Ted Wright helps audiences realize marketing concepts in ways they have NEVER perceived them. When you identify the people most likely to talk about your brand, and then use creative strategies to encourage communications been those influencers and members of their social networks, you create the most effective technique available for growing your brand and increasing your sales.
Ted is a speaker, author, and the CEO of Fizz in Atlanta, GA, who has been at the forefront of word of mouth marketing for years. He has contributed to several consumer revolutions in the United States, including the resurgence of Pabst Blue Ribbon amount urban hipsters and the adoption of Chocolate Milk among athletes. Ted works to take his clients to the next level and beyond. His primary goal for each presentation is to leave audiences inspired to be better marketers so they can sell more stuff to more people, more often, for more money. His whole philosophy is to share the information we have in the most dynamic and data-backed way possible so it is easy to understand.
Simply put, anyone who wants and loves to sell more needs Ted. We are shining our speaker spotlight on Ted this week, and here’s what he said:
How did you first get started in the business of word of mouth marketing (WOMM)?
Ted: I attended the University of Chicago School of Business. My classmates and I were super nerdy and spent a lot of time in the computer lab on campus. The computer lab was a big, dark room with no windows and no lights. In fact, the only light in the room was that from each computer screen—a blue, ambient light from the search engine we all used.
Search engines were introduced in the late 1990’s and we would scroll through page upon page of mixed results to find what we were looking for. Search engines, at the time, were useless, to say the least. As I typed questions into “Ask Jeeves,” struggling to find the answers I was looking for, a classmate leaned over and suggested I use Google. As a test, I typed my mother’s name into Google and there she was, the second result on page 1. All thanks to Sergey Brin, the Founder of Google, who fixed the coding of search engines making Google effective and “smart.”
About 10 minutes later, someone else was having the same issue I was, so I suggested they use Google. The light in our computer lab began to change from ambient blue to white because everyone was using Google. I witnessed something get adopted by every person in the room all because one person suggested it to someone else, and so on.
I am the modern pioneer of word of mouth because of my experience in the computer lab at the University of Chicago. I did a lot of research, realized word of mouth had been around for 5,000+ years, understood everyone knows that companies don’t tell the truth in their advertising, and acknowledged that the truth lies in conversation. Sixty percent of all sales, across all channels, comes from two people having a conversation. Whether it be, “is this the right toothpick?” to “should I make this building or that building my headquarters?” It’s all boils down to conversation. I saw word of mouth as an opportunity; it was interesting and no one else was in that space.
What inspired you to start your company Fizz?
Ted: My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Pullin wrote the word “entrepreneur” on the board when describing me. I had no idea what that word meant, so I looked it up in the dictionary. As I was reading the definition I realized, “that’s me!”. I love thinking about things, finding new opportunities, and making things happen. When I decided to start my company, Fizz, I wanted to see how far I could go as an entrepreneur. My selfishness, intellectual rigor of doing something completely new, and the idea that I’m an entrepreneur and can make things happen made me realize I could make Fizz work, too.
I was 29 years old when I started Fizz. I turned down (really big paying] jobs because I was determined to be an entrepreneur. I knew how to build a business from the ground up and have always enjoyed “starting” things.
What are the top three things you want someone to know about how WOMM works?
Ted: The world has changed and consumers make the vast majority of their buying decisions based off of conversations they’ve had with people they know. Social media can only influence slightly through the margins. People aren’t going on Facebook and Twitter to find the Corvette they want, instead they are talking to their friends. Digital can move the margins, but it can’t change the world – face-to-face conversations change the world.
Here’s what you need to know:
1.) Eight out of 10 people that you talk to say their #1 source of information in the buying process is conversation with their friends.
2.) Seventy percent of those conversations are face-to-face, 20% are over the phone, and 10% are through social media. If you want to sell more and sell faster, the best way to engage is through face-to-face, word of mouth marketing.
3.) If you want to be successful, you have to fish where the fish are. It all boils down to people talking to people they know about products and services they trust.
Bring Ted to your next meeting or event by contacting Michelle Joyce!