Had the privilege to attend SWOMFest 1.0 last week in Austin - a gathering on 'word-of-mouth'. For an excellent recap of the events see Spike Jones' blog at Brains-on-Fire.
My take: word-of-mouth is an outcome, not an intention. You have succeeded when positive word-of-mouth occurs.
To succeed you must satisfy several criteria:
- Know what you're doing and why: Purpose
- Communicate through vehicles that tug at peoples' emotions: Stories
- Recognize that things change in ways you can't predict: Adaptation
As Trey Reeme of Young&Free Texas said: be the mouthpiece, not the mouth.