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Word-of-mouth advertising

June 27, 2005

As a follow-up to my post on Buggy Games, I think it brings up a telling point for any business and a key to smugmug’s success.

Word-of-mouth is an incredibly powerful thing.

For a video game, they have a very small window (not quite as small as a Hollywood movie, but still very small) in which to attract a lot of purchases. If they don’t, the game flops. In the case of Battlefield 2, if the game crashes constantly when your average customer gets it home, your word-of-mouth campaign comes to a screeching halt before it’s even gotten started.

With smugmug, it just doesn’t make sense to run expensive TV campaigns and the like to get our brand and product out there. We’d have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to get even a single customer, who then only pays us $30 per year. What to do?

It’s shockingly simple. There’s no great secret. If you build it, they will come. Not in waves upon waves, at first, but they will come.

  • Build a great product.
  • Deliver great customer service.
  • Listen rabidly to your customers to find out what more you can do.
  • Constantly refresh your product with what you’ve learned to stay great.
  • The end result of the above formula is a fanatical customer base who does your marketing and advertising for you. They’re so enthralled with your great product and great service, they shout it from the mountain tops.

    How great would it have been if I could, instead of lamenting the quality of Battlefield 2, have told the world how great it is? Bought copies as gifts for my friends?

    We’ll try to never let something like that happen with smugmug.

    Categories: smugmug, video games
    1. Steve Lemke
      August 25, 2005 at 8:55 pm

      Hmmm… If you’re really trying to avoid this sort of word-of-mouth disaster with SmugMug, then how could it be that you haven’t yet solved the lack of caption uploads from iPhoto? Are you really turning your backs on the Mac community (where word of mouth may be worth even more than elsewhere, especially since Apple has their own competing .Mac solution that is integrated right into iPhoto)? Just checking, and still waiting… :-/

      See http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?p=153990&posted=1#post153990

    2. June 16, 2006 at 9:50 am

      Very nice! I’m putting you at my favourits. hedge cards is very good table

    3. November 15, 2009 at 10:25 am

      Okay, clarification time:)

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