One of our main goals in sharing these stories is to show you how you can take a more commonsense approach to really understanding the basics of word of mouth (WOM). In essence, figuring out why people talk will allow you to craft some fantastic strategies of your own that truly mirror who you are as an organization. We hope you are starting to think differently about the people you serve and the conversations they want to have with you. As much as you might want your customers to talk about your products' and services' features and benefits, they (like most people!) probably want to talk about themselves, and how your offerings fit into their lives. They want to talk about their passions—specifically, the ones they share with you.

One of our core messages in our last book, and one that remains front and center in the stories we have just shared is this:

It's not about technology; it's about people.

Marketers have long had a tendency to follow the leader, even if the leader is wrong. And then, of course, there's that check-the-box mentality that we shared earlier. Everyone is jumping on the social media train, often using a technology platform as the jumping-off point. But when you claim to need “more Twitter followers, more Facebook fans, a Pinterest strategy,” you are, as Ed Keller says, “starting at the wrong end of the telescope. You're looking in through the ...

Get The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking, and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.