Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Weekly WOM: Honesty counts

There's a lot of discussion brewing in the WOM world over PR firm Edelman's questionable marketing tactics on behalf of its client Wal-Mart. Apparently, Edelman created fake blogs for the retailer that related the stories of two people traveling cross-country in an RV and camping out in Wal-Mart parking lots. You can get a recap of the story and the ensuing debate at Church of the Customer, but the most significant development so far for librarians who may be considering WOM strategies is WOMMA's response - The Association created an Ethics Assessment Tool that gives marketers 20 questions to consider before launching a WOM program. The questions are supposed to help marketers avoid doing anything unethical and they are related to the following topics: honesty of relationship, honesty of opinion, honesty of identity, taking responsibility, respecting the rules, and when hiring an agency. Integrity is particularly important with respect to WOM because once you abuse people's trust, it's difficult to win it back. Without trust, WOM doesn't work.

In other WOM news, you may want to check in on how Starbucks is using the social networking site Gather.com to promote the book for one more day. Despite the issues of authenticity these SBUX tactics call into question, using social networking sites to augment or substitute for in-person events is an appealing option for librarians to explore further.

Categories: new_news | promising_promotions | technology_tools | tips_to_try

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