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Andy’s Answers: Who are my talkers?

Talkers are at the heart of all great word-of-mouth programs. Every company — regardless of your industry or what you sell — has a variety of talker groups, each with different interests and different motivators.

As a word-of-mouth marketer, your job is to find them and put the tools in their hands that get them talking. A few tips on where to look for them:

  • Fans and hobbyists. Your customers aren’t always your best talkers — often it’s the fans, dreamers and brand evangelists who spread most of the word-of-mouth. Luxury brands such as Ferrari, for example, often get their buzz not from their buyers, but from their die-hard fans with posters on the wall.
  • Enthusiastic employees. When looking for talkers, don’t forget all the fans on your payroll. Not every employee wants to be an evangelist, but the ones who do love tools like product samples, beta testing, brand gear and friends and family discounts.
  • Professional talkers. A special group of talkers do this stuff — reviews, referrals and recommendations — for a living. High-profile bloggers and media outlets often get a lot of focus, but analysts, industry experts and trade publications (and anyone else that may influence your customers) deserve attention, too.