Part one of this article, What is Wrong?, looked at how Wynford Dore‘s approach to marketing may be doing his product more harm than good in the conservative and sensitive area of education. In this second and final part we will be looking at how the Dore Achievement Centres can unleash the life changing potential of this treatment.
The Dore Program is a paradigm shift in education. Not only is it the first, widely available, professionally run, treatment for dyslexia and ADHD that works but the science behind it could represent a major change in how we educate all children. Not surprisingly this has upset many people who either have vested interests or are resistant to change. History show’s us that when these great shifts in science are occurring, bitter and often vitriolic attacks are made as careers and professional reputations are at stake. Eventually the dust settles and a new consensus is reached.
With the Dore Program the nature of the attacks is a lot more personal and vindictive than those that occur in abstract scientific journals. There are two reasons for this. One, Wynford Dore has placed himself at the centre of Dore’s marketing approach. Secondly, the Dore Acheivement Centres is a commercial activity with salespeople attracting paying customers. These two issues combine to give Dore’s opponents a large stick with which they attempt to discredit Wynford Dore personally and the science behind the treatment. In order to repulse these attacks and get on with changing as many lives as possible, the commercial activities of the Dore Program need to be not only whiter-than-white but seen to be whiter-than-white. To achieve this is going to take a radical solution.
Nothing sells like a personal recommendation. If a friend recommends a product, you are far more likely to buy it. In Dore’s case this should make the program easy to sell. Any parent who’s child has been freed from the horrors of dyslexia and ADHD should be expected to be shouting it from the rooftops. This may be happening whilst parents are hanging around the school gates waiting to pick their kids up but it isn’t happening online.
On the Myomancy Treatment Database parents are encouraged to post reviews about different dyselxia and ADHD treatments. For the Dore Program‘s entry just four people have posted reviews (all very positive). On various dyslexia and ADHD forums I rarely encountered anyone else who has been through the treatment. And its not just me. A parent considering using the Dore Progam emailed me to ask why she could only find so few first-hand accounts online? With all the variety of ways of communicating online it becomes a real puzzle as to why so little is written about the Dore Program.
The solution to the negative image of Dore’s marketing and to the shortage of online information about the Dore Progam can be solved in one easy act. Set up a forum about Dore online and make it the centerpiece of their marketing strategy.
It is January 2010 and DoreTalk.com is celebrating its third birthday but just like every other day, hundreds of people are posting on the forums and thousands are reading it. Some are potential buyers interested in the treatment but are unsure what it is all about. They might lurk, not posting, just reading some of the tens of thousands of posts that have accumulated over the years. Other interested parents will post questions that are answered not by Dore staff but by people who are currently on the program and are keen to share their experiences with others. Some of the people posting to the forums will be struggling with the program. Those unable to find the time to do the exercises or who are losing motivation during those long months before any of the improvements appear. Those who have already been though this respond with messages of support and good practical advice. The grandees of the forum are those who have finished the treatment but stay active because of the friendships they have established via DoreTalk. They give up some of their own time to moderate the forums as a way of staying involved with a company that has changed their children’s lives.
Building a community like DoreTalk.com is not easy but it will pay for itself many times over. By creating a public space that anyone can post to, Dore is saying to the world that they don’t need to sell the product because it is so good it sells itself. Those scientists and others who attack Dore for bad science or for being overly commercial will have to explain why so many customers are writing about how it helped them. By placing everything in the public domain, by allowing potential customers to decide for themselves, Dore could do away with his sales people, saving Dore hundreds of thousands a year, allowing him to reduce his prices and making the Dore Program even more popular.
A public forum for Dore customers is the cheapest and most effective way of marketing this product. Nothing is hidden from the potential customers and there are no sales staff on commission. The Dore Program will not only be whiter-than-white but will be seen to be whiter-than-white.
The use of online forums and communities to promote a product and build customer loyalty is a growing area of internet based marketing. Seth Godin writes a lot about customer led marketing. This post on reversing the funnel is a good starting point.
My article is also heavily influence by the idea of passionate users. The concept that getting your customers to emotionally care and connect with your product is vital to a products success. Kathy Sierra and her blog, Creating Passionate Users is always entertaining. Her article on building a community is a good place to start.