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March 22, 2006
What is "Word-Of-Mouth" Marketing? The image on the right tells the story -- this Company Policy gives the details.
Marketing can be understood as creating want in people while Selling increases that desire and shows value relative to price. The salesman gets the order, but good marketing prepares the way -- makes the job of selling possible.
This Company Policy covers in broad scope the subject of MARKETING at Vibrant Life.
An old saw has been that marketing was, "Finding a need and satisfying it." Within that understanding would be included finding out that cocaine users have a need for more cocaine. Thus, within this definition, it might seem OK to market and sell cocaine.
We rely on the Hubbard Management System to keep our feet on the path toward success. We thus start with a definition of "product" to keep our marketing on the right path.
Mr. Hubbard defines Product as:
A product is a finished high quality service or article in the hands of the being or group it serves as an exchange for a valuable. (Admin Dictionary) (more here)
This definition helps us see clearly what we are about.
For instance, when we sell something to a person who is not served by that "something" we really have not produced a product. We must take responsibility for whether or not the customer actually gets the benefit he NEEDS.
If he WANTS and NEEDS a newspaper -- and the boy delivers one to him, it sounds like a "product," indeed.
Another view of this definition points out that the customer must exchange for the product. If he needs it and we deliver it to him, but he doesn't pay? Well, that's not a "product." In actual fact one reason it is not a product for him is that because he didn't pay he has become a thief -- he'd be better off as honest and dead than living longer (with our product) as a thief.
What people say they need is not at all what they may really need. Thus it is a tricky thing to find out what THEY think they need and which we believe will also "serve them." Many people will not buy what they "need," but, instead, buy things that are harmful to them. Many people will SAY they need one thing but THINK they need another. They usually act on what they THINK, not what they SAY!
By survey or observation we realize that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the Western World and that the standard medical approach to heart disease is fraught with false data and harmful remedies.
You only have to go through the "paddle procedure" once, or watch it, to say to yourself, "There must be some better way!"
We know, then, that IF we have a product which reduces the risk of death from heart disease we have a big part of the definition of "product" handled. Not many commercial organizations have that much certainty on the value of what they sell.
We know, with confidence, because of some tens of thousands of research pages published by Karl Loren that we have a workable technology in "oral chelation." The theory of the research is confirmed by the testimonials and personal experience of many beings.
We can move forward with certainty of our integrity -- marketing a "high quality product" which we can put "in the hands of a being it serves."
The sale of oral chelation should be a "no brainer!" It works and people die for the lack of it! If you are giving away money, it should be a "no brainer," but like other "no brainers" people tend to be skeptical. It is the "skepticism" which is our main target. No doubt just about everyone would like free money if that offer were true! We know that our offer of improved blood circulation IS true -- so our job is to give away free money!
That's not easy in today's skeptical era!
Our biggest obstacle is the false information people have swallowed -- false information that convinces them that the medical approach is best and that oral chelation is a fraud. False information on smoking -- put out by tobacco companies -- has allowed some large number of people to die needlessly from smoking. Exposure of false data, and presentation of true data are such an integral part of our marketing that this action is NUMBER ONE in our short list of PURPOSES.
Our marketing, then, certainly includes taking aim at the false data floating around on the web. In fact, we can be happy that we have almost a monopoly on effectively exposing these lies. When you couple these two facts, we have a very exciting marketing activity ahead for us:
Here is what Mr. Hubbard calls the "Marketing Cycle:"
Probably some marketing failures result from a false datum that to market is synonymous with directly selling to the customer. That is a wrong concept and woefully incomplete.
Marketing includes all actions from before the beginning of the production right on through to its use by the customer and its word-of-mouth promotion by public. Your first step is you've got to have a product to market that will market. And you have to groom that product up so you can market it.
From the first moment a product is conceived, much less produced, Marketing has to be in there with surveys to establish the design and use of the product, and it carries on through at every stage to make sure that it will eventually sell and get good word-of-mouth promotion.
Advertising enters into it. The basis of advertising is: You have to attract, you have to interest, and you can then get your message across. It's in that sequence.
Another part of marketing is distribution planning. Without a plan to get the promotion and product distributed to those points where the promo will be used and the product sold and consumed, you can't market.
And there is one more step in marketing that you have to take, which is the standard step of PR. You have to review your marketing program and your issues and your promo and find out if they were put to use. Did the issues and promo ever arrive? Did the promo ever get printed? Was it actually used? And what was the response to it?
