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Trout on word-of-mouth

Olivier Blanchard and John Moore both picked up on Jack Trout’s views on Word of Mouth marketing. Jack’s position boils down to this:

If I go to all this trouble developing a positioning strategy for my product, I want to see that message delivered. Buzz can get your name mentioned but you can’t depend on much else. Not too many mouths will do a stand-up commercial about your product vs. its competitor. Nor will they check with you in advance on what to say.

Which strkes me as just another variation on the rallying cry of bores and control freaks everywhere. “I’d sooner have the thrill of talking loudly so you are forced to listen than take the terrible risk of being affected by you.”

But these days, finding the flaws in Trout’s thinking is like shooting fish in a barrel.