Your Next Word of Mouth Marketing Strategy: the Talk Trigger

Guest: Jay Baer Entrepreneur and Co-Author, "Talk Triggers"

Far too many marketers believe that “competency creates conversation,” thinking that a word of mouth marketing strategy will simply appear out of thin air. Jay Baer, entrepreneur and author of his new book “Talk Triggers,” joins this episode of Renegade Thinkers Unite to convince you otherwise.

Word of mouth marketing is essential to B2B businesses. After all, 91% of all B2B purchases are made because of its influence. Despite this overwhelming need, most B2B companies don’t have a specific word of mouth marketing strategy in place. As Jay shares, it’s all about doing something different in your company’s operations that makes customers chatter — a “talk trigger”. On this episode, you’ll hear about several successful talk trigger stories, like the ingenious DoubleTree cookies, along with the 4 main criteria any talk trigger needs to meet. Jay also shares his expert advice on following his book’s 6-step process to creating a successful talk trigger. His message on word of mouth marketing says one thing loud and clear: “same is lame”, so don’t just follow what the other guys in the industry are doing.

Learn how to get your customers talking in all the right ways.

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What You’ll Learn

What are talk triggers and why do you need them in your word of mouth marketing strategy?

Jay explains talk triggers as, “something that you choose to do differently that creates conversation.” They’re not marketing tactics, they’re operational choices that are designed to specifically generate discussions about your business. It’s the most important part of B2B that no one’s talking about – until now.

One of the best examples of a recent talk trigger is UberConference’s “I’m On Hold” song that plays in their virtual waiting room for conference calls. Instead of going with predictable “elevator music,” they had a unique song composed specifically for them that now generates conversations about their service every time users are on hold. Jay shares even more great examples all on this episode.

“Same is lame” – follow these 4 criteria to create a great talk trigger

Many marketers revert to mimicking successful strategies rather than create their own original ideas. But when your business starts down that path, you’ll be resigned to being second-best, rather than an innovative industry leader. Jay explains that to break out of this pattern and start creating great talk triggers that enhance your word of mouth marketing strategy, your trigger needs to follow these 4 criteria:

  1. Remarkable – it needs to be worthy of remarks from people outside of your traditional audience
  2. Relevant – it cannot simply be about gathering attention
  3. Reasonable – different enough to be remarkable, but not so “out there” that people are wary of the offer
  4. Repeatable – a talk trigger isn’t just a one-time stunt

Jay’s insider advice for entrepreneurs looking to avoid getting stuck when creating talk triggers

On this episode, Jay warns marketers of 2 main “sticky points” to watch out for when developing talk triggers. As tempting as it may be to sit around coming up with fun marketing ideas, the best talk triggers don’t come out of one or two brainstorming sessions. He encourages marketers to consider using a third-party company that can have an objective look at your business while researching what resonates with your audience.

He also explains the importance of measuring you talk trigger’s impact. By sending out a survey to your recent customers and followers, you can begin to understand what’s been working and what didn’t. For the full list of questions to consider asking, be sure to listen to this episode.


  • [0:30] Word of mouth marketing expert, Jay Baer, is Drew’s guest for this episode
  • [7:02] What are talk triggers and why are they important?
  • [8:25] Word of mouth marketing is 100% critical for B2B businesses
  • [12:05] Marketing departments shouldn’t be the only ones developing talk triggers
  • [15:51] Same is lame – the 4 criteria to follow to create great talk triggers
  • [26:19] The 5 types of talk triggers
  • [30:48] Take a look at this example of talkable empathy in the B2B space
  • [37:28] Learn from Jay’s 6-step process and work through the “sticky” points by considering these 2 things
  • [45:58] 2 do’s and 1 don’t to follow when creating talk trigger

Connect With Jay:

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Drew

Meet the Guest

Jay Baer helps businesses clone their customers. He has created five multi-million dollar companies, and is a 7th generation entrepreneur.

He is the President of Convince & Convert, a consulting firm that helps the world’s most iconic brands like The United Nations, Nike, 3M, and Oracle use technology to win new customers, and keep the customers they’ve already earned.

A New York Times best-selling author of six books, Jay is the host of the award-winning Social Pros podcast.

He’s also an avid tequila collector, and a certified barbecue judge.

Quotes from Jay Baer

  • Word of mouth strategy is the most important thing in business that nobody talks about.
  • A talk trigger is something that you choose to do differently, as opposed to something that you say differently.
  • Learn what your customers expect at each touch point because once you know what they expect, then you can figure out what they don't expect. That is your talk trigger.

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