A completed marketing cycle would always include such a follow-up. The success of an existing marketing campaign or the success of the next marketing campaign would depend upon it. Source: HCOPL 4 Sep 1979, More On Marketing, page 207, MS3.
Did you notice how often Mr. Hubbard uses the phrase "word-of-mouth?" If you stop and think about this you'll realize that there are VERY FEW products you use where you are so excited about it that you have a strong feeling that you want to tell others about it.
WORD OF MOUTH is a public relations comm line superior to press, radio, television or Mr. Big. Radio, press and TV only seek to create 'word of mouth.' This term means what people say to one another.
By standing for what people think is good and opposing what people think is bad greatly speeds WORD OF MOUTH.
Thus we see that there are three commodities above contemporary PRO [Public Relations Officer] concepts. These are:
B. WORD OF MOUTH
C. WORKABILITY AND USEFULNESS OF PRODUCT
. . .
How much a product COSTS has some bearing on whether or not it is used. But unstabilizing prices, we have learned (such as a small increase), is utterly deadly. And, reducing prices does not actually increase sales in our experience.
HCO PL 17 June 1969, Page 20, MS3.
. . .
The keynote in any promotion is word of mouth.
You can talk all you want about paid ads and radio ads and every other kind of ad but sooner or later a property gets into word of mouth or it doesn't. In other words people start telling each other about it.
That happens to be the senior publicity on any item. Something people do not talk about can be advertised and publicized until you are black in the face and it won't sell. HCO PL 31 Dec. 2000, Page 185, MS3.
In fact, in today's downwardly mobile society it is often true that you would complain about some product or service more if you thought someone at that company would listen to you! When you DO GET the enthusiasm shown in the image above right -- you have an extremely valuable customer. And, you have confirmed your own integrity and the workability of your product.
Oral chelation certainly is THAT type of product. However, if it didn't "work" or if there were not enough supporting educational information on the web, you might not feel strongly about it, even if you thought it was great. You might feel very strongly about it, but run into such skepticism among others that you FEEL strongly but hide in the closet.
The information we publish may seem more important than the product -- the information can help many people who do not buy the product. But it is the "product" that changes conditions in their bodies -- people can get excited about changes in the condition of their bodies. It is not as easy to be excited about "information." So, word-of-mouth promotion generally comes only AFTER the person has used our product AND had a change in condition that he can recognize. The information helps him get the product in the first place and helps him talk about it -- but without the use of the product it is all theoretical.
Sell the bottle of capsules -- then make sure the guy gets the result we promise -- then ask for his tesimonial.
This is peculiarly a problem with oral chelation since so many "authorities" tell you that you should quit eating eggs and butter, should take their cholesterol-lowering drug for the rest of your life and that you can always be rescued with bypass surgery. When some guy in California, who is not a doctor, makes these outrageous claims that he knows what is better than all that high-science stuff it is not surprising that you might speak timidly to a few people but keep your huge success somewhat quiet. I wrote about this subject once, and got this comment from a fan:
What I would like is for you to someday address in depth the subject of HOW to refer people and in a way that they will follow through and do something to help themselves. It can be so frustrating and heartbreaking to have knowledge that can help someone overcome a serious health situation, but then you can't get them to see or receive it. I guess it is the "you can take a horse to water, but can't make them drink" syndrome. I understand that we're not going to turn everyone around and all of a sudden start getting them to think rationally on the subject of health and wellness. But when there are particular people who are close to me and I can't make any progress with that particular person, it gets frustrating. Sometimes to the point that when something comes up again with that same person and I have some knowledge that would benefit them instead I shut up and just sit on it. I don't even mention it. But it hurts to do that with someone you care about. (Published Here)
What do we need for marketing oral chelation at Vibrant Life?
We need, first, to attract some people (the web sites are good places for people to visit). When we last had the Urchin program measuring the number of visitors each day we were generally exceeding 15,000 per day! The Urchin statistics included identification of which visitors came to one of our web site because of finding some word or phrase they were looking for in a search engine. (is now owned by Google.) Most web sites that are very popular ARE popular because they have high rankings in the search engines -- the search engines are often responsible for 80% or more of the visitors to any of these web sites.
