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Word of Mouth Lessons from the Birthright Program Marketing
No matter who you ask, great word of mouth campaigns start with a great product and an even better story. Recently, I got to experience the trip of a lifetime all due to word to mouth.
As someone who practices Judaism, I had the opportunity to travel to the State of Israel, through a program called Birthright. It is a special program designed for students and young adults ages 18-26 to travel the entire state in less than 10 days.
The best part is that you get to travel with Israelis your age, learning the culture and history through their point of view. Did I also mention the entire trip is virtually free?
Now I am not sure how many Jews are reading this blog, but where I am from, everyone knows about Birthright.
If you are Jewish, you know about this trip. And guess what? You know about this trip through Birthright ambassadors: your friends, your family, your school, or your co-workers.
Never, and I mean never, do you hear about Birthright through a press release, a banner ad, or social media (other than happy participants posting amazing pictures like the ones in this article).
Earlier, I said great word of mouth campaigns start with a great product and an even better story. Let’s see how Birthright fits that mold.
When I say the trip of a lifetime, I mean the trip of a lifetime. In less than 10 days, we climbed Mt. Masada, saw the Wall (Kotel), hiked in the Golan Heights, rode camels in the Negev (desert), slept in the desert, visited the Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem, heard from a Holocaust survivor, and so much more that I don’t have room to list it all out.
Sleep not included, we were given everything we could have possibly asked for in less than 10 days.
Growing up Jewish, you learn about all the hardships our ancestors went though, and the stories of Moses, Isaac, Jacob, David, Rachel, Leah, and others. All those tales tie back to the State of Israel.
You learn about the destruction of the first and second temple. All that is left of that second temple is the Wall. That one spot is regarded by many Jews as the closest place to God.
To think that I got to experience that moment thanks to a program like Birthright is out of this world.
Birthright was founded in 1999 and since then, over 350,000 young Jewish adults have participated in the program (lots of word of mouth potential). With the cost of each attendee roughly around $3,000 per trip, generous donors are needed.
Birthright has accumulated over 25,000 individual donors and even in times of turmoil in Israel or donors losing money to the likes of Bernie Madoff, the program continues.
Why? Because a program as good as this and a story as good as Israel is too good to fail.
As one can see, the passion for this trip should be screaming off your computer or smart phone right now.
The passion was formed throughout those 10 magical days.
Birthright gave me a deeper connection to my religion, a bond with the State of Israel, an understanding of a culture so ingrained in my history, and over 45 friendships from across the globe that will last a lifetime.
Not only do I feel like I owe the program some gratitude; I want and need to give it to them. Let this be the beginning of my own word of mouth marketing campaign for Birthright.