I experienced a live example of word of mouth marketing last weekend while in California for a visit. My sister took me to an AT&T store she was working with to see Joe Beimel, a relief pitcher for the Dodgers. He signed a couple of baseballs for my boys and we had a nice conversation. While we were there the store manager took a picture of us from her cell phone and while we were still in the store sent the picture to my sister’s cell phone (well this is AT&T wireless). My sister forwarded the picture to my cell phone. I could then send it to anyone. Note all of the AT&T accessories in the background.
Just so you don’t confuse us Joe is in the middle. We went to Dodger Stadium later that day and saw him pitch. I’m going to hold on to this picture. If the Dodgers make it to the World Series and Joe wins a key game well …………. I have this picture.
The event got me thinking. How many times have I been to a bookstore, or a sporting goods store or a cell phone store to meet a celebrity and get an autograph? Did the event leave a positive impression? It probably did. Now did the sponsoring organization follow up with me in any way? Most likely unless I bought something right there on that day the organization lost an opportunity to create and nurture a lasting relationship.
AT&T took the picture, sent it to my sister (now they know her email address) and she forwarded it to me. Who knows who I may forward it to? AT&T could make it even easier for me to tell a friend. They could drop the picture into a template with links back to their site or to coupons which promote the products on the wall. They could include a link to information on Joe Beimel. He seems like a great guy. I would think he and the Dodgers would appreciate the publicity. The emails I forward and/or the coupons I redeem can be tracked. AT&T has another way to measure the amount of business they get from this event which may help them justify sponsoring more of them in the future. Sounds like a win/win.
Good luck Joe!
Until next time – All the best!