Step 2 for Saving Money – Word of Mouth

My younger son has an iPod Touch. He got it about the time I got my incredible iPhone 3G. It was like Christmas coming early to our home.

I love when the kids get something electronic. They work and do chores to earn small amounts of money and once they’ve saved (for an excruciating long time), they look to see if there’s an update coming for the “thing” they want.

We search the internet for rumors and information.

Then when the time’s right, armed with a bunch of knowledge, they order it. Or get us to drive them to the store so they don’t have to “wait another minute” for the delivery truck to arrive.

Once we get the incredible piece of equipment, they can hardly wait to get to the car, pry open the box, and, as our custom, we all sing an “ahhhhhhh”. You know, the high pitch anthem that I’m sure Moses heard as he stood on the mountaintop waiting for God Himself to deliver the tablets of the law.

That’s the excitement that we have when we save, anticipate and get rewarded with the latest Apple gift. It’s still exciting every time we get the box open. Even if it’s for another person in our family!

What’s really fun for me, as a marketing person, is when my kids start blurting out all the “talking points” of the item as they power it on. It’s like the marketing brochure comes to life as they quickly itemize every known benefit that they’ve researched. And then when they experience the features, it’s like the rewards of ownership have outweighed the cost of purchase. “Ahhhhhhhh”.

I could go into the disappointment that we’ve seen when the marketing doesn’t live up to the experience, but I’ll save that for another day when I’m not trying to be so positive.

Isaac, the son that got the iPod Touch, quickly wanted to tell me everything about his amazing machine as he quickly navigated his way through all the screens.

I love the excitement, but I’m always a bit overwhelmed with all the sentence fragments that are bombarded at me. I still encourage him and try to piece the puzzle together in my mind. This is huge for him! I got my first electronic device (other than a calculator) my senior year of high school. And all that big clunky thing could do was a simple game. My, times have changed.

My son’s friends, I don’t think, are as kind as I am. They just want to listen briefly and then get their hands on the device. After awhile the things that are said become briefer and briefer.

Until a very quick benefit becomes the only thing that’s said.

And for Isaac, it became, “I can get and receive email anywhere.” And with that pronouncement, he has the “thing” that all his friends want. Of course, he also has the benefits of watch movies, listening to songs and playing games. But those often are secondary to the “email” message. He knows his audience, and he hones the message to them.

What about you?

Gone are the days that people wander into your church. They sit and research online all the facts and benefits of the churches in a 20 minute radius. And when the time is right, they gather the family and attend a service.

In order to get them to choose your church, you need to tell them the benefits. And you have to make sure they resound in their paradigm.

If you offer the right benefits, they will come. And once they’re there, and the benefits are valid, they’ll love it. And the simple message will be easy for them to tell their friends. That’s the joy of “word-of-mouth” advertising. But it all starts with identifying the unique needs of your target audience. The simpler the message, the simpler it’ll be to pass it on.

As for my son? The other day he downloaded a free application from the “App Store” and now when he presses the right button, his Touch rings just like an iPhone. I think that’ll become his next message he’ll tell everyone. “It looks like I have an iPhone”. So much for truth in advertising.

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