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The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II by Dave…
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The Word of Mouth Manual: Volume II

by Dave Balter

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An in-depth look at word of mouth marketing techniques.

I was invited to download this book for free as a member of BzzAgent, a word of mouth marketing company. BzzAgent is sort of like Early Reviewers, only with all sorts of products. I've mostly stuck to their book-related campaigns in the years I've been a member, but I've also discovered some other interesting products through the site.

The book is pretty interesting. It's evidently a sort of extended add for BzzAgent and for the marketing concepts Balter has developed, but I didn't find that that took too much away from the reading experience. Balter backs up his ideas with concrete examples of word of mouth marketing that's worked. Most of these are pretty modern, (ie, the iPhone and the hoopla that surrounded its release), but there are also a few older examples, (ie, the Grateful Dead). As is often the case with books that discuss marketing phenomena, I can see it reading as somewhat dated in a couple of years, but right now I found it very effective. I also found many of the stories pretty entertaining. I can see myself bringing up some of these examples in conversation.

The book is nicely organized. Balter begins by discussing some basic marketing concepts, then moves into a deeper discussion of word of mouth. He talks about its strengths, its weaknesses, and the ways companies can make it work for them. As a private individual, I do find it rather disconcerting to read about the ways companies try to manipulate consumers, but I don't think there was much, if any, emphasis on bilking people here. Balter emphasizes that word of mouth needs to be true. People can and should talk about what they liked about products, but they should also tell each other what they disliked. It's an interesting approach, and according to the author companies can benefit just as much from negative publicity as from positive endorsements. As long as people are talking, it's all good.

All in all, I found this worth reading. I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in admin studies or marketing techniques. You can download it for free from this website.. ( )
  xicanti | Jul 27, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0979668514, Board book)

Why is this book $45.00?

* Only a few thousand have been made
* It includes all of the material from Volume I
* Its cover is entirely water resistant and sized to be used as a rainhat
* There's a monkey on the cover (of course)
* Each comes with a one-of-its-kind bookmark, cut from a massive piece of artwork by BzzAgent Artist-in-Residence, Seth. B. Minkin.

Of course, if you don't want to pay for this fantastic, water-resistant version, you can get the entire book for FREE in PDF form from 20 of the big thinking bloggers around. You can find more about that at: www.bzzagent.com/monkey.

And that's the point. The Word of Mouth Manual, Volume II is the ultimate illustration of how Word of Mouth actually works. Each element of the book (including the free distribution) was carefully crafted as an example of how you can make Word of Mouth work.

What do Falco and the Grateful Dead have in common? How did Joey Chesnut unseat "Tsunami" Kobayashi in the Coney Island hot dog eating contest? From Tickle-Me-Elmo and Casey Kasem to Crocs and those terribly annoying HeadOn commercials, the book is packed full of real-world examples of what makes people recommend products and services to each other. If you're a company who is interested in how to get people talking, you can't get started without reading the Manual.

The Word of Mouth Manual, Volume II is the second book from BzzAgent founder and CEO, Dave Balter. His first book, Grapevine, was released in December 2005.

BzzAgent, Inc. is an international word-of-mouth media network that helps companies accelerate and measure honest, real-world conversations among everyday consumers. BzzAgent's more than 250 clients generate awareness and shape perception about their products and services via the company's growing community of 420,000 trained consumer volunteers. For more information on the company visit www.bzzagent.com.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:43 -0400)

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