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So you think your company is boring…

3 min read

Digital Technology

Lois Kelly of Beeline Labs and Bloghound talked with a small group of us at a WOM Supergenius lunch earlier this week about ways to get creative marketing juices flowing — especially when you’re stuck in a rut or feeling like your company or product just isn’t interesting enough to warrant buzz.

Never fear!  Every company has a remarkable story to tell.  Here are some of Lois’s favorite tips for telling interesting stories everyone can believe in:

  • At least yearly, challenge your team about what interesting talkable ideas are out there.
  • Brainstorm lots of ideas and see what sticks.
  • Be as narrow as possible in your thinking.  Ask your colleagues: What’s one little thing that drives people crazy, or that people love about our product.
  • Keep in mind that counterintuitive ideas and concepts get people talking.
  • Find ways to get out of the industry you are in. Read Wallpaper or People Magazine. Diversify your own stimuli.
  • Do one thing each year that is frightening to you.  This keeps you fresh, puts you in touch with different people and makes you see the world in new ways.
  • If you’re too close to your marketing messages, set up periodic meetings with trusted advisers, an agency or board of directors to help you see new marketing possibilities. Ask them to write down 10 things they love about your company or other questions such as “What are the biggest mistakes people in our industry make?”
  • Figure out ways to get “alpha-fraidy cats” at your company who are stifling creativity out of the way.
  • Make sure your juicy corporate stories don’t get lost over time, as key players shift around or leave.

Getting your team talking is essential because that’s where word of mouth about your company begins.  Try some of these conversation starters on for size:

  • What are you customers’ anxieties?
  • What are the personal stories we have to tell?  Our company history/mission? Your customers’ story?
  • Are there David v. Goliath stories to tell? Is there any glitz and glam you can incorporate into your story?
  • Do your products relate to seasonal events or topical issues?
  • What can you share with people that helps them look good in front of their boss?
  • Name three pieces of advice you can give your customers.
  • Do you have insider knowledge about “what’s coming”?
  • What are your or your customers’ aspirations?  These can be difficult to articulate, but they often yield the biggest WOM upside. People want to see possibilities and love sharing them.

If you’re looking to get your marketing unstuck, my lunch companions raved about Lois’s book “Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word of Mouth Marketing”.  Now that’s offline WOM in action.

Image credit, RTimages, via iStock