Walk the Talk

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This story appears in the July 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Kevin Bacon, who gained immortality with the cult game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, turns 47 this July. The game, originally developed by three college students in Pennsylvania, permeated popular culture via word-of-mouth. It's since earned its own reference page on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia built by word-of-mouth.

Wise word-of-mouth marketing works, and word on the street is that this type of marketing is reinventing its image. Here's how to make it work for you.

  • Heed the new ethical code of conduct for word-of-mouth marketers, recently released by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the official trade association for the word-of-mouth marketing industry. The standards are similar to the Ethical Business Pledge movement: Honesty ROI (honest disclosure of relationship, opinion and identity). WOMMA hopes the new standards will elicit consumer respect.
  • March over to this year's Ad:tech in Chicago, July 11-12 at the Sheraton Chicago. Coincidentally, WOMMA made its debut at Ad:Tech in November 2004.
  • Track word-of-mouth trends with BlogPulse, a trend-discovery network for blogs.

Kirsten Osolind is CEO and founder of re:invention inc., a Chicago-based marketing consulting company.

Edition: July 2017

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