99% of Businesses are Missing This Marketing Strategy with Jay BaerRead Time: 3 minutes

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Jay Baer shares his 25 years of marketing experience and New York Times best-selling content on this week’s show. He’s used his marketing savvy to launch 5 startups as well as his strategy consulting firm, Convince & Convert.  He sits down with host Tom Casano to explain how word-of-mouth can transform your marketing strategy,  discuss how your customers are your best marketers, and give a sneak peek into his latest book.


Word-of-mouth directly influences 19% of all purchases in the US. Another 20 to 30% is influenced by indirect word of mouth.

With nearly half of every dollar spent in America impacted by word-of-mouth marketing, you would expect most businesses to have a word-of-mouth marketing strategy.

Yet, 99% of businesses do not.

The vast majority of businesses have no strategy to manage this crucial aspect of marketing.


Word-of-mouth is often confused with campaigns. Word-of-mouth is not a flashy stunt that receives a buzz of coverage.

“The best way to do word-of-mouth is to do something different every single day,” clarifies Jay. It’s the regular feature of your business that people can talk about without any encouragement or event.

In order to define word-of-mouth strategies, Jay created the concept of the ‘talk trigger’. He defines it as an operational difference that creates marketing.

For example, the Cheesecake Factory has an extraordinary talk trigger that allows them to spend 5X less on advertising than their competitors.

Their 5,490-word-long menu.

The surprising length of the menu causes people to talk about the cuisine and the business without encouragement. Jay’s research shows that 38% of customers proactively told someone else about the menu in the last 90 days.

Word-of-mouth is what propels a current customer into creating a new customer. This is the best referral program you can have.


In order to work, your talk trigger has to be remarkable in the true sense of that word:

Worthy of remark.

People don’t talk about average. They talk about what’s different. “Good is a 4 letter word in the context of word-of-mouth,” Jay explains. It should align with the brand while still standing out.

Good may keep customers, but it will not create new ones.

For example, Paragon Direct offers a 24-hour car repair service. Use their company’s app to book a service, and they promise to complete the car repair overnight and have it ready before you go to work in the morning. This highly responsive service is so unique that it creates its own word of mouth. This service level goes beyond ‘good’.


Jay’s new book lays out the complete word of mouth system. He gave us a sneak peek at their pioneering 6-step process to create talk triggers:

  1. Understand and observe your customers and use internal insights
  2. Develop candidate talk triggers
  3. Find the Goldilocks zone
  4. Roll it out in a test environment
  5. Look for evidence of conversation
  6. When you see conversation development, roll it out to all customers

These steps allow you to develop an everyday business feature that will cause your customers to notice and talk about you to others. This feature acts as a referral program to convert new customers and works in conjunction with the overall marketing strategy.

“The best marketers you will ever have are walking through your door every day. You’ve just got to turn them on.”


  • A talk trigger is an everyday feature that causes current customers to proactively talk about your business.
  • Your best marketers are your current customers if you give them content.
  • Talk triggers come from a deep customer understanding and must be tested.


  • Word-of-mouth is so powerful because “we trust each other so much more than we trust businesses.”
  • Good is a 4-letter word because no one remarks on an adequate experience.
  • Your talk trigger should make sense in the context of your brand and your customers.


Jay Baer’s Blog

Jay Baer on YouTube

Convince & Convert, World’s #1 Content Marketing Blog

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