Thursday, November 16, 2006

Weekly WOM: A little good karma goes a long way

An article from Adotas considers the karmic nature of WOM. Attaining Advertising Zen: How Word-of-Mouth Success is Savored Through Good Karma discusses 5 bits of advice to ensure that your good marketing deeds come back to you many times over in the form of long-lasting customer relationships. The five points are: 1. Is Your Product or Service Inherently Viral? 2. Do the Right Thing, Every Time. 3. Do Something Unexpected. 4. Keep the Ball Rolling. 5. Let it Grow Organically.

Believe it or not, I've actually thought of marketing in Buddhist terms too, although I haven't thought about karma per se. For me, marketing involves two major Buddhist principles: detachment and impermanence. Marketers should be detached to the extent that they don't cling to existing ways of doing things just because that's how they've always been done. Also, detachment can prevent marketers from getting too emotionally involved in pet projects that don't result in value for patrons, or too discouraged when taking a risk doesn't work out. Similarly, we're all familiar with impermanence. What's in one day is out the next, so we have to be flexible with how we envision our libraries, our services, and our patrons' needs as environmental changes dictate.

Is it a stretch to link Buddhism and marketing? Maybe. But library marketing lessons and inspirations are everywhere once you look for them.

Categories: random_stuff | tips_to_try


Peter Bromberg said...

Hi Jill,

I've also used a Buddhist analogy to write about marketing in my article, "A Marketing Plan for Virtual Reference",which appeared in the September/October issue of MLS: Marketing Library Services. My fourth point in the article was, "The Path of the Middle Way Leads to Marketing Enlightenment". My point was that you don't want to over-market a service because you might generate more business than you can handle and service quality can suffer. Granted, libraries generally suffer more from under-marketing, but I was writing about marketing virtual reference, and the danger of over-marketing is quite real; VR is a service that grows wonderfully through WOM and a few well-placed web banner ads.

In fact we just celebrated our 5th anniversary at and we're as busy as ever. If you're interested in seeing some of our targeted ads (we placed them in college papers) take a looksy.

Whew, now I'm self-promotioned out! :-) Namaste!

Jill said...


Thanks so much for sharing your QandANJ promotional work and your article. This is the good kind of self-promotion that helps all of us with great examples and insights - thank you! Your point about The Middle Way is interesting. I've found that it's very hard to control demand in a library setting, so I think you're right to point out that you don't want to over-promise to patrons only to leave them disappointed. Who knew that Buddhism and marketing had anything to do with one another?! :-)