occurs in a unique place (ie a restaurant), at a unique time (ie when the target is going to dinner) and uses a non-traditional medium (ie a wallet).

Word of mouth marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take a unique touch. Get started brainstorming buzzworthy ideas using these three tips!