Ted Wright had an incredible idea for a word of mouth marketing campaign to capitalize on Delta Airline\u2019s advantage as an employer with strong Atlanta-based roots. What if employees created yard signs that said \u201cYour Delta Neighbor, Thanks for Flying With Us\u201d outside their home? Frustrated that management didn\u2019t want to get involved, Mr. Wright created the signs anyway and put them outside his house and later his office door. People who saw the sign would stop by to inquire about the sign and share their stories of interacting with Delta.\u00a0 He won an award - then he was fired for insubordination.\u00a0 At another time in his life, Mr. Ted Wright needed to search for something. So he hopped online and searched on Netscape. After sifting through pages of results, he found what he wanted. Then someone leaned over and told him about this cool new site called Google.\u00a0 Guess which site is his favorite search engine?\u00a0 Both of these examples point to the power of WOMM (word of mouth marketing). As a marketing concept, word of mouth marketing has become the new kid on block. In a world where there are ever-increasing brands and startups popping up every day, marketers have turned to word of mouth marketing as a way to amplify their brand.\u00a0 What is Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM), Exactly? The problem is most marketers and business owners jumped on the bandwagon without really taking the time to study what makes word of mouth\u00a0marketing work. Brands spend lots of money and time hiring brand ambassadors offering free samples, courting bloggers, and trying to \u201ccreate a story\u201d that engages and moves their potential customers to action. \u00a0A whole new field of marketing has been grown around the concept of finding an \u201cinfluencer\u201d and then loading them down with free stuff, so they can tell others about it.\u00a0 For some companies, word of mouth\u00a0marketing leads to better sales and brand loyalty. For others, word of mouth\u00a0marketing is a waste of time and money. What is it that makes a word of marketing campaign successful? What makes it tick and how can you use that knowledge for your business?\u00a0 Decrease Your Advertising Budget, Start Storytelling The key message behind Fizz: Harness The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth is that the marketing landscape has changed. Brands can no longer depend on large advertising budgets to reach their customers. Customers are more savvy than ever, thanks to an ever growing array of tools that can give them more information than they could ever need. Customers are also overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number of brands that are competing for their already limited time.\u00a0 That solution, according to Fizz, represents the principles of word of mouth\u00a0marketing. Word of mouth\u00a0marketing is more than offering referrals. Ted Wright actually hates them by the way. It\u2019s digging deep into the stories the outside world is saying about your company and brand. Are people outside your circle of influence actually referring people to your brand? What stories are they sharing about your brand? The book recommends you actually find out face-to-face.\u00a0 Wright argues that you need to find the \u201ctalkable\u201d part of your business. What is the distinctive feature(s) that sets your business apart from others? What are you known for? While most marketing books would advocate creating a survey or focus group, Fizz\u00a0argues that you should meet real people face-to-face. Find out what stories and experiences they have experienced with your brand. Once you have something distinctive that can improve or better a customer\u2019s experience, offer a sample of your products or service to them in a \u201cwe have something cool and we\u2019d like you to try it out\u201d kind of way. From there, take ownership of the story and help it grow by developing the product and your customer\u2019s relationships with that product. Is Fizz\u00a0Brand Insight or Brand Nonsense? Who Should Read It? Fizz\u00a0offers similar advice to many branding books out there, in some respects. Just about any branding will tell you to find an influencer and to create a story. Where this book is different is that it offers a more specific method for finding an influencer, measuring your influence, and distributing your story. In Fizz, Wright has a very specific definition of influencer (and \u201cbrand ambassador\u201d) and offers some specific advice about who would be a good fit and how to train them.\u00a0 He also doesn\u2019t focus on social media until relatively late in the book and then rather briefly. Fizz\u00a0is also different in its tone. It's\u00a0not written for upper level management. Instead, it is written for the manager (or even employee) who wants to make a case for a word of mouth\u00a0marketing to upper level management.\u00a0 Two chapters are of particular note, Chapters 7 and 8. Both contain information that runs counter to typical branding advice. In Chapter 7, Wright argues against referrals and questions whether the focus on influencer scores and catering to any blogger with a following is worth the risk. Chapter 8 is notable because it advocates not spending any money on a word of mouth\u00a0marketing campaign unless your business has income over $2 million. For those businesses who don\u2019t make that kind of income, Wright suggests that the principles of Fizz\u00a0will definitely help. But\u00a0they\u00a0cannot be implemented into his suggested \u00a0full-scale $450,000 word of mouth marketing campaign until you get that kind of income. About the Author Ted Wright is owner and founder of Fizz, a word of mouth\u00a0marketing agency in Atlanta. You can find him on his company\u2019s website\u00a0and on Twitter @fizz_womm. The book Fizz: Harness the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing to Drive Brand Growth\u00a0is available on Amazon. This review was based on an electronic copy of the book selected for reviewing purposes.