If you want to have a thriving business, then word of mouth marketing is your milieu. If you’re in the second-hand car business, you want people screaming from the bus stops about how your cars never break down. If you’re a scuba diving operator, you want your clients to mutter through their breathing tubes about how safe they felt while experiencing vivacious coral curves.
As with most things in life, there is another side to this story. As the marketing genius, Seth Godin, states in a blog post titled ‘Why Word of Mouth Doesn’t Happen,’ if you’re in the business of curing people’s venereal disease (VD) don’t bank on people taking your work viral.
Where does poker fit into this word of mouth marketing philosophy?
Let’s take a look at Fedor Holz’s new partnership with GGPoker through the lens of Godin’s blog post.
Here are eight reasons word of mouth marketing won’t work, and whether it makes GGPoker’s decision to hire Holz inspiring or a waste of money.
As in the VD example, the affiliation with your brand feels too embarrassing to share with others. Holz has worked hard to build his reputation both in and outside of poker. While there are online poker rooms, Holz would be embarrassed to be connected with, GGPoker is not one of them because of the high calibre of people who GGPoker have signed before him.
2. It’s Difficult to Bring Up
If you’re a seller of mobile phone ring tones, then if you’re in the earshot of a ring-a-ding-ding, it provides the opportunity to sell your wares, however, if you have just had a cracking massage than it’s challenging to bring it up.
Holz has been smart enough to negotiate a partnership that includes an affiliation with his training site: Pokercode. Because of this, Holz will be spreading his allegiance to GGPoker to his 51.5k Twitter followers because it’s a win-win.
3. Not Cutting Edge Enough
Godin asserts that the product might not be cutting edge enough for your crowd. Maybe you’ve recently switched from Betamax to VHS, and you’re trying to sell the idea to your Netflix buddies. It’s not that it’s embarrassing, it’s because you’ve only recently found out about it.
GGPoker is in the early stages of hiring ambassadors to spread the word of mouth marketing to poker fanatics living in the West. Bryn Kenney joined the team a while ago, but the lone wolf is now part of a pack as GGPoker expands quickly.
When it comes to the stale, hackneyed online poker ecosystem, GGPoker is cutting edge, so no problem on this score.
4. The Thing is Too Popular
Godin uses the example of a blogger afraid of posting on a popular topic over fears of appearing lazy as something that falls within the walls of this realm.
Had PokerStars wanted to sign Holz, then maybe the ‘too popular’ maxim may have applied when it came to the German’s use of his megaphone, but not with GGPoker.
GGPoker is trending.
I can imagine that during prohibition, people would be less likely to share the location of their speakeasies over fears that the loss of exclusivity would create too much attention.
‘Exclusivity’ is prevalent throughout the poker world. It’s either related to legal issues (not wanting the authorities to know about the game), financial ones (not wanting people to take your action), or privacy reasons (not wanting people to know you play in the game).
None of these reasons will stop Holz from telling everyone from the North to the South Pole to play on GGPoker.
6. The Collision of Two Worlds
Godin uses the example of a child attending summer camp to explain this one. Maybe the child is a complete nerd in a normal school but gets to be the cool one in summer camp, and he doesn’t want anyone finding out about his secret world. However, Holz is incredibly proud of his poker career, and so this one is not going to be a problem.
The best way to describe this one would be to use the example of PokerStars during their insane decision to handle the Supernova Elite break up the way they did, and the effect it had on their ambassadors having to sell the brand. If GGPoker has a few fibulas and tibias in the closet, we haven’t seen them, and until we do, Holz will keep espousing the virtues of his new partner.
I know I keep picking on PokerStars, but it’s challenging for a prominent member of the poker community to accept a gig from the largest online poker site this side of California’s Science Center because it will affect their status.
People will cry ‘taste?’
GGPoker has excellent taste, and because of that, if you’re in allegiance with them, you also have it.
Godin’s climax is to challenge you to ‘change the experience of talking about you so fundamentally that people will choose to do it. Given our analysis of the above eight factors, it’s clear that Holz will have no problem talking about the value that GGPoker provides, and by default that makes the $32m man a cracking choice for an ambassador.