Hello from New York City where it rained all weekend! But it didn’t bother me!
Since I spent the weekend in the heart of Times Square at the tony Marriott Marquis.
I attended Vogue Knitting Live, a knitting conference that attracts knitters (and some crocheters) from across the US and beyond. Run by Vogue’s sister magazine, Vogue Knitting, the event is dedicated to knitting. It offers an array of classes and lectures across a variety of skills and specialities taught by designers from around the world.
Vogue Knitting Live dedicates 2 floors to merchants from the US, Canada and Europe. They spotlight and sell their yarn, knitting-related products, books and magazines. Many sellers offer premium products at top prices.
At the back of each selling floor is a stage that has a full schedule of demonstrations, talks and fashion shows. These events encourage people, who might not attend the event otherwise, to purchase tickets for the marketplace.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Give shoppers a reason to visit your business beyond purchasing a product. For example, the Brooklyn Museum offers an array of talks about the arts. These are paid events where members get a discounted rate.
This year, the event showcased a variety of yarn-based artists. Beyond the mannequins dressed in garments from the latest issue of Vogue Knitting, these artists displayed their handiwork. My favorite display was a blue dragon. Even better from a marketing perspective, many attendees took lots of photos and selfies at these special exhibits.
Beyond knitting-focused activities, the conference extends its experience. It offers attendees the ability to buy specially priced tickets to a current Broadway play on Thursday, a special VIP cocktail hour on Friday evening, and/or a special dinner on Saturday night.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Make your conference or live event the basis for a vacation. Vogue Knitting Live is centrally located in midtown Manhattan to take advantage of other sights and happenings in the city.
- Create a related offering to take advantage of a conference or live event. To succeed, ensure that attendees feel that they’re getting value from your offering. For example, some yarn stores offer bus trips to the major sheep and wool festivals. Similarly, Vogue Knitting offers knitting-focused tours.
► Will Word Of Mouth Help Your Marketing?
Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of marketing. It happens naturally when a family member or friend recommends a product or service because they liked it. From a business perspective, it’s often part of a broader marketing plan.
In a world where trust tends to be low, word of mouth marketing is effective since it has trust associated with it. Roughly three-quarters of people trust people like themselves. (Source: Edelman 2024 Trust Barometer)
In his 2006 ClickZ article, Pete Blackshaw coined the term, ”The Third Moment of Truth”. It refers to the broader actions customers take after they experience your product.
“The third moment [of truth] is that powerful inflection point where the product experience catalyzes an emotion, curiosity, passion, or even anger to talk about the brand. By opening up that pipeline, [marketers] not only absorb insight and deeper consumer understanding but also nurture empowerment and advocacy.”
Since word of mouth marketing enables marketers to take advantage of customers’ positive brand experiences, use these tactics:
- Provide customer ratings and reviews. To encourage customer action, send a post-sales email asking for customer feedback.
- Offer referral programs. Give satisfied customers an incentive to refer their family and friends to your business.
- Monitor social media for customer testimonials. So you can use the positive ones to promote your offering and response quickly to negative feedback.
► Word of Mouth Success Case Study
Despite being a first time novelist, Shelby Van Pelt received a six-figure advance for her book, Remarkably Bright Creatures. When it first appeared in Spring 2022, the publisher’s initial media push helped it make the New York Times Bestseller list. Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher, a documentary about the relationship between a man and an octopus also helped book sales.
The book fell off the bestseller list and its sales slowed after the initial marketing push ended. Despite this, Van Pelt kept talking to hundreds of book clubs and the book continued to sell. As a result, it made several “Best Books of 2022” lists.
Often referred to as “the novel about an octopus”, Shelby Van Pelt’s Remarkably Bright Creatures became a true word of mouth success. It sold 1.1+ million copies in 2023 and 300,000 books in 2022. According to Circana BookScan, it’s a new trend for older books to attract a loyal audience after their initial publication. (Source: NY Times)
Based on sales for the week ending January 20, 2024, Remarkably Bright Creatures is number 8 on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List where it’s been for the past 34 weeks. It even made a story on the front page of the New York Times!
While word of mouth can drive strong sales, success can be difficult to plan or make happen since it depends on customers’ reactions.
BUT once a product becomes a word of mouth success, marketers can maximize its sales. It helps to have other related products and services to offer fans.
With 28 printings to-date, the publisher, Ecco, has:
- Priced the book at $23.99 despite the $29.99 hardcover list price. It costs $15.99 from Amazon and $16.99 from Kindle. (BTW, the higher price for the Kindle edition was a smart pricing decision since it costs less to produce and ship!)
- Delayed publishing the paperback until Winter 2025 to create another sales bump.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Monitor sales and adjust marketing accordingly. If a product shows signs of taking off, continue to provide marketing support. Since books tend to have very limited marketing support, Van Pelt continued to talk to book clubs and at other book events.
- Work with influencers to keep the product visible and selling beyond your initial marketing push.
- Want to improve your book marketing results?
How Book Marketing Can Actually Improve Your Content Marketing Results
Mark Your Calendar
The next three months offer a plethora of exciting marketing events across various focuses. Here are some of the top events to consider:
► Social Media Marketing World — February 18th – 20th in San Diego, California
This event equips you with the latest marketing tactics and trends. Master platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, discover social commerce strategies and learn how to build thriving online communities.
► SXSW — March 8th – 16th in Austin, Texas
A vibrant mix of sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities covering technology, creativity, and the future of culture. Expect insights on marketing tech, data-driven strategies, and innovative approaches to reaching audiences.
► B2B Small Business Expo — March 14th in Miami, Florida.
The Small Business Expo is America’s #1 Trade Show and Networking Event For B2B Businesses. And it’s Free!
► Content Entrepreneur Expo — May 5th – 7th in Cleveland, Ohio
Join bloggers, podcasters, authors, newsletter writers, speakers, coaches and consultants, freelancers, and YouTubers at THE learning and networking event for content entrepreneurs.
Read our interview with Joe Pulizzi, Content, Inc. – Revised Edition
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