We were routinely getting less than 50% of our visitors from search engine referrals -- we can't be sure, but the most likely explanation has been that the majority of our web visitors come to see us because of the 100,000 pages of great information and because of their hearing about the great success one of our customers has told them about.
Next we have to interest the person who has been attracted to our web site, or other promotional material. Urchin gives us a measure of how long people spend on one or more pages of our web site. While the great majority of visitors spend a very short time, we have a substantial number of visitors who spend hours reading and come back again and again. We are doing well in the "interest" category. We are getting the message across!
Next we need to give these interested viewers some reason to REACH in our direction. We have a form on every web site, "Write to Karl Loren." These forms collect names and give people a chance to write a personal letter which will get an answer. It is extremely rare for a web visitor to actually be able to call or write to a company and get a live response -- quickly. A "handshake" is, after all, a "reach" out to someone to greet and meet.
Incidentally, don't miss that link above, on "collect names." That is one of the most vital marketing actions we can do!
I am writing in this description and sequence what I think are the good marketing activities we have already been doing. I know we can do more of these and do better at any one of them.
We have an unusually large percentage of our customers who are repeat customers -- and have been buying regularly for many years. In fact, it would be a small percentage of our first time customers who DO NOT make a repeat purchase.
Why? One powerful reason is generally that our product "works!" More specifically, we claim, and deliver, significant changes in 30 to 60 days -- changes that the customer can see very clearly.
After all, when your feet or fingers have been cold or numb for years and within 30 days your feet and toes are warm? Well, that is a small but dramatic miracle. It is all the bigger miracle because I predict that for just about everyone I talk to -- and put it in print for all to see.
When your toes are turning black (from poor blood circulation) and you hear about "amputation" of your feet, you may shudder. The doctors can't do anything for you -- except talk about artificial feet. When you talk to me you find that almost always those black toes and numb fingers become warm and healthy in just a few months.
This is enough for you to get excited about -- to start talking to other people about this miracle.
Then, you may not understand the mechanism of improving blood circulation completely, but you know that there are more than 100,000 web pages that DO explain it all. That can give you confidence in the face of skepticism.
By now you may have noticed that once the information and product are in place (Life Glow Plus -- oral chelation) there is not much more to marketing than the mechanics of getting that message OUT! You attract people, interest them, get the message across, get them to REACH, and buy!
Buying? By the time someone has reached toward us it is now actually SELLING that needs to take place. On the phone, in eMail responses, in our literature -- we increase the "want" for the product and work on establishing the VALUE relative to the PRICE.
Literature? Web sites? Don't miss this reference that covers these vital subjects: How Good Does A Booklet Or Brochure Have To Be?
Once the person has bought our product for the first time, his word-of-mouth will become more likely if he gets a call from us and TELLS US about the success he is having. That increases his willingness to "talk to others" (word-of-mouth).
When we call or write again and convince him to give us a written testimonial? Well,it is fine to publish those testimonials, but the greater value we get is to increase the certainty in the person that he HAS HAD the success. If he only TELLS us, that's a good start, but when he WRITES it -- much better. When WE PUBLISH that story, even better. The seeking and obtaining of Customer Testimonials helps convince those who read them, but believe it or not the greater value is in helping the writer/customer become more committed on the "word-of-mouth" line of promotion.
Incidentally, when we call to see how the guy is doing? We may run into a complaint. No matter whether that complaint is justified or not, the guy is not likely to be helping us with his word-of-mouth complaints. There are some commercial firms (QVC, for instance) that do SO WELL in handling returns that a prospective complaint about some purchase is eased considerably by the reputation that they will take the item back, give a full refund and never make you feel guilty for sending it back.
Yes, some will take advantage of us, but the word-of-mouth promotion is the most powerful type of promotion you can get -- it is just as powerful when it is negative.
Send something to the wrong address? Spell the person's name wrongly? Overcharge him? Ship something two days late? There are a whole bunch of simple rules of "doing it right" that can greatly affect the customer's willingness to "talk to others" favorably or not favorably. Do them all right!
Marketing is actually not more complicated than that.
I've written this Policy relative to marketing our Oral Chelation products. I got to thinking about an entirely new "product" we could sell -- and have written that HERE for the background of how it came about and HERE for the RESULT.
Quotes from L. Ron Hubbard are copyright 1994 © by the L. Ron Hubbard Library. All rights reserved.
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