1. Products that get used a lot get talked about a lot (OK Steve, brain dead obvious), what's the interesting part?). The interesting part is that when a product is referenced thru multiple channels, multiple avenues in a consumers' environment? That drives conversation!!!! -- whether online ads, a tweetstream, a billboard, AN INTEGRATED MARKETING CAMPAIGN -- it doesn't matter. If it leaves an impression in a consumer's mind, and increases the likelihood of a consumer mentioning it. Still not interesting enough? Read on.
2. Your product doesn't have to be "interesting" to be talked about. Interesting products may be talked about more right after a person has an experience with that product but "interesting" products don't receive more WOM coverage overall. Its what you say that's important!!!! Its the problem they solve that's important. Ok, so you're not working for Apple marketing the iPad.. GET OVER IT!!! And have some fun with your product. At the end of the day, its YOU who have to be the evangelical spark for your WOM efforts. You who have to go out there and become a conversationalist. Don't sit behind your desk, craft your plans and let em rip! You have to actively take part in any WOM effort via the social media channels that make sense for your offer.
3. Do promotions help drive conversation? Well, giving away product is associated with driving conversation. In studies we've seen and conducted ourselves we've determined that giving away products to consumers can boost WOM. In fact conversation can be boosted significantly but don't pile it on! If you send a consumer multiple free products you won't see a concomitant increase in buzz. Clearly WOM fatigue sets in and the excitement wears off. Coupons and rebates won't do much either. (SAP are you listening?)
The Takeaway? Take a "flanking" approach to your WOM marketing efforts. When you are developing your product level marketing for a Word of Mouth campaign, don't deploy the campaign in a vacuum -- you will need to take a 360 degree approach and integrate that WOM campaign into your existing Demand Generation efforts. And don't be discouraged that you're not marketing a cool app or device! If you have a valuable solution that solves a real pain and you couple the avenues through which people can learn about your solution, there will be talk!!!
Oh.. and stay away from the hard offers. They're not going to drive word of mouth. They may drive conversion but that's a whole 'nuther story.