Remember how Jack Trout tried to poke a hole in all of the hype surrounding the use of word-of-mouth (WOM) in marketing? He talks with three WOM advocates in this roundtable discussion. The advocates effectively make their case, but I still consider valid Trout's underlying point about WOM being just another tool in the marketing toolbox.
The Story When Apple unveiled its iPod digital music player back in October 2001, I dismissed it as a parity product . I already owned the Cowon iAUDIO CW100 MP3 player, loaded with my favorite tunes. There was Apple, generating great hype over the iPod as if it were a breakthrough product. The idea of a portable digital music player was nothing new. The first mass-produced MP3 players came out in 1998. In late 2001, the concept may have been new to a lot of Apple customers, but it wasn't new to me. I proudly showed my MP3 player to friends when they gushed about the iPod. Thus Apple's iPod was not an innovative product in and of itself. Years later, however, I realized the significance of ecosystem of which the iPod was a part. Apple had released iTunes (with technology purchased from SoundJam MP ) and created the iTunes Store for finding and downloading music. Unlike Napster , it was a safe and legal way of distributing and acquiring music. The prior way of playing