Our group presentation was on the ‘Energizing’ chapter in Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s book Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. In this chapter, the authors wrote about the importance of “energizing” and connecting with your customers and getting them excited about talking about your products so that positivity spreads via word of mouth about your company and products. They wrote that “word of mouth ‘is the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues.’” What’s more important than televised, radio, billboard, or other types of advertisements, is the advertisements that people give each other themselves. The book explains that those are the more believable reviews, the ones given by friends and co-users of the products.
There are three main points that Li and Bernoff gave about energizing the Groundswell:
- It’s believable – Testimonials from customers are far more credible than any media source.
- It’s self-reinforcing – Hear it from one person, and it’s intriguing. Hear it from five or ten, even if you didn’t know them before, and it has to be true.
- It’s self spreading – If a product is worth using, its word of mouth generates more word of mouth in a cascade that’s literally exponential.
They quoted Fred Reichheld in this chapter, when he said “The value varies based on which customers come to you based on your reputation and referrals and how much comes from advertising.” Customers self select products, and keep talking about those products for years.
If you watch the first 20 seconds of this video, you will see this in action. Z-Medica is a company that makes medical devices, and I had the privilege of interning for them last summer and learned a lot in the process, and in this video, you will see professionals who have used their products discussing the benefits of the product and their points of view on it, a perfect example of the Groundswell and how Z-Medica energizes it.